Forget about the watch list for a second – if you need help at running back you should be heading to your waiver wire for William Powell of the Arizona Cardinals. Ryan Williams was uninspiring (14 car, 33 yds) before exiting Thursday night’s game with a shoulder injury. Beanie Wells is out for another 5+ weeks with a toe injury, so a serious opportunity has presented itself for Powell. Even if Williams is not out long term, Powell showed off some qualities that Williams does not possess.
Powell only got one carry (for 7 yards), but he showed the coaches he isn’t afraid of contact, by throwing a couple devastating blocks. He also reeled in 3 catches for 20 yards in less than a half of football. Despite a horrendous offensive line in Arizona, starting running backs are at worst a good trade asset for your team.
On to today’s watch list:
Brandon Jacobs – Owned in 9 % / 7% of ESPN / Yahoo! leagues
Jacobs announced on Tuesday that he is “ready to play”. His role in San Francisco is still up in the air as he is yet to play a single regular season snap. Frank Gore is more than capable of handling the goal-line duties, but it’s worth keeping Jacobs on your watch list in case the coaching staff wants to lighten Gore’s load further, by making Jacobs the red-zone back. Jacobs has not thrived in this role in the past, but the 49ers’ offensive line is the best he has ever run behind so I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some success this time around.
Eddie Royal – Owned in 5 % / 4% of ESPN / Yahoo! leagues
Royal’s rookie season was a tease (91 rec, 980 yds, 5 TD), but a change of scenery and a – let’s call him capable – QB in Philip Rivers, could yield production similar to that glorious 2008 season. Last week, Royal found his way into the end zone for his 1st TD of the season. The Chargers are in desperate need of help at wide receiver after the departure of Vincent Jackson and the disappointing start from Robert Meachem, so the door is open if Royal wants to walk through.
Chaz Schilens - Owned in 0 % / 1% of ESPN / Yahoo! Leagues
I know – Mark Sanchez is attempting to get him the football. That is why they call it a watch list. But if Santonio Holmes can put up numbers worthy of a WR2 (243 yds, TD in 3 games), then the 6’4 Schilens is worth keeping an eye on, considering he will replace Holmes in the starting lineup. Injuries have plagued Schilens for much of his 4-year career so this is the chance he has been waiting for.
Travis Benjamin – Owned in 0 % / 0% of ESPN / Yahoo! leagues
This jack of all trades from the University of Miami is beginning to find his place in the Browns offense and is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses. He has 4 catches for 70 yards and one TD in the last two games and is also getting involved in the Browns’ return game. The rookie ran a 4.34 at the combine – so you would have to think a team so dearly in need of play-makers as the Browns, will likely look to see what they have in Benjamin.