In years past, New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell was money in the bank when it came to fantasy football. But his days of dominance with the Pittsburgh Steelers are over.
Bell is one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of 2019, up there with David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals and Joe Mixon of the Cincinnati Bengals. But Bell should remain in your lineup this week, as there’s hardly a better matchup than the lowly Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins have shown signs of life recently, but don’t be fooled. They are still the 31st-ranked run defense in the NFL, allowing 143.5 rushing yards per game. That’s ridiculous total. Even though the Jets have been awful running the ball, the sledding will even be easy enough for them. Bell is averaging an abysmal 3.2 yards per carry, which is largely due to the offensive line. If there’s anyone in the league that the Jets should be able to block, it’s the Dolphins defensive lineman.
You might be having flashbacks about the last time these two teams played. Bell put up only 66 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards. That may seem like cause for concern, but it isn’t. The Jets have been playing much better football since that game, albeit with extreme inconsistency. Last time these two teams met, the game script wasn’t in Bell’s favor.
New York trailed for much of the game, hampering the Jets’ chances at running the ball. Things will be different this time around. The Jets should be concentrating on the run game and on controlling the clock. Attacking Miami’s biggest weakness is the easiest road to victory. Bell should receive upwards of 25 rushing attempts, with at least a couple of them coming on the goal line.
I’ve gone all this way without mentioning Bell’s receiving prospects. The Dolphins haven’t been terrible against receiving backs, but they haven’t been good. They’ve allowed four passing scores to running backs all year long, and allow about 40 yards per game through the air to them. These aren’t great numbers for Bell. But if the former Steeler can just replicate the receiving performance he had against the Dolphins last time, he’ll be fine. Racking up 55 yards through the air is more than enough to supplement the rushing production that he will have.
All in all, you can count on Bell in Week 14. Plug him into your lineup as a solid RB1. You may have trust issues with Bell due to prior games, and I get it. But Bell can be counted on, at least for this week.