Just for the record, I want to say that I’m not a huge fan of Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams. He’s a guy who I believe to be a little overrated in the NFL world. As far as his fantasy football value for this year? I think he’s underrated.
I think most of us can agree that drafting a Panthers running back over the years has not been easy. With Jonathan Stewart in the mix with Williams, it’s been downright frustrating. On one of my teams, I drafted both guys as backups in hopes that one would get hurt. As far as the 2013 season goes, that’s happened already as Stewart will start the season on the PUP list. That means he’ll miss at least six games, if not more.
Despite having only two seasons of rushing for over 1,000 yards, Williams has always averaged over four yards per carry. Williams has also been pretty durable recently. Besides an injury-riddled 2010 season in which he only played in six games, Williams has played in at least 13 games a season his entire career.
Williams played in all 16 games over the past two seasons. Another positive for Williams’ stock is the Panthers’ improved defense led by Luke Kuechly. This unit should create a lot of turnovers and keep most games close, meaning that the Panthers can run more read-option stuff as opposed to Cam Newton having to throw 50 times to bad receivers.
How undervalued is Williams now? According to ESPN’s fantasy guru Matthew Berry, Williams is the 28th-ranked RB. Ahead of him are unproven rookies Eddie Lacy and Montee Ball. Another interesting one ahead of Williams is Darren Sproles, who is very explosive, but basically a third-down back.
Everyone who complains about running backs having to share carries with other guys should know that Williams won’t really have that problem for at least half the season. Sure, Mike Tolbert will steal some goal line carries, but Williams will be the featured back for the Panthers. If you can grab Williams as your no. 3 RB, it would be a nice steal.
Break out the confetti and streamers because now it’s finally okay to draft a Panthers running back.