RB Le'Veon Bell - New York Jets
|6-2, 230||Born: 2-18-1992||College: Michigan State||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2013|
News you need to know
From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Oct 14): Bell's passing game involvement dried up with the return of Sam Darnold, but he could also get more chances to finish drives and run against lighter boxes with a dangerous passing around him. He'll face a stiff test against the Patriots next Monday night.
Week 7: vs New England Patriots
FBG says: Bad matchup. This can't be what the Jets were expecting when they opened up the vault for Le'Veon Bell in the offseason. Through 5 games, the free-agent prize has plodded to just 3.0 yards per carry (with a long run of 13) and 51 per game. It hasn't been entirely his fault, of course, as he's been given very little help. The Jets offensive line has been one of the league's worst, with right guard Kelechi Osemele still hurt and only left guard Alex Lewis playing at a high level. And with practice-squad talent Luke Falk starting three games at quarterback, defenses were able to fixate their attention on Bell. Hopefully, the return of Sam Darnold will open things up, even if only a bit. If defenses have to pull help out of the box to counter Darnold's arm, Bell will finally find some room to maneuver. He's looked fairly dynamic when in the open field, and despite his hefty career workload, he's still a 27-year-old in good health. The team certainly isn't shy about giving him heavy work - he's taken on 89% of the rushing load thus far. This isn't a great matchup for him or the Jets' overmatched line, but Bell has a few positive factors on his side entering the weekend, and virtually nowhere to go but up. The Patriots' defensive resurgence, which more or less debuted in last year's Super Bowl, has been a sight to behold. They've done a fine job against the run to open 2019, giving up just 73 yards per game which is the third-best in the NFL this season. It's worth noting that they haven't faced the toughest of competition in doing so. They've spent the past month dominating "lead runners" like Kenyan Drake, Adrian Peterson, and Jon Hillman. But they did also shut down James Conner in Week 1 (10 for 21), as well as Le'Veon Bell in this very matchup (18 for 35) two weeks later. The team relies on its sturdy, deep front line to tie up blockers and allow the linebackers to roam. Kyle Van Noy, Dont'a Hightower, and Jamie Collins have all lived up to their playmaking reputations, filling gaps and making strong impacts in pursuit. Altogether, it's probably not wise to assume this unit is quite this suffocating. They've been dominant thus far, but likely won't be immune to worse matchups and game flow. After all, Frank Gore burned them for 109 yards on 17 attempts just 3 weeks ago. But for the time being, it's safe to project them stoutly against this weak Jets attack.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36
Le'Veon Bell's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 6 vs DAL (14 / 50 / 1 rush, 1 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)
Bell finally had a touchdown but there are some concerning things coming out of this game. First, Bell carried the ball just 14 times, most of which came in the first half when he had nine carries. It didn't help that Dallas ate up nearly ten minutes of the fourth quarter on one drive either, nor did the fact that the offensive line is still struggling to open holes in the run game. The Jets only had the ball three times (including the kneel downs o end the game) in the second half, and held the ball for just 11:50 compared to the Cowboys' 18:04 with only one first down compared to six for Dallas. All that means is that Bell couldn't get the ball much of the second half, and that the Jets are still unable to get him enough blocking for him to gain the tough yards. More concerning is the steep drop in targets, from nine last week to one this week. That might not improve whenever tight end Chris Herndon returns.
2019 Week 5 vs PHI (15 / 43 / 0 rush, 9 / 7 / 45 / 0 rec)
There's only so much Bell can do with no offensive line blocking and a stacked box on every down. He was able to break off one decent length run of 13 yards, and he is catching plenty of ball -- saving his production from a complete disaster -- but the Eagles knew he was the only weapon for this offense and keyed on him relentlessly, containing him nearly all game.
2019 Week 3 vs NE (18 / 35 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 28 / 0 rec)
Sunday was the day the poor Jets offense finally caught up with Bell, as the Patriots continually swarmed the running back and gave him no room to run. He did catch all four of his targets, which puts him at 20 catches on 23 targets for the year, with his 121 yards making him the second most productive receiver for the team behind Jamison Crowder.
2019 Week 2 vs CLE (21 / 68 / 0 rush, 10 / 10 / 61 / 0 rec)
Bell is now the lone bright spot on an offense which is mired in conservative mediocrity. The offensive line is struggling terribly and not opening holes for him, so it's a good thing that he's capable of creating production on his own. That said, he had a hard time breaking off runs, especially early. Where Bell's value truly shone Monday night was in the passing game, which he led in targets, receptions and yards, as he caught every single ball thrown his way. One of his better plays was when he broke off a 17-yard catch and run at the end of the third quarter. On the play, he chipped in on a quick block to help out the right tackle, then popped out into the open where Luke Falk hit him with the pass. Bell turned upfield, juked a defender and then hopped over another one on his way to a first down and then some. Unfortunately, for all the good he did, the evening was marred by a fumble in the fourth quarter with just over 7 minutes left. As with the previous play, Bell took a pass - this time on a screen play - and headed up field, dodging one tackler at the 24 yard line and hauling tail into the red zone. When lowered himself to deliver a hit at the five yard, however, the ball popped out and Cleveland recovered. The game was likely out of reach, but considering how hard Bell had been playing, it was a disappointing note.
2019 Week 1 vs BUF (17 / 60 / 0 rush, 9 / 6 / 32 / 1 rec)
The big free agency signing on the offensive side of the ball, Bell was a bright spot on the offense against the Bills, despite a shaky offensive line. While his overall yards per carry was just 3.5, that was when the Bills defensive front was working to tee-off on Bell and stacked the box. In the first half he had way more success, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Not coincidentally, that was when the offense was having more success through the air as well. He was also a frequent target in the passing game, and showed off not only his ability after the catch on short screens, but great hands, specifically on his shoe-string catch for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the jets a 16-0 lead.
Latest NewsJets | Le'Veon Bell punches one in (Sun Oct 13, 09:16 PM) - New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell ran 14 times for 50 yards and a touchdown in Week 6 against the Dallas Cowboys while posting one grab for three yards on his only target. link to story Jets | Le'Veon Bell posts 88 total yards (Sun Oct 6, 06:46 PM) - New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 5. He also caught seven passes for 45 yards during the game. Our View: Bell is getting by on volume and cheap PPR points, but he still has some upside when Sam Darnold returns, which will hopefully be next week.
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|7||vs New England Patriots|
|8||@ Jacksonville Jaguars|
|9||@ Miami Dolphins|
|10||vs New York Giants|
|11||@ Washington Redskins|
|12||vs Oakland Raiders|
|13||@ Cincinnati Bengals|
|14||vs Miami Dolphins|
|15||@ Baltimore Ravens|
|16||vs Pittsburgh Steelers|
|17||@ Buffalo Bills|