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No. 1 Rookie Pick: Le’Veon Bell versus Montee Ball

LeVeonBellMSU_thumb.jpg

The ex-Spartan embodies characteristics the Steelers typically cherish in a rusher – brawn, toughness, endurance, strong blocking ability and a three-down skill set. Bell isn’t particularly flashy. He sports average lateral agility, elusiveness and ran a mediocre 4.60 40-yard dash at the Combine. However, straight-line speed at running back is an overrated trait.

via Spin Doctors: Montee Ball vs. Le’Veon Bell | Roto Arcade – Yahoo! Sports.

In fantasy circles, the debate rages between Montee Ball and Le’Veon Bell for value in 2013 and beyond. This was the question I had to answer earlier today with the first pick in the RotoViz Rookie Draft.

The above excerpt is from the argument for Bell. I would agree with everything except the lateral agility assertion. Bell may seem a little sluggish on tape simply because he’s so large. At the NFL Combine he posted an elite 10.99 Agility Score, better than players like Gio Bernard. During the pre-draft phase, I looked at Bell and showed how he compared favorably to Doug Martin and postulated that he was undervalued. The Steelers seemed to agree.

I like Ball a lot too and recently selected him at 1.03 in a different draft, but his measurables throw up a red flag. The closest comparables for Ball include Evan Royster and Vick Ballard.

Bell also benefits from being one of the stars of my RB Age article, and Ryan Rouillard’s excellent RB projection system based on Dominator Rating.

I selected Bell at 1.01, and you should too.

Shawn Siegele is the creator of the contrarian sports website Money in the Banana Stand and Lead Redraft Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy.

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