RB DeAngelo Williams, Free agent
HT: 5-10, WT: 217, Born: 4-25-1983, College: Memphis, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 27
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: K Benjamin (107), DeAngelo Williams (108), D Bowe (109), C Hyde (110)
Position: B Pierce (100-RB37), K Moreno (102-RB38), DeAngelo Williams (108 - RB39), C Hyde (110-RB40), D McFadden (114-RB41)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D McFadden (117), DeAngelo Williams (119), A Boldin (120), A Williams (121)
Position: C Hyde (108-RB41), D McFadden (117-RB42), DeAngelo Williams (119 - RB43), A Williams (121-RB44), M Ingram (124-RB45)
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DeAngelo Williams led the Panthers' running backs in production last year by default - Jonathan Stewart missed 10 games last season due to his ongoing ankle woes and then a torn MCL in his knee (week 14), after only playing in nine contests during 2012. Williams managed over 1,100 yards combined with 201/843/3 rushing and 36 targets for 26/333/1 receiving during 2013. As usual, Cam Newton accounted for a hefty portion of the team's rushing yards and TDs, with 111/585/6 rushing to his credit - Williams simply doesn't get many shots at six-point plays as Newton is so effective around the goal line. Williams has publicly stated his concerns over facing 7-8 men in the box this year due to the lack of top receivers on the squad, saying 'I mean, I don't know where we go from there.' when asked about the wide receiver stable. He also stated on April 13 that 'I joked with people that my fantasy value went up after we got rid of our four receivers, but it’s the truth. I went from probably being drafted in the fifth and sixth round to being in the first round, me and Jonathan (Stewart) alike because we have no receivers.' The Panthers' line also suffered a huge loss when LT Jordan Gross retired, but the team drafted only one offensive guard this year and hasn't made much in the way of free agency moves to address the hole on the offensive line, either. Williams will likely see a lot of opportunities to carry the football this year, but whether there will be holes to run to is another matter entirely.
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Against a disciplined Seattle front seven, DeAngelo Williams had to fight for every yard. The 30-year-old made the most of what the piecemeal Carolina offensive line afforded him, with a greater emphasis on power blocks and more straightforward running plays evident in new offensive coordinator Mike Shula's scheme. Although a stubborn Seattle defense limited his gains, Williams showed good burst and was decisive to and through the hole. The black mark on Williams' report card, however, was a costly fumble in the fourth quarter. With Carolina driving inside the Seattle 20-yard line, Williams broke a run to the outside and looked poised to dash for the end zone. As he was spun around by a tackler, Seattle safety Earl Thomas punched the football loose. It was an excellent play by Thomas, but Williams should have been more aware and secured the ball against his body.
Week 2 - Williams’ first carry went up the middle for three yards on an inside give in which Newton read DE Mario Williams, and handed it off. After a missed Buffalo field goal, the Panthers started their second drive on their own 32 yard line. Another inside give to Williams netted 8 yards, but credit goes to the offensive line for opening up a nice hole. Williams’ next few runs were relatively uneventful, gaining no more than one yard each time. The streak of very short runs ended for Williams, when he “broke” one off right tackle for ten yards and a first. A recurring theme of Williams’ day was short gains on his mostly ineffective day. His next few gained no more than three, plodding ahead for more short runs. Ironically, his biggest gain of the day came on his next carry, running off right tackle for 21 yards, coming very close to exploding for a touchdown. After a Buffalo fumble, two consecutive direct snaps went to Williams in the wildcat, with Cam Newton lining up at wide receiver, went for two and seven yards, respectively. A continued slew of carries to Williams went for no more than five, continuing the day’s ground game narrative for the Panthers. A rare gain of seven yards went on an outside pitch to DeAngelo off right tackle, he moved the chains and seemingly put Carolina in a good position to come away with victory. Williams was far from spectacular on the day, in fact he looked very average. Only showing burst on well-blocked plays, he could have done much more to secure this victory for his team. It’s never a good idea to overreact to one game, but Williams looked like a complementary piece to the Panther offense. That may be all he has left in the tank.
Week 3 - Williams has shouldered the load admirably for the Panthers through the first three weeks. While he hasn't broken off any long gains per se, his down-by-down production has produced a solid 4.7 yards per rush. Early on against the Giants, the Panthers signalled their intent to take a page from the playbook of departed offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, running their version of the triple option. Newton, flanked by Mike Tolbert and with Williams behind him in the pistol formation, would fake the inside handoff to Tolbert, then keep the ball himself or pitch it out to Williams. The Giants were ill-prepared and Newton continued to capitalise on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul's aggression by pitching to Williams. Slow and steady gains were the story of the day for Williams until late on when he burst out with a 27-yard scamper, following some excellent blocking from the left side of the offensive line. In general, the Giants did a decent job to keep Williams to modest gains, but Williams was strong running after contact and eventually the Panthers' line wore down the opposition.
Week 5 - Against a ferocious Cardinals defense, DeAngelo Williams and the Panthers' offensive line could not establish any real threat of a rushing attack. Despite their lack of success Williams looked good on his carries, finding holes when they presented themselves and showing good balance and power between the tackles. With the ground game struggling, Williams became a factor in the passing attack, showing good patience and reading his blocks well on a 19-yard screen pass. The game script simply did not allow Williams to flourish as he might have on another day.
