Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell may miss the start of the 2015 season.

NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted, “Pitt RB LeVeon Bell suspended 3 games, fined additional game check for violating substance abuse policy, per league sources. He is appealing.”

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This isn’t the first time that Bell has gotten into trouble. Last August, he was arrested along with then-teammate LaGarrette Blount, after the pair were pulled over by police. Bell was charged with a DUI after police found 20 grams of marijuana in his car.

The 23-year-old was second in the league in rushing behind DeMarco Murray with 1,361 yards.

Fantasy impact

This possible suspension is no doubt a big problem for fantasy team owners. Last season’s top 3 running backs are either on new teams― as in the cases of DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy― or facing a potential suspension.

Production is never guaranteed, and a bad season is always just an injury away, but players in familiar situations tend to do better due to the fact that they are fully integrated into the offense. Having to learn a new playbook always slows players down a bit because they have to think about the plays, as opposed to just playing.

That being the case, fantasy owners should look at a workhorse in Marshawn Lynch as the number one running back. “Beast Mode” was fourth in the NFL in rushing with 1,306 yards and was tied for the top spot with 13 touchdowns.

At number 2 is DeMarco Murray. This guy may be on a new team, but he’s an unquestioned stud. He led the NFL with 1,845 yards, and was also number one in touchdowns with thirteen last season. The guy is a workhorse with the stats to back him up. If he was still on the Dallas Cowboys, he would be number one on the list.

Number 3 becomes a bit of a toss up. You have a guy like Eddie Lacy who was seventh in rushing with 1,139 and had 9 rushing touchdowns. The icing on the cake with a guy like Lacy is that he caught 4 touchdowns, and with a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, he’s sure to grab more receiving TDs. He’s also only 24 years old.

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Another stat monster is Jamaal Charles. He “only” amassed 1,033 rushing yards, but he went on to rush for 9 TDs and caught another 5 TDs.

Adrian Peterson gets an honorable mention here. He has been embroiled in scandals, but when the guy is on, he is the best running back in the NFL.

While Le’Veon is still worth getting picked up, he isn’t a top 3 running back if he misses three games.

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