DeAngelo Williams: The Curious Case of his Rising ADP August 12, 2013  |  Neil Parker

2008 was a nifty season for DeAngelo Williams, the Memphis alum went good for over 1500 yards and 18 scores on the ground and added 2 more in the air. He was fantasy football’s best player in standard leagues even while sharing the load with Jonathan Stewart. The DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart duo was great again in 2009, but that was also the beginning of the lingering injury issues that have plagued the Black Cat Tandem ever since.

Fast forward to 2013 and Jonathan Stewart’s health is unknown, although, this recent diddy, or twitty isn’t optimistic:


So with DeAngelo Williams likely to sit atop the Panthers’ RB Depth Chart, at least to begin the season, his rising ADP makes perfect sense.


But, before we get too carried away, there are a few points to consider before anyone should contribute to this trend.


December 30th, 2012: Inside the Louisiana Superdome Mr. DeAngelo Williams went back to 2008 and broke out in a big way. After the first quarter he run all over the Saints. DeAngelo Williams scampered off runs of 65 and 22 yards, to go along with his 54 yard TD run. He also carried one in from the 12 yard line too. At the end of the day, DeAngelo Williams went good for 210 yards and 2 TDs.

Did it matter in fantasy? Of course not, it was Week 17. Did it matter for the Panthers or Saints? Not at all, it was a one and done, end of the year affair and the Panthers won 44-38, with the division rivals both finishing the season 7-9.

However, it did matter a lot for the DeAngelo’s final stat line. When you remove his Week 17 performance, which doesn’t count in fake football anyway, DeAngelo Williams was a huge bust. During the fake football season DeAngelo Williams went good for 537 yards, 3 TDs on the ground and 12 receptions, 134 yards receiving and 2 scores through the air.

The point, a significant amount of DeAngelo Williams’ production came from a single game against a defense that was arguably the worst run defense in the NFL. Furthermore, it was also in a game that was meaningless.


Red Zone Opportunities: The Black Cats had a few options inside the 20 and last season DeAngelo Williams only scored three times in the Red Zone. Instead, it was Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert leading the way with 7 scores a piece on the ground.

Now, in the interest of a balanced presentation of the facts, Tolbert scored 3 of those Red Zone TDs on December 30th, 2012, but if DeAngelo Williams is going to be carrying the load, you should expect Mike Tolbert to get the short yardage and goal line carries.

Cam Newton will also punch his fair share in and therefore, banking on DeAngelo Williams to suddenly approach double digit touchdowns isn’t wise. In fact, Jonathan Stewart only scored once last year from inside the Red Zone and there is likely to be little variation in the Panthers’ approach inside the 20.


So as it currently stands, DeAngelo Williams is climbing up draft boards into the 7th round, which is reasonable. If you like undersized, 30 year old, past their prime scat back types, who don’t project to score many touchdowns. But, it isn’t a reach either, given the opportunity he has landed in and his past success.

However, if DeAngelo Williams’ ADP continues to rise he’ll soon be drafted as a top 30 back and that just isn’t good value, but at least he doesn’t have to share carries with DeShaun Foster anymore.

4 Responses

  1. MaxSttout says:

    Neil, lots of good points and no argument with your conclusions but there’s more to the story. DeAngelo was a bust last year. He had a bad attitude and the Panthers were done with him until Stewart got hurt. His big game in week 17 was an aberration so let’s toss it out and look at what he did in the four other games he started after Stewart got hurt. From weeks 13 – 16 he averaged 76 yards from scrimmage and scored 2 TDs. He scored double digit points twice but laid a goose egg against the Raiders in week 16. So he’s no world beater and he’s on the downside of his career but he was marginally productive when given the chance last year. His draft stock rose when “a source” leaked that the Panthers had “no idea when Stewart might be back”. With the news from Panthers coach Ron Rivera that Stewart is on track to be ready for the regular season you would expect his stock to drop or at least stop rising. As an 8th rounder, he’s probably a bit of a stretch as he’s not going to be useful unless Stewart isn’t playing. However, with Stewart’s injury history and his surgically repaired right ankle reportedly not healing well, he could end up having some value before it’s over.

    • Neil Parker says:

      Thanks Max – it’ll be interesting to see how this story plays out over the next few weeks.

      My biggest scare with Williams is his touchdown potential. I think there is all kinds of potential value if you’re landing him in 7th and 8th Rounds. Perhaps, even in the 6th if he does get enough carries.

      My point was not to contribute to his ADP rise and start reaching for him, just because he is going to be the starting.

  2. Neil Parker says:

    First, thanks for asking and reading Max. It is appreciated.

    I think your decision really depends on where you want to take the direction of your team.

    The no brainer is Calvin Johnson, but you might be searching for answers when it comes around to drafting your 2nd RB. Although, there are a lot of resources recommending a WR-WR start to your draft.

    LeSean McCoy and CJ Spiller are a coin toss for me. I have been flip-flopping on my Running Backs in this range a lot.

    Are you assuming that Ray Rice is going to be gone? He will be a big part of the passing game again for the Ravens, has a high floor and has been consistent the past few seasons.

    The Wildcard is Trent Richardson. He is already nursing some injury woes, which is troubling, but he is going to get all kinds of opportunities, touches and targets.

    I often go with a player that I’m confident and comfortable with in the 1st round and not reach for a risky option. Richardson, Spiller and McCoy all have a degree of risk involved, but I currently have them ranked: McCoy, Spiller, Richardson.

    I’d mock it out a few times with Calvin Johnson though and see if you like your results with him.

  3. Max says:

    Nice article. Looking for some advice in a standard league (except .5 points PR). Assuming these players are available at pick 7 who would you take Calvin Johnson, LeSean McCoy, CJ SPiller or Trent Richardson?

Leave a Reply

2013 Player Profiles

SJax: You See 30, I See Top 10

There comes a time in a man’s life when his career journey has descended towards its culmination. The ladder years of life stretching upwards of ages ranging in the 50’s-60’s for most, but if that mans profession is NFL running back then that age rapidly freefalls to his late 20’s-early ...


Terrelle Pryor: Take A Flier

Very few fantasy relevant storylines fly below the radar this time of year.  Those “sleepers” that you’ve known about for months have made their way into the mainstream with big preseason performances. Every semi-competitive owner in your league is aware of the latest injury news, and which players stand to ...


Should CJ Spiller Be the First Overall Draft Pick?

No, CJ Spiller shouldn’t be the first overall pick. That honor belongs to Adrian Peterson, and Adrian Peterson alone. I know what you’re thinking. You probably hate-clicked the headline, and now that your assumption of it being a mere hyperbolic ploy to stroke my groundless opinion seems to be correct, you’re ...