RB Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
HT: 5-10, WT: 235, Born: 3-21-1987, College: Oregon, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 13
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Mendenhall (71), S Johnson (72), Jonathan Stewart (73), V Davis (74), C Shorts (75)
Position: B Green-Ellis (63-RB25), R Mendenhall (71-RB26), Jonathan Stewart (73 - RB27), M Leshoure (76-RB28), A Brown (81-RB29)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: S Smith (66), B Green-Ellis (67), Jonathan Stewart (68), R Griffin III (69), J Jones (70)
Position: V Ballard (59-RB24), B Green-Ellis (67-RB25), Jonathan Stewart (68 - RB26), M Leshoure (76-RB27), R Mendenhall (79-RB28)
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2012 was not an auspicious year for Carolina's tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart - quarterback Cam Newton led the team in rushing with 127/741/8 on the ground, compared to 173/737/5 rushing and 20 targets for 13/187/2 receiving for Williams, the team's number two rusher last year. Jonathan Stewart (nine games played with 93/336/1 rushing and 17/157/1 receiving last season) struggled with injuries (again), sustaining a left ankle sprain that sidelined him from week 13 forwards. Stewart had corrective surgery on the ankle January 12, 2013. The team must have liked the outcome of the surgery as they renegotiated Stewart's contract in February, in which course Stewart received a $2.5 million signing bonus and got his 2014 $1.5 million base salary fully guaranteed. There is a lot of speculation swirling as of early May that Williams will be off the team sooner or later during 2013, leaving Stewart in possession of the starting job as a featured back. The running back depth chart in Carolina is in flux entering OTA/minicamp season. Williams has logged two 1,000+ yards-rushing seasons during his seven years in the league, with his best effort coming during 2008 (274/1,518/18 with 22/121/2 receiving), while Stewart has logged one 1,000+ yards-rushing effort while in Carolina (2009, with 221/1,133/10 rushing and 18/139/1 receiving). Neither player has been particularly effective for fantasy owners over the last three years - their extensive time sharing and the arrival of Cam Newton has combined to limit each back's production.
|2||at Buffalo Bills|
|3||New York Giants|
|5||at Arizona Cardinals|
|6||at Minnesota Vikings|
|7||St. Louis Rams|
|8||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|10||at San Francisco 49ers|
|11||New England Patriots|
|12||at Miami Dolphins|
|13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|14||at New Orleans Saints|
|15||New York Jets|
|16||New Orleans Saints|
|17||at Atlanta Falcons|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 2 - Jonathan Stewart looked fine in his return from injury, showing no ill effects in his cuts. Stewart hammered for yardage between the tackles and like Ingram, his Saints counterpart; he never went down without a fight. Stewart scored his touchdown on a 17-yard screen pass that was cleverly designed to commit backside defenders, allowing the offensive line to get out in front and pave his way to the end zone. Stewart is a good RB2 with RB1 upside in the correct match-ups.
Week 4 - Jonathan Stewart looked to get stronger as the game went on, running with his trademark power and displaying a refusal to go down. Although his touches were limited, Stewart managed to find more success running between the tackles than Williams, albeit Atlanta snuffed out such runs in the second half. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski pulled out all the stops in this game and had all three backs on the field at the same time on some plays. This was a difficult comeback game for Stewart to jump into, but he should have more opportunity in the coming weeks.
Week 5 - Jonathan Stewart was able to break off one run over 10 yards in this game – and that is perhaps the most optimistic thing that can be said about the Panthers’ rushing attack in this game. Stewart was not able to get into a rhythm and had two dropped passes on simple mental errors. Like his backfield mate Williams, Stewart also fumbled the football but was able to recover it. It was poor ball security on Stewart’s part, but credit must go to the defender who ripped it away aggressively. Stewart was more of a fixture on passing downs than Williams, but his costly drops could have him pulled from that role.
