William Powell: Can He Be Your Backfield’s Savior?

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Could William Powell be this week's big sleeper?

It's not hard to see that Week Six is one of the most crucial in terms of running backs to pick up. With Ryan Williams, Cedric Benson and Donald Brown all out for either the season or weeks, there has been a cavalcade of, hopefully, hidden gems popping up going into the weekend. Of all the players between the Colts, Packers and Cardinals, William Powell does make the most intriguing option.

With early speculation being that the Cardinals would roll with La'Rod Stephens-Howlings against the Bills, he just isn't built like a lead back. He's on the smaller side 5'7' / 185 and could wear down fast. I know there have been guys like Warrick Dunn and Maurice Jones-Drew who have made it in the NFL, despite being small. But when you look at these guys, does LSH have enough talent to compensate for his stature? Playing on a team that ranks last in the NFL in yards-per-attempt with 2.7, Stephens-Howlings clearly isn't the answer.

While William Powell might not be the answer either, he does have a couple things going for him. First off, he led all players in rushing yards with 249 (5.9 ypc) in the preseason. While the preseason doesn't mean much, and it was against 2nd and 3rd stringers, that's still something in Powell's favor.

Another is the fact that the Cardinals actually think Powell could be the guy for the job. During an interview on ESPN's SportsCenter, Adam Schefter had this to say about Powell and the Cardinals:

There's a buzz in the Cardinals' organization about him. The players believe he can do it. He'll have to prove he can during the regular season. But there are some people in the Cardinals' organization who believe Powell can get the job done for Arizona.

I currently have William Powell ranked No. 31 on my Week Six Running Back Rankings, which puts him at a low-end flex option. For a team that has yet to get anything going in the running game, Powell could have problems finding holes. Although going up against a Bills Defense that has given up 27 fantasy points to running backs and ranks second-to-last behind the Saints, Powell could definitely have a better-than-average chance to prove he is the guy for the job going forward.

To sum things up; If you have him, I'd play him. Why not? The matchup is right. He could lose passing-down work to LSH, but he should lead the team in carries. I'm not saying to start the guy as a bonafide RB2 because the chance is there for failure. But if your flex spot is being killed by bye weeks, you could do worse than putting Powell in the spot.