As soon as Jonathan Stewart went down, DeAngleo William’s fantasy value went up like Apple stock when the new iPhone comes out. This week, the Carolina Panthers host the Seattle Seahawks. What can we expect from Williams in week one?
To start things off, the Seahawks’ defense is as good as they come. They were the top team defense in the NFL last season, finishing in the top 10 in nearly every defensive category. Seattle finished 10th in rushing yards allowed per game in 2012 at 103.1. As solid a runner as Williams is, I’m not sold on him as a viable fantasy option this week.
Seattle is a favorite to compete for the Super Bowl this season, and I think they will start off their 2013 campaign very strong. Marshawn Lynch is one of the premier running backs in football, and with Sidney Rice being reported as “fresh and healthy” by the Seahawks, it stands to reason that Seattle will jump out to an early lead on Carolina. If that happens, it should be Steve Smith, not Williams, the Panthers will need to turn to. The Seahawks are also very good at controlling the clock and limiting time of possession of the opponent (finishing fifth in 2012), none of which bodes well for Williams.
Star quarterback Cam Newton struggled mightily in his game against Seattle last season, going 12-29 with 141 yards in the air, 42 on the rush, and no scores. If Seattle can continue to contain Newton, then I don’t see much hope for Williams. Owners also need to factor in Newton’s goal line rushing abilities, which are always a threat to whoever is running the ball for the Panthers. Carolina loves to have Newton go over the pile in short to goal yardage situations, yet another reason Williams doesn’t seem like a good play this week. In case you need another reason to doubt him, Mike Tolbert is allegedly healthy, and he has always been known as a goal line touchdown-stealing vulture to fantasy owners.
To sum it all up, Carolina should be trailing most of this game, Seattle has one of the best defenses in the NFL and excels at controlling time of possession, and precious touchdown points are likely to be snaked away from Williams by Newton and Tolbert. If you are desperate for a starter this week, you could start Williams, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.
Read more from Dustin here.