Smitty’s Take: According to Ian Rapoport on Twitter (on Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell): “there is no indication when he’ll show up. A Saturday arrival would allow him to receive his game check, but there is no clear evidence that he’s made plans to do that.” See his tweet below. The thinking here is that he shows up to get his game check for Week 1, but the team won’t run him out onto the field at all, which saves his body from a week of abuse. This is pure speculation, but it is of sound reason, as Bell is very much focused on the fact that his body is taking a beating and he wants a long-term deal to protect him financially. It’s looking extremely likely that Bell will sit Week 1, or at least be somewhat limited should he report late Friday… for now, and be sure to check back with us all week, James Conner is set to start Week 1, and he would be a top 5-10RB start if given all the carries. If you own just Conner, don’t forget to scoop up Jaylen Samuels, at least just for a week or so (if your rosters are deep that is). Folks, James Conner was on our Bold Predictions well before any of this mess unfolded, so we love the guy for more reasons than just because he’s the back-up in a good offense. He is one of the most talented back-ups in the league. All this said, keep things in perspective as you navigate through the news between now and kickoff, as Bell will eventually report, and the Conner buzz will instantly slow. This will be, when Bell finally reports, a great time for Bell owners, who don’t own Conner, to try and buy him at at least a reasonable price, as the letdown of Bell returning will surely deflate some of the excitement. If you own just Conner, only sell-high if you decide to to sell, and we mean real high. Because, keep in mind that Conner was our secret stash ‘sleeping giant’ on the entire year even before there was word he could start Week 1. Bell holding out this long could even lead to injury… many runners have held out and pulled hamstrings and then been hampered all year.

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