Le'Veon Bell NOT Expected to Return, Locking James Conner into Elite Fantasy RB1 - Roto Street Journal
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Le’Veon Bell NOT Expected to Return, Locking James Conner into Elite Fantasy RB1

Mercifully, the dreadful Le’Veon Bell holdout saga is about to come to a close. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bell is not expected to report ahead of Tuesday’s 4pm deadline, making him ineligible for the remainder of 2018. Yes, nothing is official until it’s actually official with this story, so Bell should remain rostered right up until the Tuesday window closes. Assuming this plays out, James Conner’s elite workhorse value will remain in tact, locking him into the top fantasy value of 2018.

For owners wise enough to draft both Bell and Conner, this is actually a best-case scenario. A Bell return would’ve only muddied this otherwise glorious fantasy situation, likely forcing an unpredictable committee. Instead, Conner’s 22.6 touches per game, which trail only Todd Gurley, should stay steady. Conner has ridden the “Fantasy Cheatcode” recipe of strong individual talent + elite volume + elite surrounding talent to the third most points among RBs thus far. Now, with Bell’s massive dark cloud now removed, Conner should be viewed and ranked as a Top Five Overall fantasy asset in Rest of Season Big Boards, alongside elite products like Melvin Gordon, Kareem Hunt, and Alvin Kamara. Even better, Bell’s absence all but ensures he’s a gone long-term, which should make Conner this year’s Kamara from a keeper-perspective.

Yet, for the unfortunate souls who didn’t handcuff their Top-2 investment, the fantasy season will remain a struggle. More waiver heroes will emerge, and perhaps you already nailed Nick Chubb as a savior. Still, the hatred you fester for Bell is totally valid. No one can argue against his decision to preserve his body and seek long-term stability. But the way he has kept his teammates (and us owners) in the dark, creating a soap-opera production instead of being forthcoming, is completely self-centered and inexcusable. Feel free to unload on the Fantasy Whine Line and rip him to shreds.

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