Last month, Carolina Panthers running back Deangelo Williams was joking around with a reporter at the Charlotte Observer when he claimed, ““I joked with people that my fantasy value went up after we got rid of our four receivers, but it’s the truth,” Williams said “I went from probably being drafted in the fifth and sixth round to being in the first round, me and Jonathan (Stewart) alike because we have no receivers.”
Lets face it, right now the starting receivers for Carolina are Jason Avant, Jerricho Cotchery, and Tiquan Underwood. Therefore, Williams may not be too far off with his light-hearted assessment.
While it would be quite a joke to believe that Williams would ever be considered a first-round pick at his age, one must wonder, did he have a point with his past comments? According to Pro Football Reference, Williams scored in the top-25 in terms of standard scoring for all running backs in fantasy football.
Just because the receiving corps doesn’t strike fear into opposing defenses, don’t expect the Panthers’ coaching staff to suddenly start to heap more carries on Williams. Remember, he is 30 years old. If Williams is to see any increase in his fantasy value, it will only be in PPR leagues.
Consider that Cam Newton may find more comfort in using Williams as a check-down than some of his receivers. Also, without a viable deep threat, the Panthers may want to embrace the short passing game, which would only help Williams’ PPR fantasy value in 2014.