Week 7 - Jonathan Stewart was the primary back for the Panthers against Dallas, but apart from a carry for 20 yards on a zone read right up the gut, Stewart was fairly ineffective. However, this wasn’t totally his fault. Dallas’ defensive front did an excellent job of playing the run, from the boundary cornerbacks to the nose tackle. They consistently attacked blockers and forced Stewart back inside to their help. Stewart got a chance on the goal line on a toss play, but it was quickly diagnosed and blown up by Dallas. Stewart could have broken off a couple of bigger gains if he had been able to escape one tackler. The speed, power and moves are there – it just appears he is wasted in the zone read system. Stewart played the majority of third downs and registered three catches. He is the primary passing down back and should hold this role going forward.
Week 8 - Stewart got the majority of carries on Sunday, but was met with heavy resistance by the Bears’ defensive front and often found himself hit well behind the line of scrimmage. He was also the second most targeted receiver in the pass attack—though he was way behind Steve Smith, who Cam Newton targeted almost to exclusion. Even when Stewart did have a big gain, it was mostly due to his own skill. Several times even his skill couldn’t overcome the blocking in front of him. Case in point: during the second quarter, Stewart left the backfield and ran out to the flat, where Newton hit him with a short pass. Stewart had three blockers in front of him and only one defender. As he started running, one blocker ineffectively dove at defensive back Chris Conte’s feet, the second blocker ran past Conte completely, turning too late to do anything and the third actually managed to block another incoming defender. Stewart got nine yards on the play, yes, but could have gotten more had his blockers been on point. All credit to the Bears’ defense, who stayed in their gaps and plugged every hole, as well as won virtually every battle at the line but Stewart earned every yard and got very little help from his blockers.
Week 9 - Jonathan Stewart was again the primary ball carrier for the Panthers, with DeAngelo Williams scoring on the ground for Carolina. Stewart’s production came on some sweep plays when he was able to get the edge and punish defensive backs and linebackers pursuing him with his power. Stewart ran with good pad level and rarely went down on first contact. The Panthers generally kept Stewart in passing situations and he did a solid job in protection. Although Stewart only carried the ball 10 times, he ran hard and with a better game script and more balanced playcalling, he could have had a better day statistically.
Week 10 - Jonathan Stewart fought hard for every yard as usual against a Denver defense that was not giving up an inch. Unfortunately, after a promising start featuring several promising plays – including a 19-yard screen pass – Stewart’s usage tailed off due to the game script. The Panthers still made an effort to get Stewart the football even as they trailed, but the Broncos were equal to it. Stewart had a long reception called back late by a block in the back penalty – it would have gone for 40+ yards. Overall, Stewart is still the Panthers back receiving the lion’s share of the touches – he looks particularly dynamic in the screen game which, if the Panthers’ offensive line continues to struggle, should be featured prominently.
Week 11 - Jonathan Stewart had an injury scare in this contest and his return was called questionable at one time. However, he came back into the game following the ankle ailment and seemed no worse for wear. Backfield mate DeAngelo Williams gobbled up some of the carries Stewart would normally have gotten, however. Stewart was still the primary back in the offense from the get-go, although the Panthers continued to run zone read concepts, with Newton often misreading the unblocked defender, leaving Stewart to be tackled immediately for a loss. The Buccaneers’ number-one ranked run defense bottled up the Panthers’ rushing attack for the majority of the game, in truth. Stewart had very few clear rushing lanes, and when he did, he was tackled at the LB level. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, to his credit, went back to a more traditional running attack in the second half, employing I-formation and under center plays. Stewart plunged in for a touchdown on the 1-yard line out of the I, showing great second effort and leg drive. Stewart is the more potent receiver out of the backfield as well; the screen game is becoming more and more a part of Carolina’s offense. Stewart broke off a nice 30-yard play on a screen in the second quarter.
Week 12 - Jonathan Stewart got the starting nod in this contest, but failed to hang on to it. The use of DeAngelo Williams for the majority of the second half, including in passing situations – normally Stewart’s domain – could simply be a coach’s decision. Stewart was largely ineffective in the first half except on a handful of touches. He could have been off to the races on a slow-developing screen pass, but the pass was slightly off target and he dropped it. Stewart’s carries are still coming mostly out of a shotgun, spread look on zone read plays. At times, he looked a bit sluggish last night, which could be due in part to his lingering ankle injury.