LaRod Stephens-Howling: Why Cardinals RB Will Be Fantasy Gem in Week 6

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 13, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling #36 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football past defensive end Jason Babin #93 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 23, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Carindals defeated the Eagles 27-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It's not often that a running back with one yard gained on 12 attempts becomes a hot commodity in fantasy leagues, but that's exactly what's about to happen in the case of Arizona's LaRod Stephens-Howling

That's because with Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams out with injuries, Stephens-Howling has suddenly become the Cardinals' No. 1 running back for Week 6. 

Earlier this week, ESPN's Mike Sando weighed in on the Cardinals' backfield:

Arizona will presumably incorporate Stephens-Howling into its no-huddle offense and into its spread passing sets. He's not an every-down back, but when healthy, Stephens-Howling provides big-play ability in doses. The Cardinals did not sign a veteran back after losing Williams (for the season) and would-be starting back Beanie Wells (until Nov. 25). 

It's worth pointing out that going into the Cardinals' Week 6 matchup at home against Buffalo, Stephens-Howling hasn't had much of an opportunity to prove himself a featured back, but that will change against the Bills

When given the chance, Stephens-Howling has been impressive, as he rushed for 93 yards on 21 carries against Seattle in Week 17 last season, and apparently did enough to earn the confidence of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, at least for the time being. 

Against the Bills, Stephens-Howling will finally be more than a situational player, and it's possible that the former Pittsburgh Panthers star could even exceed that career high he ran for against the Seahawks in 2011. 

Either way, until Wells returns, Stephens-Howling is clearly the Cardinals' No. 1 guy on the ground, which makes him a viable fantasy option for the time being.