Beanie Wells: Projecting Cardinals RB's Fantasy Value Moving Forward

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23:  Running back Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field 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 almost fantasy football playoff time, and owners are doing their best to get everything in order for the final run at a championship.

One of the biggest questions heading into Week 12 is about Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells and how much fantasy worth he has moving forward.

According to Cardinals insider Mike Jurecki, Wells will be activated from the injured reserve this week and should be available for Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams:

#Cards waived LB Jamaal Westerman, they will activate RB Beanie Wells from the Injured reserve/ designated for return. #azcardinals

— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) November 21, 2012

With injuries mounting and the waiver wire as thin as it has been all year, don’t waste another second contemplating this move; you must pick up Wells and stash him on your bench.

While there is no doubt that this is a risky acquisition, if Wells regains the starting job in Arizona and returns to top form, this move could save your fantasy season and win you the championship.


What To Expect

While the hope is that Wells will come running out of the gate and become an instant fantasy star once again, that scenario is unlikely.

At least in Week 12, fantasy owners should expect to see an even split of the carries in the backfield between Wells and La'Rod Stephens-Howling.

If Wells can get going early and find some holes in the St Louis Rams’ front seven, though, there is little doubt that the Cardinals' coaching staff would continue to run the ball with their star back.

How many carries Wells gets really depends more on how he stands up to the punishment over the course of the game. While Beanie may have stayed in shape while on IR, there is a difference between being in shape and being NFL-game ready.

Wells will have a mediocre day in Week 12—look for 11 carries for 44 yards and no touchdowns—but as he begins to get re-acclimated to the team, his numbers will continue to increase.

Over the final five games of the season, Wells will amass three 100-yard performances and score three touchdowns—a very solid pickup in the waning weeks of the fantasy football regular season.


Arizona’s Remaining Schedule

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25 vs. St. Louis

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2 at New York Jets

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9 at Seattle

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16 vs. Detroit

Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23 vs. Chicago

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30 at San Francisco


Check back for more on the National Football League as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NFL page to get your fill of all things football.