Lev Bell


Dynasty Spotlight: Le’Veon Bell


Written by: Mike Krafick

High School

Le’Veon Bell attended Groveport Madison High School in Ohio where he was a three sport athlete (Football, Basketball, and Track).  During Bell’s sophomore year he ran for 789 yards and 9 Touchdowns, as a junior he ran for 1,100 yards and 13 Touchdowns, and his senior year he totaled 1,333 yards rushing and 21 Touchdowns.  Bell was selected First-Team All-Ohio Capital Conference his senior year.  He also earned Second-Team All-OCC Ohio Division Honors in basketball as a junior and was one of the best High Jumpers in the state with a personal best of 6’8″.

Bell was recruited by 5 different colleges (Michigan State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Marshall, and Ohio State) and received an offer from 4 of them (OSU was the school that didn’t make an offer). Coming out of High School he was considered a 2 star recruit according to ESPN.com and listed as the 211th best Running Back in the country.  That’s right, one of the best young Running Backs in the NFL today was ranked 211 only a few years ago!

College

Lev Bell 2At Michigan State Le’Veon Bell played 3 seasons and finished up his colligiate career by leading the Big Ten in rushing yards his senior year with 1,793 yards.  That same year he was First-Team All-American, First-Team All-Big Ten, and won the CFPA Elite Running Back Trophy.

At the NFL Combine Bell ran a 4.6 – 40 yard dash and had a good overall workout.  Some favorable comps according to www.mockdraftable.com were Arian Foster, Jamal Lewis, and Rashad Jennings.  At the Combine Bell measured out at 6’1″ 230 lbs. with 31 1/2″ arms, and 9 5/8″ hands.  Bell was described as a “big bruising back with lighter feet than you would expect.” and “decent receiver out of the backfield” according to nfl.com.

 

Metrics

NFL

Games Rushing Receiving
Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Y/G A/G Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G YScm RRTD Fmb AV
2013 21 PIT RB 26 13 13 244 860 8 43 3.5 66.2 18.8 66 45 399 8.9 0 43 3.5 30.7 1259 8 1 8
2014*+ 22 PIT RB 26 16 16 290 1361 8 81 4.7 85.1 18.1 105 83 854 10.3 3 48 5.2 53.4 2215 11 0 17
Career 29 29 534 2221 16 81 4.2 76.6 18.4 171 128 1253 9.8 3 48 4.4 43.2 3474 19 1 25

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Le’Veon Bell with the 16th Pick of the 2nd Round (48th overall).  Bell was the 2nd Running Back drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, 11 picks after the Bengals selected Giovani Bernard with the 37th overall pick.  As a Steelers fan I can remember how upset a lot of fans were that The Steelers didn’t select Eddie Lacy with that pick, neither would have been a bad pick in my opinion but I’m happy with the selection that Steelers GM, Kevin Colbert made.

Le-Veon-Bell-vs-BengalsBell was injured during the Pre Season of his rookie year and that injury cost him the first 3 games of the 2013 season.  It was initially reported that it was a Lisfranc Injury and would cost Bell 6 to 8 weeks or even possibly end his season if surgery was needed.  Thankfully the injury was not that severe and Bell started for Pittsburgh in Week 4 against Minnesota. Even though he only averaged 3.5 Y.P.C in that game on 16 carries, he managed to find the end zone twice in his first game as a Pro.

Bell averaged 3.5 Y.P.C in his rookie campaign on 244 carries for 840 yards and 8 Touchdowns.  He added 45 receptions for 399 yards to finish his first year in the league with over 1,200 yards from scrimmage.  Bell was listed at 244 lbs. his rookie year but during the 2013 offseason he changed his diet and workout routine and came into training camp 20 lbs. lighter.  That weight loss gave him some burst and explosion that just was not there the year before.  There was some concern coming into 2014 that LeGarrette Blount would steal goal-line carries from Bell and take away from his workload, but that was not the case and Blount was released after he walked off the field during a game in Week 11 against Tennessee (Blount had 266 yards and 2 TD’s with Pittsburgh).  In 2014 Le’Veon Bell became the center piece of the Steelers offense, touching the ball 373 times with 290 carries and 83 receptions (not too bad for a “decent receiver”). 

ADP

  • 2013 ADP – 5.01
  • 2014 ADP – 2.05
  • 2015 ADP – 1.05

The ADP data shown above is Dynasty Startup ADP according to Dynasty Football Warehouse.  (2015 data is Pre-NFL Draft ADP)

Dynasty Forecast

In 2015 and for the foreseeable future, Bell is the feature back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, a high powered and high scoring offense.  He is one of the few RB’s in the league with almost no competition for touches in the backfield. The Steelers signed Free Agent DeAngelo Williams this offseason, they also have Josh Harris and Dri Archer on the roster. None of those Running Backs are going to force Le’Veon off the field. He is facing a 3 game suspension for an off the field issue last year (D.U.I. for marijuana with L. Blount).

The suspension is the only thing keeping Bell from being the consensus number one overall pick in re-draft leagues.  He has the talent, the opportunity, and he’s young (23 years old) – he is obviously one of the best RBs in Dynasty, the question for me is where to draft him?

Where are you drafting Bell in a Dynasty Startup?  Are you taking him at 1.01?  I’ve seen him go anywhere between 1.01 and 1.08 this offseason in mocks to date. 

I have drafted him in the first round of a mock draft this offseason (I got him at 1.08), but was not thrilled with the way my team looked at the end of the mock. I prefer to draft a high end Wide Receiver to start my team. Drafting a RB early in a Dynasty Start-up can often handcuff your team because of the short shelf life at that position. 

Hit me up on twitter @mike_krafick to let me know what you think and where you’re targeting Bell in Start-ups.