Hey, it’s that time of year again. The summer weather is scorching hot, the only sports on TV are baseball, golf and tennis (we do get the Olympics soon, thankfully), but for all you die hard football fans out there, all is not lost. Why? Because it’s time to start gearing up for your fantasy football draft — if you haven’t started already.

Look, the season is less than 8 weeks away, which means your draft is right around the corner! Think it’s too soon to start thinking about your fantasy football draft? That’s fine, but the guy who won your league last year doesn’t. Your call, chief.

Since we’re on the topic of your draft, I have a suggestion for you: draft Le’Veon Bell. Take him 1st overall, over anyone and everyone else! You’re welcome. You need to know why?! Because he’s Le’Veon Bell! What, do you live under a rock? Okay, fine, I’ll go a little deeper for you.

It’s no secret that Le’Veon Bell is one of the most talented running backs in the entire NFL. He’s a bonafide star and has a starring role in Pittsburgh’s high-powered offense. Bell runs over, through and around defenders and catches passes out of the backfield like a young Marshall Faulk… actually, I’ll get back to you on that one, but the message here is that Bell is damn good!

“But, Joe, it seems like Le’Veon Bell gets hurt every year — why would I take him with the first pick?”

This is a fair question. After all, players that don’t play don’t get you any points and there’s no way around that. That’s his biggest detractor, that he misses games and is “prone to serious injuries” if there is such a thing. When you look at the numbers, though, he’s only missed an extensive portion of 1 season — 2015 when he had the knee injury. In 2014, he played all 16 games and carried the ball 290 times. In 2013, his rookie season he played in 13 games and toted the rock 244 times. It’s not as if the man is fragile. When we take a peek at what Bell did accomplish last year, even with a 2 game suspension and season-ending injury, the numbers are still impressive. In the 5 full games he played, Bell averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game in standard leagues and over 100 rushing yards/game (4.96 Yards/Carry). He also added 22 catches and 123 yards in those 5 full games. The man is simply a point-scoring machine. He’s a machine, I tell you! As one of the focal points of what might be the league’s best offense in 2016, you simply can’t afford not to draft Le’Veon Bell. He could lead the league in scoring even if he doesn’t play all 16 games — THAT is how good Bell is.

If his injury concerns are holding you back, fear not, I have a plan. It’s called drafting his handcuff. Take Bell’s backup a little earlier than he should go and you have yourself an incredible insurance policy in case Le’Veon finds himself on the sidelines.

Last year, it worked out quite well, just ask the owner in your league who had stashed DeAngelo Williams or look up his stats. I’ll make it easy on you, Williams posted the 4th highest points total for RBs in ESPN standard scoring leagues. What if you had both players? You would have scored over 250 points with that combo and had the best “running back” in the league.

The combination of Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams is so lethal in that Pittsburgh Steelers offense that you simply can’t pass on Bell at #1. He’s got to be the first player drafted. Pass on him at your own risk.

About The Author Joe Drake