Even with Steve Smith, the Panthers ranked 29th in passing yards in 2013. Now with Smith gone, Cam Newton is left with Greg Olsen, Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and rookie Kelvin Benjamin as his main targets. Other than the rapport Newton has built with Olsen over the years, and the potential of Benjamin, there is little to be excited about for the passing attack. If the Panthers struggle in the air, however, that will open up the rushing attack even more.
With the help of Newton and his legs, the Panthers finished 2013 ranking 11th in rushing yards. The Panthers totaled 635 more rushing yards than its opponents last season, and DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Stewart finished the season with a combined 350 rushing attempts. With a 31-year-old Williams in the backfield, it makes sense that a healthy Stewart would become more of a fixture in the Panthers’ offense.
Tolbert accounted for five rushing touchdowns last year, but that was mainly due to the fact that Stewart was injured. Stewart is a bigger back than Williams, and he is only listed as being 10 pounds lighter than Tolbert. The 27-year-old back has also proved that he can be a touchdown threat, as he scored 20 rushing touchdowns in his first two years in the NFL.
Whoever has the hot hand will get the ball, but with an ADP of 13.01, according to fantasyfootballcalculator.com, it is insane to pass up on such a bargain.
With a weaker receiving core and his health restored, Stewart is a potential break-out candidate for any league.