RB Joique Bell, Free agent
HT: 5-11, WT: 220, Born: 8-4-1986, College: Wayne State (MI), Drafted: ---
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Return Projections (see all)
Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: B Tate (57), C Johnson (58), Joique Bell (59), N Foles (60), B Sankey (61)
Position: B Tate (57-RB24), C Johnson (58-RB25), Joique Bell (59 - RB26), B Sankey (61-RB27), T Richardson (64-RB28)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: J Cameron (51), R Rice (52), Joique Bell (53), D Jackson (54), T Hilton (55)
Position: R Jennings (47-RB21), R Rice (52-RB22), Joique Bell (53 - RB23), C Johnson (56-RB24), B Sankey (59-RB25)
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Bell was re-signed by the Lions before free agency started, so you know they made keeping him a priority. All signs point to something close to a 50/50 split with Reggie Bush, and Bell should get the bulk of goal-line carries, making him almost as valuable as Bush if he can stay healthy. Bell is dealing with a knee issue that is sidelining him for OTAs, but there is no reason to think that he can't build on his mini-breakout of 2013 and turn into a very good flex, if not quality fantasy RB2 in 2014.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - With Mikel Leshoure inactive this week, Bell saw plenty of action. In addition to spelling starter Reggie Bush, Bell was also in the backfield on occasions when Bush was split out wide as a receiver. Bell took full advantage of his touches, breaking tackles with ease and showing skill as a receiver and in short-yardage situations. Bell converted both of his goal line carries from point-blank range, an area that Reggie Bush was regularly on the sidelines for in this game. Bellís role with Mikel Leshoure in the lineup remains to be seen, but he did the most with an expanded role this week against Minnesota.
Week 2 - Bell led the Lions in targets and total touches against the Cardinals as Reggie Bush played less than a half before limping off the field after a hit to his knee. With the lead back role for part of the second quarter and essentially the entire second half, Bell was a dependable passing game option for Matthew Stafford. Bell sees angles and opening after the catch with ease before lowering his shoulders to get the last few yards of his receptions. Like Bush, Bell was split out wide as a secondary receiving option multiple times. Late in the game, Bell contributed two uncharacteristic dropped passes as Detroit was attempting to make their comeback effort.
Week 3 - With Reggie Bush out of the lineup, Bell got the start against Washington. Outside of a few snaps for Theo Riddick, Bell had a full complement of playing time and did not disappoint. On the ground, he routinely ran through initial arm tackle attempts and bounced off defenders that did not stop his legs from churning forward. At times it looked like the defense wanted no part of meeting Bell head-on at the second-level. His highlight run was on a red zone draw play where he exhibited all of the above qualities. Bell bounced off defenders with ease to get the touchdown. In the passing game, the game plan for Detroit did not change without Reggie Bush on the field. Bell ran isolation routes against linebacker coverage and was targeted often. Bell missed an opportunity for a second touchdown on the day when Stafford was pressured in the pocket, which forced an inaccurate swing pass to Bell at the goal line. It was a career-high for Bell in terms of total yards from scrimmage and two of his best performances have come over the past three weeks. The Lions offense did not miss a beat with Reggie Bush on the sidelines against Washington.
Week 4 - Bell was back to his backup role as Reggie Bush returned from injury. Bell was held in check on the ground and his best play, converting a third-and-short with his power, was offset by a fumble late in the game as Detroit attempted to salt away the game with a lead. Bellís fumble led to a Chicago touchdown and an onside kick that Detroit recovered. Bell has more success in the passing game as he caught all of his targets and got the Lions into the red zone on a screen pass early in the game.
Week 5 - Bell, like the rest of the Detroit offense, saw little success against the Packers. Bell saw quite a few snaps lined up as a fullback or H-back when starter Reggie Bush was still on the field. In fact, Bell got a carry from the fullback position on the opening offensive snap for Detroit. It looked like it surprised the Green Bay defense and Bell gained ten yards in the process. Bell was successful with his short-yardage opportunities as he converted both third-down carries. Other than his first touch of the game, Bell was held without many yards after contact until the Detroit was down big late in the fourth quarter. He had a short reception he turned into a 15-yard gain after the catch. With Bush healthy, the playing time for Bell will be hit-and-miss. In this game, the goal line opportunities were not available and there were few sustained offensive drives.
Week 6 - This week Bell had his smallest impact of the season with 33 total yards and eight offensive touches. On the plus side, Bell converted two third downs on the ground and eluded the first defender on another carry. With a healthy Reggie Bush, Bell had a minimal role. Mikel Leshoure had a cameo appearance, which may siphon away a few touches from Bell in future weeks.
Week 7 - Bellís straight ahead style had more success against the Bengals defense this week than starter Reggie Bush. Bell converted his third down opportunities and even contributed a highlight-reel diving catch over the middle. He has added a big gain on a third down screen pass. There were no goal line chances for Bell or extending drives where he spelled Bush for more than a play or two.
Week 8 - Bell saw situational touches with a healthy Reggie Bush in the lineup against Dallas this week. Bell was efficient with his touches, reading blocks well in screen game as well as finding cutback lanes in the run game. He also converted his goal line carry in the fourth quarter, pushing the pile in for the score. In weeks past Bell and Bush have been on the field at the same time, but this week it was a more traditional rotation. Bell remains one of the better backup running backs in the league if pushed into a larger role down the stretch.
