Fantasy Football Impact: Le’Veon Bell and His Midseason Move
Now that Le’Veon Bell has officially signed with the Chiefs, what does it mean for his new backfield and the one he left behind when it comes to fantasy football?
On Thursday night, Le’Veon Bell signed a one-year deal with the Kansas City Chiefs after being released from the New York Jets on Tuesday. The news literally broke the internet, because when the news happened Twitter crashed for about an hour for millions of users. I doubt that’s why it was actually down, but how often do we actually get to say “something broke the internet” and it was actually broken?
First off, congratulations to Bell for escaping the grasp of Adam Gase and falling into the loving arms of Andy Reid (oh and he’s getting paid to do it). Bell is going from the worst team in the NFL to arguably the best — one that touts Patrick Mahomes and hopes of another Super Bowl on the horizon.
Now we get into the fantasy fallout that this leaves us here heading into Week 6. The big concern is obviously with Chiefs’ rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire was selected with the final pick of the first round this past April, and the Chiefs were very excited to bring him in with his skill set. If you have Edwards-Helaire on your fantasy football team this year, you probably spent a top-six pick on him in your drafts this offseason. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be looking good for that investment moving forward.
Through Week 5, Edwards-Helaire is the RB12 (PPR) on the season. That isn’t terrible, but it’s not what you were hoping for through the first part of the year with only one week above 15 fantasy points so far. The inability of Edwards-Helaire to score and move the ball in short-yardage situations has been a bit concerning. Edwards-Helaire has logged seven goal-line carries for -1 yard without finding the end zone. It’s not good. I expect this is the reason the Chiefs decided to bring in Bell, who has shown to be a multi-dimensional threat.
The fantasy implications for both of these backs aren’t great. Bell is not going to see the volume that he would have had in New York, but Kansas City can move the ball with much more efficiency. I do expect Bell to be very involved when they get down near the end zone in addition to seeing a few touches on each drive, whether that is running the ball or getting receiving work. These high-value touches will be what bolsters his fantasy value. Whether or not he can get into the end zone will most likely be the deciding factor in him having a good or bad week.
Edwards-Helaire and Bell both will have limited upside moving forward each week. I would expect both to fall into the RB 18-24 range for the rest of the season, which is not good news for anyone who is rostering these players in fantasy.
New York now has a backfield of Frank Gore, La’Mical Perine, and Ty Johnson. I’m not particularly interested in any of these guys for the rest of this season. If you are in deeper PPR leagues you could be adding Ty Johnson, as he figures to get most of the receiving work. Perine will see an increased role as well, but I am not sold on the Jets’ offense sustaining a fantasy-relevant RB yet.