Detroit Lions running back Joique Bell might be the classic example of a guy who is well known because of fantasy football.
He is a useful player on a team known for its offense, so it’s not as if football fans wouldn’t be familiar with him anyway. But I honestly think you would be hard-pressed to find a fan who doesn’t know him well as the guy who backed up Reggie Bush, was a hot waiver pickup early in the 2013 season, and had a tendency to vulture TDs every now and then.
Bell had a solid season, rushing for 650 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 3.9 yards a carry and showed he can carry the load for a team in any given week. The trend in the NFL these days is to find cost-efficient answers at the running back spot, and Bell seems positioned to garner some consideration under those circumstances as a restricted free agent this year.
Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News caught up with Bell, who said that he wants to return to Detroit:
“Of course I want to come back…Like I told (the reporter) my first year when I got here, I want to finish my career here, and let’s make it happen. I don’t want to go nowhere.”
Katzenstein also notes that Bell’s fate will be decided in part by the team’s new head coach. We know that NFL teams typically need two productive running backs, so whoever that coach is ought to recognize a good thing when he sees it and try to keep Bell around as a complement to Reggie Bush.