While the Cardinals have always been known for their passing game with WR Larry Fitzgerald, the team's running game has been a bit off kilter the past few years. Beanie Wells has been great at times, having notched his first 1000-yard season in 2011, but his inconsistencies and history of dealing with nagging knee injuries have worn thin on owners and the coaching staff. Which is why I think there is an excellent chance that one of this year's fantasy sleepers could come out of Beanie Wells' shadow very soon in 2012.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Ryan Williams.After missing the entire 2011 season with a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee, RB Ryan Williams could, again, make a name for himself in the Cardinals' backfield.
If some of you don't remember, I actually had Williams listed as a sleeper option for the 2011 season, but a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee forced Williams to miss all of the regular season, putting Wells back in the spotlight as the team's workhorse.
But 2012 could be a very different story.
According to reports, the Cardinals expect Williams to play a "major role" this season. Williams is much more versatile than Wells and could wind up being an immediate contributor on passing downs, something Wells has been lacking in his entire career as a pro, and in a change-of-pace role. Coach Ken Whisenhunt has challenged Wells to "bust his tail" in the next few weeks because other backs have looked good in offseason practices. So if Williams shows up to training camp back to 100 percent, Wells, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, could find himself in a timeshare as soon as Week One.
I'd have no problems drafting Williams as a standalone option in PPR leagues as my league draft starts to dwindle into the later rounds. And he could be a lower-tier handcuff to Wells if you have the room. If he pans out, then owners who drafted him late got a steal. If not, at least you didn't waste much. But I have a feeling we could be seeing big things out of Williams. Considering Wells' knee has been an issue for some time now, Williams could find himself slated as the eventual starter. Think I'm crazy? Wells has two years left on his deal. If he doesn't show he can stay healthy for the entire season, his days could be numbered. If Williams get at least one to two weeks as the starter, look out. He could easily take the job and run with it. The team didn't draft Williams 38th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft just to ride the pine.
For other sleeper options for 2012, READ MORE.