Do fantasy directors sleep on David Bell in Redraft?

David Bell played three seasons at Purdue and entered the 2022 NFL Draft after a very impressive team career. He was caught in the draft due to concerns about his sport and became the 99th pick for the Cleveland Browns. He was the 16th recipient to walk off the plate and that was a bit of a shock, considering the kind of dominance he showed.

However, the fall of his drag plates resulted in a very soft landing. Being drafted by the Cleveland Browns wasn’t a good thing historically, but for Bale, it presents plenty of opportunity. For starters, he’ll be getting passes from DeShaun Watson this season who’s proven to be an elite quarterback, and the depth charter behind Amari Cooper is ready to pick up.


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David Bellcollege career

If you were to look closely at his Purdue stats, he was a sure pick in the first round. As a really freshman, he scored 128 goals, the ninth highest in the country. Despite being only 18 years old and playing in the Power-5 Conference, Bale immediately proved that he belongs. He scored 67.2% of his goals for a total of 86 receptions. He finished his first collegiate season with 1,035 yards and 7 touchdowns. He had an average of 2.11 yards per track—67 of 134 qualified receivers with at least 75 goals.

The Covid-19 season for Bordeaux was limited to just six games in 2020, but Bale made the most of his limited time. He averaged 13 goals per game when he was a sophomore and increased his yard per game from 84 yards to 104. He averaged fourth in the state and played 13 typical games, he would have finished with 1,354 yards. He also finished the match with eight touchdowns, which was tied for 14th at the state level, despite playing in just six matches. He also increased his yard per track on average to 2.24. This ranks 51st out of 146 eligible recipients with no fewer than 50 goals (smaller threshold due to short seasons across the country).

His final season at Purdue would end up being his best. He had the most goals (133), most receptions (93), and most yards (1,275) of his career. He accounted for 22.9% of his team’s total receptions, 23.0% of the target share, and 27.6% of the team’s passing yards. He finished 10th in the country in total goals, 11th in receptions, and 15th in yards. He once again increased his yard per mid-range track and finished his junior season at 2.70, which he ranked 28th out of 123 qualified receivers with at least 75 goals.

Bell scored 18.7 percent of penetration age, which ranked 94 percent, college dominance of 35.1 percent (69th percentile), and goal share of 28.7 percent, which ranked 86 percent. Given his collective stats and these predictive indicators of future success, what made Bale drop to the end of the third round?

The question becomes whether the NFL relies too much on its athletic traits. There’s no denying that he bombed his joint performance. He didn’t finish in 20th place in the forty-yard dash, vertical jump or wide jump. He was another of the 13 participants in the 20-yard shuttle. It was a disastrous performance. However, the Harvard Sports Analysis Group published a study in February 2015 that focused on the relationship between concerted performance and future NFL success. They had something to say about the site of the future,

None of the coefficients appeared to be significant for WRs. In fact, WRs are the only situation in which the model cannot predict success significantly. This is somewhat surprising. Perhaps road running abilities are really more important than rough sports.

Now that we know who David Bale is, what he brings to the table, and what his limitations are, is there any upside to Cleveland for him as a rookie?

David BellRole in Cleveland

There is a lot to like about Bill’s opportunity as a beginner. According to 4for4’s data regarding each team’s available targets and aerial arenas, Purdue has a legitimate shot for a solid year one role. Brown has the sixth most goals available with 233 and fifth air yards with 2041. Cleveland acquired Amary Cooper from Dallas that season before the receivers market exploded. He will act as Watson’s first receiver. However, place #2 is completely ready to be taken.

At the moment, Donovan Peoples-Jones holds this place, but there is no reason to believe that it cannot be pushed aside. He has been in the NFL for two seasons and has only 78 goals total, 48 receptions, 901 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was a sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In three seasons in Michigan, Peoples-Jones has never collected more than 650 yards in any year. The totals of his three-year career came to 103 receptions, 1,327 yards, and 9 touchdowns. The team totals in People’s Jones look very similar to Bell’s junior season. However, the former Wolverine had a 9.63 RAS score, but as you can see, this did not help him achieve any success in the NFL.

The Browns attempted 520 passes last season, and the Fantasy managers should expect that number to be slightly higher given the arrival of Watson. While Cooper is expected to be Target #1, he was rarely targeted. In fact, the most goals he has netted in any season is 132. Now entering his eighth season in the NFL, there’s no reason to expect him to earn the Justin Jefferson or Davante Adams type of goal share.

How the goals are distributed behind Cooper is anyone’s guess. The contest participants are Peoples-Jones, David Njoku and Bell. This is a competition that could knock Bill out its head. Njoku is another player to enter the NFL with the elite RAS (9.3), but after five seasons he is yet to finish with more than 90 goals, 60 receptions or 650 yards.

Watson’s career averages per game is 4,573 yards and 33 touchdowns across 17 games. There is no doubt that Watson has the ability to transform this passing attack and elevate it to levels that Baker Mayfield could not. How coach Kevin Stefansky changes the offense to accommodate Watson’s skill set is a question, but there is no reason to believe Brown isn’t passing the ball at a higher clip given the assets they gave up to get Watson to Cleveland. This increase in passing volume and efficiency from a central full back has the potential to benefit passing players as well.

Fantasy managers should be prepared for the fact that Watson could be suspended for the start of the 2022 NFL season. Similar cases saw the likes of Ben Roethlisberger suspended for six matches in 2020 after prosecutors decided not to charge him in a case involving a 20-year-old college student who accused him of sexual assault. This suspension was eventually reduced to four games. The NFL has been very quiet on the Watson front and it is unknown how they might choose to deal with him. At this time, it’s best to anticipate the potential for a 4-6 suspension from the fantasy directors.

Bell currently has an ADP of 152.9 in Underdog and is designated as WR68. Even with Watson’s comment looming, fantasy directors should be comfortable crafting Bell ahead of this price tag. Bale has a fairly clear path to reaching over 100 goals in his first year and has proven that he can have a very fruitful future at Purdue despite his questionable athletic performance. Watson’s potential comment shouldn’t frighten fantasy directors away from Bill’s formulation. In the current ADP, you’re not formulating it to be a novice right away. You should be able to wait for Watson’s suspension to expire, and if it’s 4-6 matches, Bale will get his main quarterback push around the time the weeks start.

Receivers such as Marquez Valdes-Scantling (WR55), Rondale Moore (56) and Mecole Hardman (WR60) don’t seem to have the same upside as Bell does and fantasy directors should feel confident crafting Bell around the WR50 range, leading to ADP around Pick number 115.

bottom line

  • David Bell was incredibly productive at Purdue and scored an elite score of control and lifetime breakthrough.
  • He averaged 8 receptions and 102 yards per game in his collegiate career.
  • He struggled hard in the combine and his poor speed and athleticism brought him down to the bottom of the third round.
  • Cleveland offers Bell plenty of opportunities in terms of available goals and air yards.
  • Minimal target competition and elite level QB play awaits him.
  • Fantasy managers should appreciate Bell as a developing WR5 with a bullish WR4.

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