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Friday, October 31, 2014

Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy stock in question because of foot injury

LeVeon Bell SteelersLe’Veon Bell entered training camp looking like he would be one of the top rookie running backs. The Pittsburgh Steelers made Bell the No. 48 overall pick in the draft, and he was the second back taken overall. Even though Pittsburgh has Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman, and LaRod Stephens-Howling, Bell looked like he was going to be the lead back and get a large amount of carries this season. All that is not so certain to start the year.

Bell made his preseason debut on Monday night in the Steelers’ game against the Washington Redskins. He rushed for nine yards on four carries before exiting with a right foot injury. The team said he suffered a mid-foot sprain — the same injury Redskins QB Kirk Cousins sustained in the game — and he went for an MRI on Tuesday.

Steelers beat reporter Ed Bouchette tweeted on Tuesday that Bell’s foot injury is not as bad as teammate Matt Speath’s Lisfranc injury, but it’s enough to keep him out “awhile.

Bell was an absolute workhorse in college at Michigan State, which is part of what made him so appealing to the Steelers and fantasy owners. Everyone knew he could carry a load. He carried the ball 382 times (!!!) in 13 games last season, going over the 100-yard mark eight times, including three 200-yard games.

Previously, Bell would have been toward the top of my running back rankings, but the foot injury slides him down a bit. Who wants to take a guy early when the player already is dealing with a foot injury? Dwyer isn’t a long-term answer, but he’s at least good enough to handle plenty of carries if Bell isn’t ready for Week 1. I’m not confident he will be at this point.

UPDATE: Bell will miss 6-8 weeks with his foot injury. Dwyer is probably the recommended pickup.



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