Chiefs' Le'Veon Bell addition hurts Clyde Edwards-Helaire fantasy football value


Oct. 16 (UPI) — The Kansas City Chiefs‘ signing of Le’Veon Bell makes a fantastic offense even more dangerous, but most likely dampens the fantasy football value of running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the team’s other offense threats.

Bell agreed to join the Chiefs on Thursday after he was released Tuesday by the New York Jets.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro hasn’t had more than 800 rushing yards in a season since since 2017, but his move to Kansas City should provide a boost for his personal production.

The Jets rank as the worst offense in the AFC while the Chiefs have the best offense in the conference, in terms of average yards per game.

The Jets signed Bell before the 2019 season, with hopes that he could return to the All-Pro form he showed during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Poor quarterback play and coaching played a part in that plan never working out. Bell also has showed a lack of explosiveness in the last two seasons.

Once a consideration for the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy football drafts, Bell should provide value in the Chiefs backfield, but is likely headed for a timeshare with Edwards-Helaire. I expect the Chiefs rookie running back to keep his spot on the top of the depth chart, with Bell taking away some of his snaps.

Bell’s presence likely ensures that Edwards-Helaire will not achieve elite RB1 status for the rest of the fantasy football season. Edwards-Helaire retains value as a low-end RB1 in good matchups, but is a much better option at RB2 or in the flex spot.

I would wait to see how the Chiefs use Bell before you put him into your fantasy football team’s starting lineup. I expect the Chiefs to give enough snaps to Bell to put him on the flex radar — when he has a good matchup — in leagues that have at least 14 teams.

I also expect the Chiefs to give Bell some goal line work, which will frustrate Edwards-Helaire’s stock owners as it will result in a decrease of his season touchdown total. Edwards-Helaire has struggled to get into the end zone in goal line situations so far this season.

Bell is worth a bench spot and could produce high-end RB2 numbers if Edwards-Helaire were to sustain an injury. The former Jets running back has 113 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches this season. Bell had 1,250 yards from scrimmage and four scores in 2019.

Edwards-Helaire has 513 yards from scrimmage and one score on 98 touches through five weeks. The Chiefs face the Buffalo Bills in Week 6. The Bills have allowed 429 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns this season to running backs.

Bell will likely have to sit out this week due to the NFL’s COVID-19 safety protocol, so you should have at least one more solid week of production from Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire owners should attempt to trade the rookie after his Week 6 matchup.

Bell’s ability as a pass catcher could also result in a slight downtick in targets for Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce, but not enough to warrant trading them away to another team.

The Chiefs will face the Denver Broncos in Week 7 on Oct. 25 in Denver.

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