Le’Veon Bell, once one of the top fantasy football backs was a huge disappointment in his first year with the New York Jets. On the other hand, Devin Singletary came seemingly out of nowhere in the second half of the season as a third-round round pick for the Buffalo Bills. Going just on last year’s numbers, Singletary seems like the back to own in 2020. But things are not that simple. Bell still has the volume and opportunity to return to elite back status. On the other hand, Singletary is going to find it even tougher to put up the same type of numbers he did last season.
Fantasy Football: Draft Le’Veon Bell Over Devin Singletary
2019 in Review
During his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell was one of the top backs in fantasy football. His last year with the team in 2017, he averaged the second-highest points-per-game in fantasy. In 2016, his 23.3 points were the most of any back in the league. However, after not getting the contract he wanted from the Steelers, Bell sat out the entire 2018 season. He returned in 2019 with a new team, the Jets.
But it wasn’t pretty. Bell dipped to a pedestrian 12.1 points-per-game and finished as the RB17 overall. Despite 245 carries, he didn’t even break 800 yards rushing and only scored three touchdowns on the ground. Luckily, he was involved in the pass game, and caught 66 passes for 461 yards and a touchdown. Otherwise, he would have been even worse in fantasy.
In contrast, Singletary only got 151 yards, yet was only slightly behind Bell in rushing yards with 775. He was also reasonably involved as a receiver, catching 29 balls for 194 yards. However, he didn’t see a ton of red-zone work totaling just four touchdowns. Still, his 5.1 yards-per-carry, and the departure of Frank Gore are causing people to believe that Singletary is in for a great season as the team’s lead back. But is he?
Le’Veon Bell and Devin Singletary 2020 Preview
The Bills don’t seem sold on it. This is because they drafted the bruiser, Zack Moss in the third round of the 2020 draft. Moss was technically the ninth running back taken off the board. (Antonio Gibson and Lynn Bowden were classified as wide receivers.) However, Moss fits right into the Bills run-first scheme, and has underrated hands. He fits the bill of a 1st and 2nd down back much more than Singletary does. Moss is five-foot nine and just shy of 225 pounds. Singletary is just five-seven and just over 200 pounds.
Bell on the other hand, still doesn’t have a ton of competition for carries. Coincidentally, the Jets brought in Gore, who also spent time with head coach Adam Gase during his time with the Miami Dolphins. It’s possible Gore eats into some of Bell’s carries, but unlikely. For the past few years Gore has seen his role decrease as the season goes on due to his ineffectiveness. In Buffalo, this is what gave Singletary his shot last year.
Now with the Jets, and 37 years old, he should not pose much of a threat to Bell. And he seems to be fine with having a smaller role, complimenting Bell’s work ethic as well. And the Jets still seem committed to making Bell their bell-cow back. Last season, despite being wildly inefficient, he got a ton of touches. However, Bell later admitted that sitting out of football for a year affected his conditioning, but he vows he is coming into 2020 ready to be as good as ever.
With only Gore to threaten touches, Bell is a lock for another high-volume year, that could get him back to elite status. But Singletary is going to continue to split touches with another back, and this one has strong, fresh legs.
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