Prospective fantasy owners of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell were probably disappointed when the team signed LeGarrette Blount during the offseason.
Listed as the No. 2 running back on the team's opening preseason depth chart, surely Blount isn't content with standing idle on Pittsburgh's sideline. He wants what every back wants—touches. Right?
In comments he made to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Blount certainly echoed that sentiment when he discussed how he might be used to supplement Bell during drives.
"I don't necessarily know how they're going to (split up playing time), but it will be something of that nature, I'm assuming," Blount said. "Ain't nobody going to sign me to sit me."
So what does this reveal mean for the fantasy outlooks for both Bell and Blount in 2014?
Let's find out.
Le'Veon Bell's 2014 Fantasy Outlook
Only playing in 13 games during his rookie season, Bell tallied the 15th-most fantasy points in ESPN.com fantasy leagues among running backs.
By correlating the success that both Bell and the Steelers had at the end of 2013, you can expect an uptick in Bell's production in 2014.
During the three-game winning streak that Pittsburgh had to end the season, it was no coincidence that Bell averaged over 23 carries a game. Cast out over the course of the 2013 season, Pittsburgh was 5-0 when he toted the rock at least 20 times.
While his season average of 3.5 yards per carry last year was less than desirable, this fact, coupled with his contributions as a receiver, make it hard to envision Bell losing substantial touches to newcomers Blount and Dri Archer.
Prediction: 1,100 rushing yards, 40 receptions, 300 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns.
LeGarrette Blount's 2014 Fantasy Outlook
Although Blount did amass over 740 yards and seven touchdowns in just seven starts last season, it's telling that he didn't garner more interest on the open market.
After signing on with Pittsburgh for $3.5 million over two years, let there be no mistake about it: Blount won't be challenging Bell for the starting gig. He's a backup, an insurance policy in the event Bell is sidelined. Nothing more.
While two-headed rushing attacks are now in vogue in the NFL, Blount simply doesn't complement Bell. Bell's 45 receptions last season eclipses Blount's career total of 23.
Even at 245 pounds, Blount isn't the better goal-line option. Of Bell's eight touchdowns last year, all of them came in goal-to-go situations.
Outside of the occasional spell, how would Blount warrant playing time?
Using Pittsburgh's use of Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones as a precursor, Blount should see around 90 carries in 2014.
So regardless of the fact that he was the 20th-ranked running back in ESPN.com fantasy leagues in 2013, unless you have Bell on your roster, Blount is a player you should avoid.
Prediction: 375 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
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