With Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams on the IR, William Powell was supposed to shoulder the load in the Arizona Cardinals backfield and put up some respectable fantasy points.
He showed flashes of potential in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills, rushing 13 times for 70 yards, but didn’t get a chance to improve upon those numbers in Week 7—largely due to a fumble caused by the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday.
Powell dropped the ball on an early kickoff return and immediately went to the bench, as coach Ken Whisenhunt clearly wanted to send a message to the young running back. LaRod Stephens-Howling, another backup RB, got the majority of the carries in the game and made the most of them.
Stephens-Howling, a diminutive speedster, finished the day with 20 rushes for 104 yards and a TD as well as four receptions for 45 yards in the 21-14 loss. As of now, LSH is clearly the lead back in the Cards’ system, largely due to Powell’s fumbling problem.
Powell has coughed the ball up twice despite having just 27 total touches through four games and cannot be trusted to hold on to the rock at this point in his career. With a matchup with the San Francisco 49ers looming, there is no reason to own the second-year RB in any fantasy format except the deepest of leagues.
Expect Whisenhunt to start Stephens-Howling from here on out, with Alfonso Smith eventually working his way into the rotation in order to keep Powell’s sketchy touches at a minimum.
It’s actually wise to avoid all of the Arizona RBs, but LSH is certainly the one you want to claim on waivers if you are desperate going into Week 8 and beyond. Drop Powell and look elsewhere if you relied on the back after Wells and Williams went down.
There is little to no fantasy value left with Powell, an unfortunate side effect stemming from his lack of ball security.