Le’Veon Bell did not report to the Steelers by the November 13th deadline making him ineligible to play this season. This means Bell is droppable in all redraft fantasy football leagues. The only teams that should be hanging on to Bell are those playing in dynasty or keeper formats.
This is not a situation like Ezekiel Elliott went through last season where he was eligible to play as he appealed his suspension. Bell has made it clear over and over again he will not play this season. There is no sense holding onto the Steelers running back and burning up a roster spot that could be used for a player that can help your team make the fantasy playoffs.
While Bell maintains value in dynasty leagues, his overall value has taken a hit this season. This could all change if Bell finds a good fit in free agency this offseason. ESPN’s Adam Schefter detailed Bell’s decision.
“Le’Veon Bell is not reporting to the Steelers by the 4 pm deadline today and is now ineligible to play the remainder of the 2018 season, source tells ESPN. His season is over. Bell will become an unrestricted free agent this winter, when the bidding for his services will begin…Before today, Le’Veon Bell had lost out on $8.5 million in wages for the 2018 season. Today the remaining $6 million goes away. Bell is bidding goodbye to $14.5 million to stay healthy and strike a mega deal this off-season,” Schefter tweeted.
Le’Veon Bell Should Be Dropped in Season-Long Fantasy Leagues
On the other side of the spectrum, fantasy owners that used a late-round pick on James Conner can breathe a sigh of relief. With Bell ineligible to play this season, Conner will remain the workhorse running back in Pittsburgh. Even in leagues that drafted after Bell announced his plans to holdout, the Steelers running back was still drafted in the first three rounds in the majority of leagues.
Many fantasy football championships this season will be decided by who drafted Bell and Conner but for opposite reasons. ESPN’s Matthew Berry called Bell the worst pick in fantasy football history.
“LeVeon goes into the fantasy football record book as the worst draft pick in the history of the game…On ESPN the average difference between teams that drafted Gurley vs Bell? Gurley: 3rd place, have scored 1187.2, won 5.8 gms. Bell: 6th place, have scored 1029.9 pts, won 3.8 gms. In short, Gurley teams have on average 2 more wins, are playoff bound, & have scored more points,” Berry tweeted.
If you have Bell in a dynasty league, you should likely try to hold tight given it is going to be difficult to get something significant in return for him. Bell is just 26 years old, so he still has something left in the tank. Bell had 1,946 total yards and 11 touchdowns for the Steelers in 2017.