He lead the league in rushing years during the preseason, but more importantly, he’s behind a guy who’s had fumbling issues this year. Ryan Williams showed some flashes against the Eagles, and I think he’s the clear starter in Arizona at the moment.
However, let’s not forget that Williams has had issues with injuries. If he goes down, then Powell becomes a legitimate threat. Powell may also become a huge factor if Williams has another fumble. LaRod Stevens-Howling will see some touches, but it seems like he will be used sparingly as long as Wisenhunt is in charge. Beanie Wells is going to be out for a big chunk of the season, so stashing Powell early on might pay off in a couple weeks.
The Jets have always wanted to run the ball since Rex Ryan has been in town, but Shonne Greene is not and never has been the answer. Greene’s fantasy appeal has come from volume, not talent. Greene does not look very good so far, and Powell is now getting some carries (he got 9 in week 2 and 10 in week 3). He’s definitely worth looking into at this point, as his carries might be increasing sooner rather than later.
Mikel Leshoure came back from his suspension last week and received the majority of carries for the Lions. Bell got some carries in the 4th quarter against the Titans, and he did a solid job. Kevin Smith didn’t receive a single carry. The Lions have been waiting for Leshoure to return, and it’s pretty clear that they had planned on making him their number-one running back all along.
Bell is not going to be receiving that many carries unless Leshoure goes down or keeps getting caught with illegal substances, but both of those scenarios are quite possible. If you’ve got a player to drop (and especially if you’re a Leshoure owner), it may be worth keeping Bell on your bench at the moment.
He obviously had a big week recently, but I think he could end up being a big factor the rest of the way. Hakeem Nicks has two injuries at the moment (foot and knee), and it seems like he had some pain in the games he did play. If either Nicks or Victor Cruz miss any time this year, I think Barden will be one of Eli Manning’s top options.
The younger Manning is putting up some huge numbers so far, so even if Cruz and Martellus Bennett take some targets, I think there will still be enough to make Barden a flex option. The Giants have a way of making unknown receivers into stars, and Barden could be the next in line.
If you need immediate results, Hartline may be a solid bye-week replacement or even a flex option. He hasn’t had amazing stats yet, but he’s the go-to guy on the Dolphins right now. He’s received 29 targets in only three games, which tells us that he is the guy Ryan Tannehill is looking for.
As long as Tannehill keeps improving, Hartline’s numbers should keep rising, making him a great option for PPR leagues. If you’ve got an under-performing receiver that you’re thinking of dropping, Hartline could be a viable replacement.