William Powell: Cardinals RB Not a Long-Term Answer for Your Fantasy Squad

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Running back William Powell #33 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of the NFL preseason game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 17, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

You should definitely be adding William Powell to your fantasy team if you have the room (and a need), but don't expect to ride the Cardinals RB all the way to the playoffs in your fantasy league.

With Ryan Williams out for the season due to shoulder surgery and Beanie Wells on injured reserve at least unitl the Cardinals take on the St. Louis Rams in Week 12, both Powell and LaRod Stephens-Howling are going to get their chances to run the ball. (h/t NFL.com)

While Stephens-Howling is listed first on the depth chart (h/t NFL.com), the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers says that he won't get the bulk of the workload:

It's hoped that Stephens-Howling will be able to play on Sunday against the Bills. But even when he's healthy, Stephens-Howling is not viewed as an every-down back. The Cardinals think he tends to wear down during the season, and with his small size (5-7, 185), he's not built to carry the ball 15 times a game.

That figures to fall on the shoulders of Powell, who carried the ball 42 times for 249 yards and three touchdowns in the preseason.

Even if the worst-case scenario develops where Powell is splitting carries equally with Stephens-Howling, the Cardinals will find success running the ball over the next two weeks. 

They take on the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, a team that ranks 30th defensively against the run. The Bills have allowed nine rushing touchdowns on the season, giving up an average of 171.8 rushing yards per game.

But that's where the honeymoon ends. 

Following this week's game with the Bills, the Cards take on two of the tougher run defenses in the league—the Minnesota Vikings, who rank sixth against the run—and the San Francisco 49ers (seventh).

Two potentially favorable matchups exist sandwiched around the team's bye week in Week 10: a Week 9 game against the Green Bay Packers, who rank 17th against the run, and a Week 11 meeting with the Atlanta Falcons and their 27th-ranked run defense.

Week 12 brings on the Rams, and the expected return of Wells.

So by all means, use Powell this week against the Bills. You might even get two more starts out of him, depending on how you feel about the Cardinals' chances of running against the Packers and Falcons.

But he's not the long-term answer for what ails your fantasy squad.