Pre-season news has Carolina Panthers' 2nd year RB Jonathan Stewart continuing to struggle with an Achilles heel ionjury. If Stewart were to be out as a legitmate RB in 2010, how high would you move DeAngelo Williams?
Right now, I don't rank Williams much higher than the end of the 1st round in a PPR format. He caught just 22 passes last season, and repeating last season's TD explosion seems unlikely to be repeated.
Without Stewart, I'm not sure how many more touches per game Williams would receive. After all, he had 274 carries last season and that figure ranked 9th in the NFL.
Second, Williams would be the sole focus of defenses who had all off-season to scheme against him. That is absolutely key to understanding the difficulty of any NFL player repeating outstanding seasons.
Third, Stewart only caught 8 passes. Williams won't grab any extra touches there.
Finally, Williams will not be as fresh without Stewart providing a breather.
So am I wrong to conclude DeAngelo Williams will not be much better in 2009 without Jonathan Stewart there to share the load?
For those who wonder where I have been, I am blogging at Rotisserie Musings in a much simpler format.