UPDATE: Bell has signed with the Chiefs, per NFL Network. He joins Clyde Edwards-Helaire to load up KC’s backfield. Bell will not be a regular starter in fantasy until we get a better handle on how much work he’ll get to complement Edwards-Helaire.
Le’Veon Bell is a free agent this morning and looking for a new job after being let go by the New York Jets. That fact has some fantasy football ramifications for the Jets and whoever Bell ends up playing for to finish out the season.
Bell’s ability is something to question, as he finished his Jets career with 264 rushing attempts for 863 yards (3.3 ypc) for three touchdowns and caught 69-of-81 targets for 500 yards (7.2 ypr) and one touchdown through 17 games. But, there’s also plenty of evidence that head coach Adam Gase has thwarted players from maximizing their ability in the past. — see Ryan Tannehill, Mike Gesicki, DeVante Parker, Robby Anderson, Kenyan Drake, Damien Williams, etc.
For the Jets, they will have Frank Gore, rookie La’Mical Perine, and Ty Johnson as their Top 3 running backs with Bell gone. Gore was the starter while Bell was hurt earlier in the season. Gore should continue to see work, but his fantasy upside, especially in the Jets poor offense, is not good. So far, Gore has ran the ball 64 times for 204 yards (3.2 ypc) for no touchdowns and caught 2-of-5 passes for 11 yards. Perine hasn’t been much better, but he’s also only had 15 rushing attempts for a 3.7 ypc average.
Neither of these two is going to be a starter for your fantasy team in the majority of leagues, but Perine is the only one of the two I would want to take a flier on. If the team wants to really see what they have in him, they should give him more touches in what is a lost season, no matter what the team might say.
We’re still in the dark as to where Bell will end up. There are plenty of options out there, but none are slam dunks for speculation. Right now, the Bears, Cardinals, Chiefs, Buccaneers, Seahawks, Eagles, Titans, 49ers, Patriots, Dolphins, Steelers and with Melvin Gordon’s recent DUI charge, the Broncos are all being bandied about as destinations. But, there have been no official reports of interest from any specific team as of yet.