Williams hurt by lack of receiving
Posted Jul. 03 at 03:49 AM
DeAngelo Williams was terrific last year, but I’m a little nervous about ranking him too high for 2009. For starters, Jonathan Stewart – their first-round pick last year – should play more in the upcoming, and he also appears to be a very good back. Stewart should be even better with a year’s experience.
I also worry about William’s lack of production as a pass catcher. They don’t throw many balls to him. He finished last season with only 121 receiving yards in 16 games. If he again isn’t used much as a receiver, that will hurt him in fantasy leagues where rushing and receiving yards are weighted equally.
Even last year, without much receiving production, Williams wasn’t as productive as you might think. He scored a bunch of touchdowns, but six running backs averaged more yards per game.
Carolina this year almost certainly will score fewer rushing touchdowns. Stewart almost certainly will score more of those touchdowns. And Stewart should also get a bigger share of the touchdowns.
It’s not hard to envision, therefore, that Williams – assuming he’s again a non-factor as a receiver – has a very good chance of not being a top-5 running back. He might not even rank in the top 10.
RUNNING BACKS AVERAGING THE MOST TOTAL YARDS, 2008
The top dozen yardage gainers last year among running backs who started at least eight games. This are PER GAME figures (Steve Slaton was a backup in week 1, for example, so those yards aren’t included). Shown are rushing, receiving and total yards.
Run Rec Tot
87 32 118 Steven Jackson
110 8 118 Adrian Peterson
106 3 109 Michael Turner
83 25 107 Steve Slaton
77 30 107 Matt Forte
93 14 107 Clinton Portis
95 8 102 DeAngelo Williams
74 27 101 Frank Gore
82 17 99 Chris Johnson
67 30 97 Marion Barber
69 27 96 LaDainian Tomlinson
67 29 96 Brian Westbrook
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