Friday, July 29, 2011

Carolina is one of few teams in the NFL that possess multiple starting caliber running backs. Both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams have the talent to be three down backs in the NFL. This off-season DeAngelo Williams was a free agent. The Panthers have plenty of holes on offense and it would make a lot of sense to let Williams sign with another team. They could use that cap room at any other position but running back. Instead of letting Williams leave they resign him with a 5 year 43 million dollar contract. In my opinion, not the best move for the Panthers. This was definitely not the best move for either Stewart or William's fantasy value.

Jonathan Stewart is the more physical of the two backs and should receive more short yardage carries and touchdowns. D-Will should out rush and out receive Stewart if he can return to his form prior to his week 7 foot injury. Stewart was labeled by many to be a sleeper prior to the end of the lockout. Now that Williams was resigned for a hefty amount that sleeper label will be replaced with bust. Stewart will still be a fantasy starter. Neither back has been a been that safe in previous years as both have been labeled as slightly injury prone. The main limiting factor for the duo on your fantasy football team will be each other. Each week it could be one or the other. Throw Mike Goodson into the mix to make the situation even worse.

The next downturn of the duo will be Cam Newton. A rookie scrambling quarterback should produce a fair amount of carries for the duo as he won't be passing too often. The problem is that the offense in general isn't going to move much. Opposing defenses will stack the line to stop the duo. Once the Panthers near the goal line Cam Newton will be unlikely to shy away from rushing the ball in himself if given the opportunity.

If you are going to own either Panther this year than I would choose Williams. He has proven to be more explosive. In 2008 he rushed for 1,515 yards and 18 touchdowns. Which is amazing. 2009 less amazing but still solid with 1,117 yards and 7 touchdowns. In 2010 with the week 7 injury he only managed 361 yards and 1 touchdown. A poor performance even with the short season. I expect him to bounce back to about 1,100 yards and 5-6 touchdowns.

Stewart is the lower ranked of the two Carolina running backs. Maybe that could give you a reason to draft him because if Williams were injured than Stewart's value would sky rocket. He has talent and is young, last season he rushed for 770 yards and 2 touchdowns on 178 carries. In 2009 he rushed for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. 2009 is his ceiling if both backs split the carries. He could make for a fair flex. Newton could leech some of his usual goal line carries.

The whole Carolina offense is going to be pretty pathetic this year. If the offense doesn't score many points than the players probably won't have many fantasy points. Splitting carries makes it worse. I will be avoiding all Carolina players unless they drastically slip down the draft board, I suggest you do the same.


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