William Powell: Strong Week 6 Performance Doesn't Make Cards RB a Must Add

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 15, 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

No, Arizona Cardinals running back William Powell is not the answer to your fantasy needs.

The rookie was on the Cardinals practice squad last year, looked great on 13 carries while gaining 70 yards in Arizona's Week 6 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but that doesn't mean we can expect that every week. 

Powell ran hard and with good vision. Sure, there were some definite rookie miscues, like the confusion he suffered on the botched hand off (below) that sent quarterback Kevin Kolb to the bench with an injury, but in all, it was a strong showing. 

However, while these results are promising, and it's reasonable to expect him to improve as he gains experience, there is a huge qualifier on these results: He was playing the Buffalo Bills!

The same Bills that entered this game having allowed 97 points in their last two games, and were also 30th in rushing yards allowed and 32nd in yards allowed per rush. 

This is not to slam Powell as a runner. He looked like a legitimate NFL back on Sunday. The problem is, that there are not going to be the same running lanes when this team is playing a better run defense—which will be every game remaining on their schedule. 

The Cardinals entered Sunday 31st in rushing yards per game and last with 2.7 yards per carry. That rushing offense would have a terrible time the next two weeks even if they had Barry Sanders in his prime in the backfield. Their next two opponents, San Francisco and Minnesota, both entered Sunday in the Top Eight in yards allowed per rush. 

The rush defenses will get a little easier for the next stretch of games, but who knows if Powell will still be healthy, or the favored back in Arizona. 

Also, there is next to no chance that he will be the favored back once Beanie Wells returns, which as the Associated Press reports, can happen as soon as Thanksgiving weekend. 

The potential rewards on Powell do not make him worth a roster spot in standard leagues.