Is Bilal Powell a fantasy starter?

Evaluating the Jets' RB, Alshon Jeffery's upside and Dwayne Bowe's value

Updated: September 27, 2013, 12:44 PM ET
By Tim Hasselbeck | ESPN Insider

Bilal PowellJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesBilal Powell had 12 standard-league points in Week 2 and 14 points in Week 3. Can he keep it up?

Things don't always go exactly as planned.

Back in 2002, the Carolina Panthers had a quarterback group that included Rodney Peete, Chris Weinke and Randy Fasani. Midway through the season, Peete was recovering from a knee injury and Weinke was out with a concussion, and I got a call from the Panthers to come in and serve as the backup for Fasani.

The game that week was against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- who would go on to win the Super Bowl that season -- and it was a defensive battle, with the Bucs getting the win 12-9. After the game, there was some tension for me.

In the NFL, if you're on the active roster at 4 p.m. Tuesday, you get paid for that next week, no matter what the team does with you afterward. Tuesday is also typically an off day, and it was on this occasion too.

Now, Peete knew the rules, and even though he thought he might be able to come back that week, he told me he'd downplay his progress a bit, so that the Panthers would have to keep me around (and give me another paycheck). Sounded good to me!

Around 2:45 Tuesday, I still hadn't heard from the Panthers, so I headed out to do a big grocery shopping trip for the next week, thinking that I'd need a bunch of food for the next several days. We're talking a major haul here.

As I'm getting ready to check out, I notice a call from a Charlotte phone number on my cell. After checking the voicemail, I hear that it's Panthers GM Marty Hurney, and he needs to see me. You can probably guess what happened next.

Even though we devised a plan and thought it would work, things didn't go as planned. That happens a lot in the NFL and in fantasy football -- particularly when it comes to volatile positions such as QB, WR and RB, where depth charts often require modification and where teams need alternatives for even the best-laid plans.

What I'm seeing

The New York Jets had a plan for their running game heading into this season. They signed Mike Goodson to a three-year, $6.9 million deal, which is a lot considering the market for NFL running backs these days. Well, that plan went out the window when Goodson was suspended for four games.


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