Pick Up William Powell Off Waivers

William Powell, RB, Arizona Cardinals- Fantasy Outlook
Alex Dunlap, RosterWatch.com

Powell and Cadet sound like a pair of TV detectives.

William Powell and Travaris Cadet shared an opposite sort of spotlight during the 2012 NFL preseason, though- that of being criminally sick. They were the two electric stars that we hoped would get to see some on-field action in the 2012 regular season.

Granted, it was against scrubs that both of these players did most of their damage, but still; Cadet was good enough to be retained by the Saints as a very luxurious fifth RB. Cadet, however, won’t see the field much in 2012 until the Saints feel they have rode out this first wave of adversity. That may not happen this season.

William Powell is a different story. To be honest, I thought the Cardinals may go with the veteran in Larod Stephens-Howling during this obvious time of RB distress in Arizona as their primary runner.

It is clear moving forward that William Powell is now the starting running back for the Arizona Cardinals, at least for the time being. He should be rostered in your fantasy league and this is the play I have been waiting to make with my stashed budget dollars and waiver priorities.

When others went big on Kevin Ogletree and the like, I was waiting for a situation like this. Ryan Williams is out for the season and anyone holding their breath on Beanie Wells is currently grasping at very non-fantasy-productive straws.

The Cardinals could bring in another runner. That is your risk here. That, and, we have hardly any college tape on Powell. And I mean nobody does, unless you know where to find Navarro Junior College tape. He only played a handful of snaps during two years at Kansas State, after which, he didn’t even participate in his pro day, because he got injured during his first drill. He bounced off and on the Cardinals practice team during 2011, and then decided to go bananas in the 2012 preseason.

What we saw Sunday was Powell looking like a good NFL runner against what many know to be a terrible Bills defense after they were lathered up by Larod Stephens-Howling early on. What some might not think about is that the Bills defensive line is supposed to be the best in the league. Sunday was the first time they looked anything like that, and it was thanks to a consistently awful Cardinals offensive line.

Phoenix is our nation’s perennial QB murder capital, and it hosts no aid to the run, either.

Powell is an instinctual runner who is not “big,” but he is more substantial than he looks at 5’9″, 205. He runs with a forward lean that I love. He is a frantic inside runner that likes to make one big, dramatic cut just before the second level.

Prior to that, he is fairly straight-line with his obvious lane assignments. I love this type of runner behind a bad offensive line, which often allows the “second level” to come to a runner. If one guy can at least get a good chip up to the LB, Powell has a good enough move, as we’ve seen, to extend the run.

Powell looks to be the guy in Arizona until a Beanie Wells time-split rears its head. That will be around the time you are (or are not) going to your fantasy playoffs. And that time split will be with a recovering Beanie Wells who is currently, and historically bad.

If you have been hurt at RB besides the normal bye week wear and tear on your fantasy roster, make a move on Powell. He is worth a number one waiver claim and at least a 50% budget claim depending on format.

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