Would You Rather: Draft Le'Veon Bell or James Conner as an RB1 in the 2019 Fantasy Football Season
By Dan Israeli
Heading into the 2019 fantasy football season, there will be several tough decisions when ranking and ultimately drafting certain players at the same position.
One of the most intriguing battles, according to current average draft position (ADP), is deciding between former Pittsburgh Steeler Le'Veon Bell, and the Steelers' current RB James Conner. Bell is currently being drafted as RB7, with Conner right behind at RB8.
Conner finished just outside the top five at his position last season, posting an impressive 1,470 scrimmage yards and 13 touchdowns in just 13 games. On the other hand, Bell missed the season entirely, due to a contract holdout that led to the end of his tenure in Pittsburgh.
Now that Bell is with the New York Jets, he will likely resume his role as an every-down back, albeit on a new team, with a new quarterback (Sam Darnold), and in a new offense. Conner, meanwhile, will reprise his role as the feature back for the Steelers, but on a team that will be without Antonio Brown for the first time in nine seasons.
While both players will face adjustments this season, there should be less of a learning curve for Conner. The absence of Brown could hurt, but Conner will be playing in the same offense that he thrived in last season. The Steelers have plenty of weapons at wide receiver to fill the void left by AB and, if anything, it could lead to Conner seeing more targets than he did in 2018.
Many wonder how Bell will be affected by not only switching teams, but by missing an entire season of football. Bell is joining a Jets team that hasn't produced a lot of fantasy studs in recent years, even though the offense is likely to improve in Darnold's second NFL season.
If Bell can prove that the year off did him some good (he received a whopping 406 touches in 2017), it's possible that he returns as productive as he once was in Pittsburgh.
However, if you are a more cautious drafter, with reservations about Bell's new team and year-long layoff, Conner could be the safer play. Those seeking upside, however, should consider ringing the Bell.
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