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Bilal Powell - Fantasy Football Player Profile
Draft Year: 2011
Round: 4 (pick: 29)
Weight: 207 lbs.
After letting Chris Ivory walk south to Jacksonville in free agency the New York Jets wisely retained Bilal Powell. Exactly one week before re-signing Powell they signed Matt Forte to a three year deal worth $12 million dollars with $9 million in guarantees. At first this appeared to be a dagger to Powell, however seven days later they gave Powell a similar three year deal worth $11.25 million with $6 million in guarantees. Both backs have nearly identical deals with the exception of guarantees, which is great news for Powell’s fantasy value.
After finishing the 2014 season as the RB89 with an FSV score of 40.3, Powell surged in 2015 to finish as the RB33 with an FSV score of 138.1. The 33rd highest-scoring running back does not seem like much, but when you consider the fact that he was either a late-round draft pick or more likely undrafted, Powell far exceeded his value. What is worth noting with Powell is he was able to achieve a second-half resurgence after returning from injury in Week 11 with a healthy Chris Ivory still in the rotation. Powell played the role of a true complimentary, third down pass-catching back rather than a backup. Having missed five games in 2015, Powell finished with 70 rushing attempts and 50 receptions. He hauled in those 50 receptions on 63 targets which netted a ridiculously efficient 73.44% completion rate. Had he played a full season he would have been on pace for 97 targets and 77 receptions.
When you are drafting in fantasy football drafts, success is found in the middle-to-late rounds. Powell is shaping up to have massive value in the middle-to-late rounds as a PPR back again in 2016. According to the live drafts currently underway on My Fantasy League, Powell is being drafted as the RB44. He seems to still be undervalued by those who are currently drafting him 114th overall. His ADP can probably be explained by his statistics because, at a glance, one may not give much thought to a running back with 70 rushing attempts and 50 receptions. The only relevant running back with less rushing attempts than Powell was Theo Riddick who finished as the RB19 despite carrying the ball just 43 times. Specifically in PPR leagues there is a major role for a player like Powell, the quintessential third down/two minute drill pass-catching back.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook:
As more and more fantasy football rankings continue to be generated we will have a better understanding of where Bilal Powell will fall according to the experts. Since the beginning of March, Powell’s ADP has consistently trended downwards. The acquisition of Matt Forte has seen his ADP take a hit as well. This downfall should be viewed in a positive manner. The more Powell slips, the greater value he can be had at. Running back committees are no picnic to deal with in fantasy football but there is an argument to be made that you can look past Matt Forte in the third-fourth rounds of drafts and wait on Bilal Powell in the 10th round or even later. Forte may not return third round value as a New York Jet in 2016 but Bilal Powell is virtually a lock to out-perform his current ADP.