The Carolina Panthers may be primed for an upset over the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football this evening. The Giants will enter play without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw on offense, and they are coming off of a very difficult win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just four days ago.
I am not saying that the Panthers had a cake walk over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but it was not as taxing as the game for the Giants. They escaped relatively healthy, at least in comparison to New York. Carolina will likely be without running back Jonathan Stewart, and that may make some fantasy football owners salivate at the possibility of DeAngelo Williams getting the bulk of the carries.
I am here to remind you that even if Stewart does not suit up tonight, which seems it will be the case, that fantasy owners need not get overly excited about Williams.
Like the saying goes, those who do not know or remember history are doomed to repeat it.
If you were like me and made the huge mistake of listening to all of the self-proclaimed fantasy experts and gurus, you got overly amped up with the fact that Stewart missed game one against the Buccaneers, meaning the Williams could run wild all over a weak Tampa Bay defense.
Do you remember what happened? I certainly do.
Stewart, as expected, did not play. Williams got the start. I started him in my league. So did many others. He was many ‘experts’ pick of the week.
The net result?
Williams finished the loss for Carolina with six carries for minus one yards. He caught one pass for five yards.
I lost. So did many others.
With that being said, Panthers head coach said that he would be surprised if Stewart was ready to go, given what he was able to do this morning. With just hours until kickoff, it appears highly unlikely that Stewart will even suit up tonight, meaning Williams will get the majority of the carries once again.
That should not mean that fantasy football owners need to insert him into their lineup. In fact, to me, it means quite the opposite.
Many running backs enjoy far more success when they receive the lion’s share of the carries. Not Williams. And while we’re at it, not Stewart either. These two go hand in hand, or in fantasy terms, handcuff in handcuff. They are only effective when the other is also in the mix. One without the other is simply no good.
That si why all fantasy owners should stay away from Williams. If you have him starting because you are unfortunate enough to have to sit Matt Forte, Fred Jackson and perhaps also Steven Jackson Ahmad Bradshaw, I would scan the waiver wire before playing Williams. See if Daryl Richardson is out there, or even Andre Brown tonight. Both are safer options than Williams.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. In this case with Stewart and Williams and the Panthers, this is the 77th time. I will not be duped again by the Carolina backfield.