William Powell: Fantasy Expectations for Cardinals RB with Ryan Williams Injured

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

October 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back William Powell (33) jumps over St. Louis Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher (32) after a 8 yard gain during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Fantasy owners, learn the name William Powell. The third-string running back for the Arizona Cardinals is now a player you want to consider owning with Beanie Wells on the temporary injured reserve and Ryan Williams done for the year.

Wait, what was that last part? Williams is done for the year?

Sadly, yes. Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com has the update:

RB Ryan Williams needs surgery on his shoulder and is out for the season, Whiz said.

— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) October 8, 2012

As the old saying goes, one man's loss is another man's waiver-wire treasure. But just how valuable will Powell be for fantasy owners moving forward?

There are quite a few reasons to believe he won't be valuable at all. LaRod Stephens-Howling is sure to see a lot of work, and Alfonso Smith awaits on the depth chart as well, so there's no guarantee that Powell will step in and suddenly become a fantasy stud.

Here's another reason: The Cardinals are rushing for a measly 63.4 yards per game this season. After five games, Stephens-Howling is the only back with a touchdown, and he has just one. I think it's safe to say that the Cardinals offensive line struggles to run block.

So, with that in mind, is Powell really worth a roster spot?

If you are in need of running back depth or an emergency starter with bye weeks upcoming, he's worth a stash. While I have a feeling Stephens Howling will end up being the player who gets the most work, he's recovering from a hip flexor and has missed the past two games.

So here's how I would handle this: If you have waiver priority this week, either go a different direction altogether or add Stephens-Howling first. Powell should be a backup option if you can't land Stephens-Howling and you're desperate to add depth.

And whatever you do, don't get your hopes up. Given how the Cardinals running backs have gone this season, he'll either be unproductive or get injured if he does play. Arizona has the most unlucky backfield this season with injuries, that's for sure.

So learn the name William Powell. Just don't add him on your team unless you absolutely need to.


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