FANTASY PLAYER WATCH: Kahlil Bell
By: Sir Fantasy Drake
Heading into week 14, which means the start of fantasy playoffs for most people! If you’re still alive in your league at this point your team is obviously good enough to win on its own, but there is a sleeper no one else is thinking about that can win you that championship in the upcoming weeks when your studs are resting for the playoffs. This coming from a guy who has finished in the top 3 the past two seasons, and I could only watch as Peyton Manning and Vincent Jackson were benched in my big playoff games in past seasons. I can help you avoid that situation with this pickup. Anyone who is still breathing fantasy life will have a chance to become a league champion. Here is my suggestion: Kahlil Bell.
It’s obvious to anyone that follows the NFL and fantasy football that with Matt Forte’s likely season-ending injury ( given his unwillingness to come back at less than 100% with his contract status), Marion Barber is the best pickup before playoffs start since he will most likely receive a very large workload given Caleb Hanie’s struggles. But someone people are less likely to pickup is Kahlil Bell, who may end up being an even better pickup than Barber for a few reasons.
First off, given Marion Barber’s long history of injuries, (including the first few games of this season) and not being ready for this new role, it is very possible that he ends up on the sideline in street clothes right next to Matt Forte and Jay Cutler, leaving Bell as the de facto number one back in Chicago. Anyone who watches him play loves the way the Barbarian runs, but there is an obvious injury risk here. Also, Kahlil Bell is the perfect player to take advantage of his situation if it were to come to this. He is a 3rd year pro out of UCLA who simply has yet to get his shot to prove to the league what he can do as a starting runningback. Not to mention I’m sure he has been watching his predecessor at UCLA do his thing down in Jacksonville, and he must want to emulate him.
But this great opportunity can all go to waste if Bell is simply not talented enough. Fortunately, in his limited number of NFL snaps, he has shown some strength to break arm tackles and a very good burst. These attributes were most on display his rookie year, when he had a 72-yard run against the eagles, and being in the NFL he has only gotten faster and stronger since then, which he proved by taking 4 carries last week for 34 yards, compared to Barber’s 14/44, showing better production than Barber anyway. So be ahead of your league and pickup Kahlil Bell!
-Sir Fantasy Drake is one of the Fantasy staff writers for MaddenArena.com. He resides in Chicago and has been a die hard Bears fan since birth. He has also been playing Fantasy Sports since 5th grade. You can ask questions to him, and any of our experts, for any fantasy advice by signing up on the forums.