Le'Veon Bell's Fantasy Stock on Rise Amidst Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon Holdouts

Jason Schandl
Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers
Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers /

As we saw last year, running backs threatening a holdout should be taken seriously. Le'Veon Bell refused to play on the franchise tag and sat out an entire season before signing with the New York Jets.

In an interesting turn of events this year, Bell's value is on the rise while some of the other top fantasy football running backs are locked in contract disputes. Melvin Gordon's holdout threats seem a lot more likely to come to fruition than Ezekiel Elliott's, but both have seen their average draft position (ADP) tumble in August. Elliott is now going as the RB4, while Gordon's ADP has fallen out of the first round, to RB12 (23rd overall).

Bell, the proud owner of one of the league's biggest RB contracts, is being drafted between Zeke and Gordon at RB6 (seventh overall).

The New York Jets are paying Bell more money per year than any back other than Todd Gurley, and that's a very strong indicator that they plan on giving Bell the ball as much as they can. He's got an outstanding track record with that kind of volume.

The Jets' offense isn't likely to be as conducive to fantasy production as the Pittsburgh Steelers' was, but at the end of the day nothing matters more than volume for a running back's fantasy outlook.

Going toward the end of the first round also leaves some room for Bell to still offer great value even with a dip in efficiency. He finished second at the position in fantasy scoring in 2017 despite playing only 15 games, and in 2016 he finished third in only 12 games.

There's a lot of uncertainty at the top end of drafts with Elliott and Gordon's contract concerns, and in a drastic turnaround from last year's situation, Le'Veon Bell is now one of the safer running backs available in the top tier.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.