What Le’Veon Bell fantasy owners should do

If you spent a top-2 or 3 pick on Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (or plan on it this week before the season kicks off Thursday), you might see this statement from the front office and panic:

Statement from GM Kevin Colbert on RB Le'Veon Bell.

READ: https://t.co/ZxWg5UH9K0pic.twitter.com/EABYYDal3m

We are disappointed Le’Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates. Coach Tomlin and the coaching staff will continue to focus on preparing the players on our roster for our regular season opener on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

So what should you do if you’re a Bell owner or still plan on taking the stud in your draft?

Let’s start with the current owners, who are no doubt scanning the waiver wire for James Conner. If he’s available, grab him immediately. Then? Wait and see if Bell pulls the same move he did last year by reporting and practicing right in the days leading up to Week 1. If he doesn’t, you’ve got a solid starter at running back against the Browns in Conner.

But if you’re in a league where someone either shrewdly drafted Conner in the late rounds or picked Conner off the wire before you could, just relax: You likely didn’t draft a guy who will miss some weeks or the whole year. Check out this report:

From @gmfb: The #Steelers are finally getting RB Le’Veon Bell back now that Week 1 has arrived and what’s next for the #Seahawks and S Earl Thomas? pic.twitter.com/lvYVjWyBjD

There’s always Tuesday! Or, as of the publishing of this post, Monday afternoon or evening. And that’s where we get to those of you who are set to draft this week: If Bell drops for some reason, you should be the owner who grabs him. If you take Bell in the first round, take Conner, put him somewhere in your queue and draft him in the double-digit rounds, but not so late that you’re opening up risk to another owner taking him. If Bell reports, you either have yourself a high-end handcuff or a player you can drop in the first week of waivers.

If Bell wants the big payday he’s eyeing next summer, he’s not going to hold out now because the Steelers gave him the franchise tag a second time. But if you can hedge your big first-round bet a little, no harm there.

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