If you have yet to draft your fantasy team, then good for you for waiting this late. If you already drafted, this advice is still worth something. Sell on all Carolina Panthers running backs. The Panthers rotate DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart and neither of them should be drafted in standard leagues.
The coaches don’t use one over the other throughout the season and none of them is a traditional three-down back. With two (or three) active running backs, the fantasy value of all three drops greatly.
Williams gets most of the carries. He had 201 carries last season, but it also helped that Stewart was out for most of the season. The downside to Williams is that he doesn’t score. He only had three touchdowns in 2013 and five the year before. If you’re in a points per carry league, then Williams is the Panthers rusher to target.
In Stewart’s first four seasons with the Panthers, he racked up 725 rush attempts, 3,500 yards and 26 touchdowns. On every other team, a No. 2 running back would have nowhere those same numbers. Unfortunately, Stewart has been injured and has played in just 15 games. If Stewart is healthy in 2014, then a 50-50 split between him and Williams is likely.
The third player in the mix is fullback Mike Tolbert. In his first two years with the Panthers, he scored 12 touchdowns. Not surprising, all 12 scores were within five yards of the goal line. Tolbert is the goal-line option and takes touchdowns away from his teammates.
At the end of the day, Williams is the most valuable running back as he is likely to get the most carries. However, with Stewart healthy and Tolbert at the goal line, what more do you expect from Williams? Use that round to draft a backup like Andre Williams or Terrance West.