Bilal Powell's Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook Heading into Week 4

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) rushes with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won 18-17. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, Bilal Powell is a must-add fantasy player on the waiver wire this week. That's how far down the rabbit hole the New York Jets backfield has fallen. 

With Chris Ivory injuring his hamstring in Sunday's win over the Buffalo Bills, Powell now is the undisputed No. 1 running back in New York. Don't expect Ivory back anytime soon, as Rich Cimini of ESPN notes:

Even with Ivory healthy the first two weeks, Powell still managed to accumulate 31 total touches for 134 yards and a touchdown. With Ivory out of commission against Buffalo, Powell went to work, rushing 27 times for 149 yards (he added two receptions for nine yards).

Now, he gets a Tennessee Titans squad that is allowing 14.3 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week in standard-scoring leagues. That average is somewhat misleading, however, as the Titans faced the pathetic Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack in Week 1 (15 carries for 31 yards, which is just pitiful).

In the past two weeks, the Titans have allowed 41 total fantasy points to opposing running backs and 274 rushing yards. This is hardly a matchup to avoid. 

All of this makes Powell not only a must-add for fantasy teams this week—he's still available in 40.9 percent of ESPN leagues—but a viable flex play in most leagues and a clear RB2 in deeper leagues. After all, who is he going to split carries with, Alex Green?

Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) hands off to running back Bilal Powell (29) during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

Not likely. Green had five carries Sunday, which seems likely to be his production against the Titans. 

Obviously, when determining Powell's value, monitoring Ivory's status is vital. This week could be the last game in which Powell has an ironclad grasp on the carries, as Mike Goodson returns from suspension next week. 

But given how unpredictable the running back position has been this season—and given the complete lack of depth as well—Powell's likely status as the primary back for the Jets this week makes him a must-own player. 

Yup, we're down the rabbit hole, all right. There's a bottle on the table labeled "add Powell on waivers" waiting for you to drink, and I promise, if you do, your fantasy points won't shrink—quite the opposite, in fact. 


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