While Reggie Bush showcased his ability as the Detroit Lions starting running back, Joique Bell also proved that he is a must-add in fantasy football leagues across the country.
The former undrafted free agent scored 20 points in standard leagues, thanks mostly to two goal-line touchdowns, which was quite an impressive feat on its own:
Joique Bell does something that Barry Sanders never did -- rush for 2 TD in a season opener for the Lions— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 8, 2013
Of course, he also added 25 rushing yards and 67 receiving yards. This all-around production is what makes Bell such a solid play going forward.
Will Joique Bell remain a viable fantasy option this season?
He was targeted six times in the passing game, which is something that will continue throughout the season. He finished third on the team last year with 52 receptions, trailing only Calvin Johnson and tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
Even though Reggie Bush remains the go-to target out of the backfield, there will certainly be enough passes to go around. This will enable Bell to get consistent yards and therefore fantasy points, even when he does not get many rushing attempts.
Still, his biggest production will come from touchdowns, where he can expect to get a lot this season.
The Lions gave Bell an opportunity to score from the 2-yard line and the 1-yard line in the game, and he came through on both chances to get Detroit a pair of touchdowns. After this performance, coach Jim Schwartz is certain to get him more goal-line carries.
Mikel Leshoure had this role last season and ended up totaling an impressive nine rushing touchdowns. However, Bell has completely passed him on the depth chart, and Leshoure was not even active for the Week 1 game.
Fantasy owners can expect Bell to take over this role and get similar production near the goal line. These carries certainly are not going to go to Bush, who has never had more than six rushing touchdowns in a year.
Finally, the former Wayne State player has a chance to really take off in fantasy if Bush is sidelined due to an injury this season. Considering the starter has only played in all 16 games once in the past six years, this is not too farfetched.
In fact, Bush was already complaining about injuries to his thumb and groin after the win against the Minnesota Vikings, according to Justin Rogers of MLive.com. If either of these are serious, Bell will be able to step in and become a great fantasy option.
Until that happens, the backup should still be added if he is available. According to ESPN, Bell was available in 32.4 percent of leagues entering Sunday. That has to change by the time waivers go through.
In deeper leagues, he is worth a start as someone who has the upside of a 20-point week at any time.
Bell might be a second-string running back, but his talent and opportunity make him a quality fantasy player this season.
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