Le'Veon Bell Will Not Make an Impact on 2013 Fantasy Football Teams

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

Aug 19, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) hands the ball off to Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for answers after a Week 1 loss, but Le'Veon Bell will not be the solution at running back in the 2013 NFL season.

That's not to say that he'll have a bad career. He could end up having a great career, but he has gotten off to a rough start. A foot injury caused him to miss Week 1, and it doesn't look like he will be back for Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Pittsburgh is 0-1, which has it tied with every other team in the AFC North. It has a chance to send an early message to a division rival, but it will need to find some way to improve in a hurry. The offensive line was already inexperienced, and it will now have to work without its leader, Maurkice Pouncey, who tore his ACL and MCL in the opener.

Bell is a talented runner; however, he will be trying to come back from an early injury. Unfortunately, he won't have much of a line to help him.

The Tennessee Titans had five sacks and controlled the Steelers line. Pittsburgh managed only 32 yards on 15 rushing attempts and did not have a run longer than eight yards. Isaac Redman, who is the starting running back, had nine yards on eight carries. He had the team's longest run and had only one yard on seven other carries.

Pittsburgh ranked 26th in rushing last season. It averaged only 96.1 yards on the ground in 2012, and those struggles look like they are going to continue this season.

The O-line couldn't handle Tennessee's defensive line. It will go up against much tougher lines, as the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns are expected to have strong fronts.

Bell can pound the ball inside, but he is going to need the offensive line to improve if he has any chance of making an impact when he returns. 

The 21-year-old uses his lower body strength to be effective. He is a powerful runner who will be able to contribute to the offense when the Steelers solve their issues.

A young offensive line and a foot injury will make it tough for the rookie put up strong numbers this season.

Pittsburgh is looking for a running back who can be productive. Bell, Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones will get chances to show what they can do. If one of the other backs is on a hot streak when Bell finally returns from injury, the rookie may not receive the majority of the carries.

The Steelers will split carries among their running backs if they have to. They are looking to move the ball, so whoever is the most productive back will get the bulk of the carries. 

With the offensive line struggling, Bell shouldn't rush to get back. He would be risking further injury, so he needs to make sure that he is 100 percent before he gets back on the field.

He has a lot of potential, but Pittsburgh has many issues to solve before the running back can be productive. The offensive line will keep him from putting up big numbers, and fantasy owners will regret using a roster spot on the rookie.