Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
With Le’Veon Bell out Sunday against the Miami Dolphins due to an illness, Powell stepped in as the lead back for the Jets and finished with 19 carries for 74 yards along with two catches for 14 yards. Bell feels like a solid bet to return in Week 15, but it’s also a short week with the Jets playing Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens entered Week 14 in the top-10 of the league against running backs, before Bills rookie running back Devin Singletary topped 100 total yards against them on Sunday. Backs who have gotten solid workloads, rare as that’s been, have had a decent level of success against Baltimore this year.
The Jets then face the Pittsburgh Steelers, who entered Week 14 allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs (Yahoo! 0.5-point PPR scoring), in Week 16. For Week 17, the Buffalo Bills have been a mid-pack fantasy defense against running backs this year.
Despite averaging a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry this year and seemingly getting more banged up each week for a stretch, Bell was a top-15 fantasy running back heading into Week 14. So that’s the role he’d be leaving behind, and Powell took the lion’s share of it on Sunday. If only as protection for the rest of the season if you’re a Bell owner who survived Week 14, or an upside depth option in other 12-team leagues, Powell is a worthy speculative add this week. He did suffer an ankle injury toward the end of the game against Miami, so that is worth keeping an eye on.
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