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Week 1 vs. DET
Rushing: 28 / 143 / 0
Bell, filling in for an injured Pierre Thomas, ran hard between the tackles early, attacked holes as they opened, cut decisively and moved the pile in short yardage. Early in the game, Bell was mostly a change of pace back, splitting carries with Reggie Bush and leaving the field in spread sets. Bell quickly began to assert himself on the ground, however, and saw most of the Saints' carries in the second quarter before having even more success against a worn out Detroit defense in the second half.
Week 2 vs. PHI
Rushing: 17 / 86 / 1
Receiving: 1 / 9 / 0 on 1 targets
Mike Bell got the starting job in the backfield for the Saints in Week 2, but he looked much slower and less effective against a better defense this time. Bell finished with decent numbers, but most of that was boosted by his 23-yard run in the first quarter. He did little after first contact and gained very little on most of his touches, as the Eagles collapsed quickly around him to pin him down and back for most of the day. Only Brees' big day of throws allowed him running room enough for his few longer gains. To further depress Bell's value, he left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. Expect Pierre Thomas to be strongly considered as at least sharing time if not completely replacing Bell for next week.
Week 6 vs. NYG
Rushing: 15 / 34 / 1
Bell got in mostly as a short yardage specialist early, and he was able to convert a fourth and inches at the two-yard line into a TD with his patented over-the-top plunge. As the game went on, he got more work in the base offense, and Bell ran as hard between the tackles as he did before his knee injury. He wasn't the strict goal line back, but got his share of opportunities, and he is clearly in a committee with Pierre Thomas, as opposed to being a back-up/role playing back.
Week 7 vs. MIA
Rushing: 12 / 80 / 0
Bell was barely heard from in the first half, but his hard-charging style helped the Saints take control of the game in the fourth quarter. He was displaying his decisive one-cut running style that results in broken tackles and good gains. Bell broke one run for a long run with a strong initial burst and good vision. He had two carries inside the five, but couldn't get in the end zone.
Week 8 vs. ATL
Rushing: 17 / 49 / 0
Bell ran hard as always, but his late fumble let the Falcons have one last gasp, and his more disciplined running style may be hurt by the loss of lead blocking fullback Heath Evans more than Thomas. Bell didn't get exclusive short yardage or goal line work, and after Thomas's performance, he might get even less work in the early parts of games because he doesn't offer the same upside on his touches.
Week 9 vs. CAR
Rushing: 5 / 17 / 0
Bell was leaned on less in week 9 than he had been all year. It was not for a lack of effort however as Bell pounded the ball at the point of attack with hard running on each of his carries. He simply found limited space to work with and was not able to break through to the 2nd level of the defense. Week 9 marked the 1st time since Pierre Thomas came back that Bell was not utilized much in the 4th quarter. It remains to be whether this is an aberration or a trend.
Week 10 vs. STL
Rushing: 8 / 30 / 0
Bell found little running space in week 10 as the Rams aggressive defense slowed him to a crawl. Bell rushed for 30 yards on 8 carries, however there is a chance that his slice of the Saints running back pie could be getting smaller by the week. With 2 healthy (and quite frankly, better) RB's in front him Bell could find it hard to see many carries moving forward barring an injury.
Week 11 vs. TB
Rushing: 13 / 75 / 2
Receiving: 1 / 5 / 0 on 1 targets
Bell's fantasy value took a big leap in this contest. He was running with his typical one-cut-and-go, no nonsense style, and it was effective against a Bucs defense that was geared up to take away the deep passing game. The Saints turned to Bell in the red zone, except in the two-minute drill, and he responded with inspired short yardage efforts. Bell took punishment to get to paydirt, initiating contact and running with outstanding determination. He scored on his third consecutive goal-to-go carry with his signature plunge over the top, and he won a collision to score his other TD. If he becomes the Saints TD specialist down the stretch, he could have solid RB2 value, because the Saints have a weak remanining schedule.
Week 12 vs. NE
Rushing: 13 / 50 / 0
Bell has become the Saints battering ram. He had added a mean streak to his one-cut-and-go style, relishing contact and bowling over defenders when he can. Arm tackles barely even slow Bell down. He got one goal-to-go carry, but the Saints long pass TDs took away most chances Bell would have had to score. Bell was banged up at the end of the game, so we'll need to check his practice status this week. He still has flex value as a sometimes goal line back in the league's best offense, but not without risk.
Week 13 vs. WAS
Rushing: 16 / 34 / 0
Bell was stopped in the backfield more than once, and had trouble converting short yardage carries, including a fourth and inches attempt. He did get a few red zone snaps, but rotated in with Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. He did run with his typical force and decisiveness, but he found little room to operate with the return of Albert Haynesworth.
Week 15 vs. DAL
Rushing: 4 / 8 / 1
Mike Bell had four carries in Week 15, two of which came inside of the Dallas 10-yard line as Bell converted a fourth quarter goal line situation into a touchdown to keep the Saints in the game. Bell is getting more chances down near the end zone as Pierre Thomas has more chances between the 20-yard lines.
Week 16 vs. TB
Rushing: 7 / 20 / 0
Bell had physical runs to start off his day, bouncing off of tacklers, but he was met at or near the line on the rest of his runs, and the Saints seemed to trust Lynell Hamilton more once Pierre Thomas left with a rib injury.
Week 17 vs. CAR
Rushing: 17 / 28 / 0
Receiving: 2 / -2 / 0 on 2 targets
Bell was quiet and ineffective for the Saints this week playing in place of Pierre Thomas. Bell had trouble finding much room to work with as he often danced a bit behind the line instead of hitting the holes. He finished the day leading the team in total touches (19), but was held to just 26 yards total.
Week 19 vs. ARI
Rushing: 6 / 11 / 0
Bell ran the ball in for an apparent short touchdown, but it was called back on holding penalty. Bell, like the other 3 running backs, had a handful of opportunities, but aside from the negated touchdown, was not exactly worth fantasy consideration.
Week 20 vs. MIN
Mike Bell had no touches in the NFC Championship Game as the Saints gave the ball to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas on all but one carry. Bell never saw any snaps in the New Orleans backfield.