Ryan Williams: Fantasy RBs to Fill Void Created by Cardinals RB's Surgery

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2012

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 04:   Ryan Williams #34 of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball during the game against the St. Louis Rams at Edward Jones Dome on October 4, 2012 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Fantasy owners hoping that the Cardinals' Ryan Williams would emerge as a reliable source of production now have to look elsewhere. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter tells us why. 

Cardinals announced RB Ryan Williams is out for season with a shoulder injury.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2012

With Williams' season in the books, here are three readily available running backs worth adding to take his fantasy-roster spot. 

*Percentage of leagues owned in via NFL.com for Week 5's standard leagues. 


William Powell, Arizona Cardinals: Owned in 0.1 Percent of Leagues

Powell is the logical place to start. He is next up on the depleted Cardinals' depth chart after the injury to Williams. A starting running back is always worth a look, especially when that starting back is set to go against the terrible defense of the Buffalo Bills, which the Cardinals will do in Week 6. 

Powell spent last year on the Cardinals' practice squad, and he earned a spot on this team after gaining 249 rushing yards at 5.9 yards per carry this preseason. 

Given that Powell is going against the Bills, he warrants starting consideration. However, his long-term value is far less certain. 

The Cardinals are No. 31 in rushing yards per game, and Beanie Wells, as the Associated Press reports, can return as soon as Thanksgiving. 


Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins: Owned in 1.8 Percent of Leagues

Miller's value has a huge asterisk. The reason centers around this bit of news shared by The Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasely

Daniel Thomas, who missed a game because of concussion sustained in Week 1, apparently sustained another head injury in the fourth quarter Sunday. He did not return.

If Thomas does have a concussion, given it would be his second of this young season, he will undoubtedly miss some serious game time. If it is not a concussion, then you'd expect him to be on the field for Week 6, and at that point, Miller would have little value, as he has taken a clear backseat to Reggie Bush and Thomas. 

Miller has looked good when given a chance. He has averaged 5.5 yards per carry while gaining 126 yards and a touchdown. 

While his touches will still be limited as he will be backing up Bush, he would be in for at least 10 touches, and could even get a look or two on the goal line, as Thomas has been the preferred option there. 


Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots: Owned in 18.6 Percent of Leagues

Bolden will be a much tougher waiver-wire claim than the previous two. He was one of the more widely added players during Week 5 after a breakout performance the previous week, and he followed that up by getting 14 carries for 54 yards this week against the Broncos. 

However, his potential value is about more than his numbers. Starting back Stevan Ridley had a late-game fumble against the Broncos, and Bill Belichick has never hesitated in limiting a back's role if he doesn't feel he can trust him.

Also, Bolden and Shane Vereen appear to be preferred goal-line options over Ridley already.

With the Patriots' renewed commitment to the run game paying huge dividends, Bolden is worth a look.