Why I chose Bell over Gurley
Because I'm stupid.
Ok, here is the real write-up:
In many fantasy drafts, the #1 pick was between Bell and Gurley. FantasyPros.com expert consensus rankings had Gurley as #1 while ESPN's PPR and FootballOutsider.com's KUBIAK projections both had Bell.
My thoughts started that both were pretty close, a toss-up. Age wasn't a big concern, with Bell being 26 and Gurley 24, and stats were relatively close (at least close enough in my mind) that I had to pull in some intangibles.
What drove my final decision was contracts and expected usage. Gurley just signed a contract extension while Bell was in contract year. Also, Bell had a long history of being a top back while Gurley only had one year. Finally, the Rams sat a lot of starters in week 17 last year, so if they run away with the division (highly plausible), then they might sit Gurley a week or two towards the end of the year. Pittsburg always seem to be a fight for home field or a first-round bye, usually because a weird loss or two during the season.
The final touch were the KUBIAK projections. I have had success with these in past years and enjoy the efficiency ratings from FootballOutsiders.com DVOA and related metrics.
So with the #1 pick, I passed on Gurley and took Bell.
Then Bell sat out...
Gurley is crushing it after the first two weeks, in a tight Top 4 RBs at the 3 spot (Kamara 1, Gordon 2, Gurley 3, and Connor 4). There is consolation in picking up Connor and him being #4, but the damage is done, and Bell looks to be sitting out until Week 10. Let's hope he produces in time for a fantasy playoff push!
But all that said. I can't help but think the real reason is still, "Because I'm stupid."