Fantasy News and Notes – Bell and Blount Up In Smoke

Le’Veon Bell – Both Bell and his Steelers backfield mate LeGarrette Blount were arrested for marijuana possession on Wednesday night, and Bell was charged with a DUI. Obviously this is really bad for the Steelers and fantasy owners alike with only 170 lb hybrid RB/WR Dri Archer left in the backfield should the “Doobie Brothers” (credit to Bungle Fever for that one) get suspended.

At this point, it’s still VERY early in the process and the NFL may not get to a punishment until 2015. Bell is a first time offender, so the NFL may go light on him, but obviously this drops Bell’s draft stock significantly for those who haven’t drafted yet. I would expect him to fall to the late second round at this point, whether he’s a value there or not depends on your risk tolerance.

LeSean McCoy – Last week McCoy was diagnosed with “minor” turf toe, and this week he left the team’s preseason game against the Steelers with a thumb injury. McCoy came in to the season as our #1 running back, and he appears to be fine, but these little nicks and bumps are starting to become a concern. There was a nice discussion of the #1 pick in the forums earlier this week. I’m still holding steady, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson or Matt Forte in that spot.

Jeremy Maclin – In a scary moment in the Eagles/Steelers preseason game, Maclin, who is recovering from ACL surgery, went down in a heap in the second quarter. Maclin did walk off the field and appeared to merely hyperextend his knee on the route, but it’s a reminder of what a risk Maclin is given his health history.

Emmanuel Sanders – Sanders returned to Broncos practice on Thursday after dealing with a quad injury. Sanders is expected to fill the role left behind by Eric Decker, and could be in for a big season, but an extended absence could lead to him being pushed by talented rookie Cody Latimer.

Trent Richardson – Richardson was called out by Colts GM Ryan Grigson who told ESPN that Trent “Needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability”. Obviously Grigson is having some buyer’s remorse. So far this pre-season Richardson has done very little to make us believe a bounce back is in order for 2015. Still, his stock is close to rock bottom, so he’s still worth a dice roll for the talent we saw coming out of college.

Pierre Thomas – Thomas told the media he expects his role to change in 2014 and play a bigger role in the Saints passing game and on third downs. Coming off a year where he caught 77 passes, having a larger role is saying something. Thomas is obviously a player to target in PPR leagues, but in non-PPR I would probably avoid Thomas, Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram until one emerges as the lead back.

Derek Carr – Carr was cleared from his concussion suffered in preseason week two, but will not play in week three due to a rib injury also suffered in week two. Carr was thought to be pushing Matt Schaub for the starting job, but with this setback it’s looking very likely that Schaub will start at least the first few weeks under center for the Raiders.

Stephen Hill – ESPN New York writer Rich Cimini speculated that the Jets 2012 second round pick may have trouble making the team this season. At 6’4” and with 4.36 speed at the 2012 combine, Hill was a raw, but high upside prospect but has done very little in his NFL career at this point. If he is cut Hill will likely be picked up elsewhere but he should be avoided in fantasy leagues.

DaVonte Holloman – The Cowboys defense has suffered yet another blow. Holloman suffered a neck injury that doctors have said will likely end his career. It’s a tough break for the second year linebacker who had a chance to step in to the hole left by Sean Lee’s injury. The Cowboys defense should be incredibly bad this season and should absolutely be avoided at all costs in drafts.

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