We did not see this coming. Le’Veon Bell has extended his hold out into Week 1 and his teammates are not happy with him — to say the least. But as we know in this league, if you aren’t going to show up (especially as a RB), the team will plug in the next guy and the show will go on. Maurkice Pouncey said it best when he described the situation: “A star is born every year in the NFL. Did anyone know Kareem Hunt would be an All-Pro before last season? If James Conner didn’t have cancer, he’d have been a first round pick. Just watch him.” As of right now, The Wolf has given Conner an extensive boost in his Week 1 Rankings, up to his RB13 (+24 vs the ECR). While dropping Bell down to 27 overall on his Big Board and completely off of his Week 1 Rankings.
In most hold out situations, the player will skip training camp while they’re disgruntled, then show up once game checks are on the line. But, it looks like Bell’s hold out is for real.
In an interview with NFL Live, Bell’s agent said, “he’s going to do the things necessary to protect his value long-term.” This not only sounded like he’s going to skip out on Week 1, but he could hold out for the foreseeable future — possibly up to Week 10. “Why play hide and seek? Why let your agent say this? Just man up and tell us what you’re going to do,” Pouncey responded.
Obviously Bell is extremely hard to trust right now and Conner needs to be added on all formats (currently 61% owned on Yahoo). The former Pitt Panther is a three-down back who doesn’t possess elite athleticism, but will go hard on every snap. Conner was named to PFF’s All-Preseason Team after he racked up 100 yds and a TD on 19 carries. The Steelers have three favorable matchups to start the season with the Browns, Chiefs and Bucs.