Early on this season, the Carolina Panthers will be without one of the heads to their three-headed monster in the back field. Jonathan Stewart will be on the PUP (phyiscally unable to perform) list through Week 6, thus leaving a spot for more of a workload in the running game.
Early indication was that DeAngelo Williams would get the big majority of carries, and while that is still true to some extent, it’s important to note how the Panthers’ offense will attack as a whole.
In a big season for third-year pro Cam Newton, he will be looking to prove that he can lead a team to a winning record. With that said, not only will he pass, but he will be present in the rushing attack, of course. It’s critical to note his role in the offense, not only passing, but all aspects. The way he has spoken this offseason, he’ll be the guy on offense to get it done — take that for what it’s worth.
Mike Tolbert is said to also get some carries in with Williams and Newton. So in essence, they will have a three-headed monster even without Stewart. Until Stewart gets back, Williams should still see the majority of carries. But will that majority be around the 70 percentile, or more around the 51 percentile?
In the fantasy realm, I only like him as a low-end flex play in the beginning of the season. Unless he proves to revert to form from a few years back, which I don’t see happening, he will probably not have a huge upside for owners. In Week 1, the Panthers face one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL in the Seattle Seahawks, so Williams could get a rough start to the 2013 campaign right from the get-go.