The New York Jets' running back situation has become more complicated for fantasy managers with Le'Veon Bell potentially out several weeks with a hamstring injury, as head coach Adam Gase confirmed to reporters on Monday.
There was already uncertainty around Bell's fantasy value coming into this season. The three-time Pro Bowler seemed to be taking shots at head coach Adam Gase during training camp over how much he was being used:
Gase did tell reporters prior to the start of the season that he hoped to use Bell in receiving situations:
"I feel like we can find better ways to get him the ball to help him create more explosive plays. We can get him in space better than what we did last year. I think that there was a lot of good that came out of what he did in the receiving game last year. But I don't think we ever really gave him enough space to work, because that's his game."
All of this is to suggest fantasy managers should have prepared for the possibility Bell would fall off even from where he was last year after 1,250 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns.
The Jets supplemented their backfield in two extremely drastic ways by signing Frank Gore, the NFL's oldest active running back (37), and selecting La'Mical Perine out of Florida in the fourth round of the 2020 draft.
Gase talked glowingly about Gore's ability during training camp.
"He looks the same as he did 12 years ago," Gase told reporters in August. "I can't explain it. When I watch him, I flash back to 2008. He looks the same. I don't know how. It doesn't make sense. He's going to look like that when he's 60."
Gase was an offensive assistant for the San Francisco 49ers in 2008 when Gore played for the team. The five-time Pro Bowler racked up 699 yards from scrimmage on 179 touches for the Buffalo Bills in 2019.
Gore seems likely to get the bulk of the touches until Bell can return. By that metric alone, he becomes worth a flex spot on your roster.
Perine, on the other hand, has to get healthy before being worthy of fantasy consideration. Perine missed the Week 1 matchup with an ankle injury and his status going forward is unclear.
Once healthy, Perine has the skills to be an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield. He caught 40 passes last year at the University of Florida. His 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds is a concern about how he will hold up as a runner, but if the Jets have to throw the ball, he could be a good sleeper add once he returns to the lineup.
However, Perine is nothing more than a stash play, as he is unlikely to get starter-worthy usage when he regains full fitness.