Week 10 - Bell saw his most carries since Week three when he filled in for Reggie Bush as the starter. Bell was spelling Bush with regularity against Chicago and had more success than Bush when there was no clear hole between the tackles. Bell lined up as the fullback on occasion and even got a carry from that position, lowering his shoulder for a solid gain. When able to get up to speed, Bell was a handful for defenders as he used a strong stiff arm on one occasion and rarely went down on first contact. Bell remains one of the few backup running backs in the NFL that would have little competition for work if the starter were to get injured. Outside of that scenario, Bell relies on goal line carries or a comfortable Detroit win for high-level production. Neither was in the cards for Bell this week.
Week 11 - Bell saw a greater than normal share of backfield snaps against Pittsburgh as Reggie Bush struggled and fumbled in the early going. Bell was the better fit in the outdoor elements as he lowered his pads and was a rare sustaining aspect of the Detroit offense. Bell showed good balance when others on the field lost their footing and made subtle cuts that eluded defenders at the second level. As usual, arm tackle attempts were largely ineffective to bring down Bell as he gained additional yardage in those situations. Bell found plenty of running room on a screen pass in the second quarter, rambling down inside the five-yard-line. He finished off the drive with a goal line carry conversion for the score. In the second half, Bell had the lionís share of the backfield snaps prior to being helped off the field with what appeared to be an ankle injury. Only then did Reggie Bush get regular playing time. Detroitís willingness to stick with Bell without an injury to Bush is a positive indicator about Bellís role in the offense if Bush struggles in future weeks.
Week 12 - Bell had a tempered role against Tampa Bay with little success. The interior running lanes were routinely stuffed by the defensive front seven and Bell gained fewer yards after contact than usual. On his lone reception, Bell snared an off-target pass with one hand in the flat, a highlight play for a short gain. Without goal line carries or an extended run of playing time, Bell had a rather quiet performance.
Week 13 - Bell saw plenty of work against Green Bay as the Detroit run game was rarely stopped in the blowout win. Both Reggie Bush and Bell saw 20 touches or more, Bell more as the grinder in the second half. Bell was explosive on the interior, consistently moving defenders back with his leg drive. The offensive line did their job as well; the line of scrimmage shifted back a couple of yards on many running plays. After being tackled at the one-yard-line and failing to convert a goal line attempt, Bell got a third chance to score. He plunged for the touchdown. As the fourth quarter progressed, it was apparent the Green Bay defensive front seven wanted little part of tackling Bell. The power back converted two third-and-short situations as Detroit drained the clock with the run game. It is not often that Detroit has more rushing than passing attempts, but Bell benefitted from the sustained success the offense saw this week.
Week 14 - Reggie Bush aggravated an existing calf injury during pre-game warm-ups, so Bell drew the start against Philadelphia in blizzard-like conditions. Two fumbles highlighted Bellís ball-handling in the cold and wet conditions, one coming in the red zone. Theo Riddick was the primary backup with Bush out of the lineup, but the fumbles did not significantly affect Bellís playing time. Between the tackles Bell struggled to get in a groove. At times he moved the pile with his leg drive and after-contact determination, but above-average gains were few and far between. After his red zone fumble, Bell converted a goal line carry for a score on another drive and capped it off with a two-point conversion through the air. Bellís biggest impact came in the passing game as he ripped off big gains with regularity. Once in the open field, Bell was a tough task for the Eagles defenders to bring down. On a highlight play in second half, Bell corralled a high throw then hurdled a defender downfield for one of the best offensive plays for Detroit all day. Two missed opportunities would have added at least 30 yards receiving for Bell. He dropped a third down target over the middle with plenty of running room in front of him late in the game. On another occasion a huge gain from a screen pass was called back by a lineman getting downfield early to block. Bell proved to be one of the better reserve running backs in the NFL when filling in for a spot start this week.
Week 15 - Bell had a reduced role with Reggie Bush back in the lineup against Baltimore. In the running game, Bell was held in check, gaining most of his yardage after contact without much help from the offensive line. In the passing game, Bell rumbled for 23 yards on a well-blocked screen as Bell followed the convoy downfield. In a similar situation, Bell also dropped a screen pass with plenty of room in front, another potential gain of 20 or more yards.
Week 16 - Bell was one of the few bright spots for a Detroit offense that struggled overall against the Giants. Reggie Bush struggled in the first half and added a fumble. As the game progressed, Bellís role in the backfield expanded as he was physical on inside runs and made the most from every touch. Bellís 30 touches tied a career-high and marked the third game this season totaling more than 25 in a game. Bell squared his shoulders to gain leverage in collisions and showed off a wicked stiff arm or two along the way. In addition to his consistency running the ball, Bell caught all 10 of his targets, while leading the team in passing game looks.
Week 17 - Bell had more consistent success than starter Reggie Bush against Minnesota, but still had a tough game. Well-blocked running lanes were at a premium and Bell gained many of his rushing yards after contact. One notable carry had Bell dragging a defender for extra yards but was stripped at the end of the run. Fortunately for Bell the ball bounced right back to him as he went to the ground. On his best chance for a touchdown, a carry from the five-yard-line late in the game, Bell was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.