Week 6 - A workmanlike display from DeAngelo Williams to the tune of 64 yards on the ground and 53 through the air gave the Panthers offense a good platform to build from early on. Williams found few openings in the early stages, but steadily became more patient and got a better feel for proceedings, skipping through gaps and breaking the first wave of tacklers. The Panthers ran a few draw plays early on to try to discourage Minnesota's upfield rushers and Williams took advantage, finding space to weave past defenders on such runs. In truth, Williams could have had a two-touchdown day had he not been pulled in the red zone at the end of long drives. Mike Tolbert took advantage in spelling Williams, but the latter did the grunt work between the 20s. An interesting feature of Williams' role in this game was his involvement in the passing game. Newton looked to him often to check down when the pass rush got to him.
Week 7 - The stifling Rams front seven sold out to stop the Panthers' rushing attack in its tracks from the outset, crowding the line and taking away any potential cutback lanes for a frustrated DeAngelo Williams, who was continually stuffed for no gain. Despite the variety of running plays called, Williams failed to find many creases and was forced to take the two-yard gain up the gut rather than bounce it outside and risking a loss of yards. As usual, Williams was solid in pass protection, although he split those duties with Mike Tolbert, who was called upon over Williams at the goal line. Williams got involved on a 19-yard screen pass ñ a staple of the Carolina offense ñ late on, but that was his longest gain on a day defined by a suffocating Rams defensive front.
Week 8 - On only eight carries, DeAngelo Williams never truly got the chance to establish a rhythm, but looked good when he toted the football. The Panthers' offensive line created decent creases for him, but Tampa Bay's defense was quite solid against the run and kept Carolina in third down passing situations. Williams dropped a pair of passes out of the backfield, one of which he appeared to be out of sync with Newton, who expected his running back to sit down in a zone rather than continuing across the field. Williams' 12-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter was a thing of beauty. After a Newton audible at the line, Williams followed the down blocks of his left guard and center, cut it back ñ making two tacklers whiff in the process ñ and dashed into the end zone. It was Williams' first touchdown ñ rushing or receiving ñ of the season. Williams suffered a slight quad injury in the fourth quarter after a low hit, but seemed to be fine after the game. The impending return of Jonathan Stewart will likely eat into his touches, but this backfield is shaping up to be a three-way split going forward.
Week 9 - The return of backfield mate Jonathan Stewart did not significantly affect DeAngelo Williams' touches; rather, it was a stubborn Atlanta defensive front that stymied Williams early in this divisional game. Williams was utilised in the screen game early to good effect as Atlanta came after Cam Newton from the outset. With little room to run, Williams still made the most of his touches and was able to gain positive yards for the most part as he stayed patient. Reshuffling along the offensive line due to injury took the Panthers down to their third-string right guard, but that didn't seem to cause many problems. Williams got the call in the red zone, but once the Panthers got within five yards of pay dirt they turned to Mike Tolbert, who converted for his fourth touchdown of the season. As long as the Panthers remain a run-first offense and game scripts allow them to adhere to that, Williams will continue to prosper; it is the timeshare with Jonathan Stewart that may muddy the waters, however.
Week 10 - The former Memphis back produced the standout offensive play in a game defined by defense. Lining up offset to the left of Cam Newton, with Brandon LaFell in the backfield trio, Williams took a handoff on what was a well-conceived option counter play. Newton and LaFell moved right to draw the attention of the defense for a possible pitch out, but Williams cleverly followed his blockers left. The rest was all Williams, as he weaved past a couple of would-be tacklers, tight-roping the sideline and maintaining his balance beautifully to get into the end zone. The 27-yard touchdown was the longest play of the game for either team. Like his backfield mate Stewart, Williams was able to get what was blocked on the ground, but yards were tough to come by as a stifling Niners front seven continued to penetrate and set the edge well. In general, he was able to find a cutback lane when it presented itself and performed well in the Candlestick Park cauldron.
Week 11 - Despite the Panthers' efforts to establish the ground game early, it quickly became obvious that they would find little room to run against a Patriots defensive front seven that plugged every gap and played sound, disciplined football. DeAngelo Williams tried to bounce runs outside on occasion when his initial reads were taken, but each time the pursuit was good and the tackle was made. Williams contributed in the passing game as a check down option, but the credit for the lack of production can be chalked up to a dominant Patriots front seven rather than Panthers inept run blocking.
Week 12 - Like backfield mate Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams was unable to find any joy breaking off big runs against Miami, owing to their defense's good pursuit and excellent contain on the edges. Williams played only 31 snaps in this contest, but made the most of his carries, rarely being tackled for a loss. In general Williams was in on passing downs, picking up the blitz well and contributing a couple of receptions as a check down option for Newton. Williams was patient throughout in finding the small seams in Miami's defense, but this was a day the rushing attack just couldn't establish itself.
Week 14 - DeAngelo Williams returned to the offense after a week on the injury report and looked effective early on. Carolina tried to establish a rushing attack and had success against the Saints front seven with straightforward power football, Williams following his blocks patiently and taking what was there. Backfield mate Jonathan Stewart looked to have given the team a spark in the second quarter as he spelled Williams, but Stewart injured his knee as he was going out of bounds and did not return to the game. However, by that point the Panthers were firmly in catch-up mode, leaving Williams mostly as a pass protector and check down option - a role that resulted in little production for the former Memphis ball carrier.
Week 15 - Over the last few seasons, DeAngelo Williams has come on very strong during Weeks 14 through 17. With Jonathan Stewart nursing a knee injury, Williams did not disappoint. Williams was Carolina’s featured running back and turned in a signature performance by totaling 168 yards and 1 TD. Williams’ signature play occurred during the second quarter where he took a designed screen pass 72-yard for a touchdown. Williams displayed his excellent vision and open field burst as he followed his blocks. Of note, Brandon LaFell mauled rookie corner Dee Millner and easily drove him down field and out of the play. Williams had a lot of success against New York’s second ranked run defense by being patient and allowing play action to set-up his runs. Williams spun away from initial tacklers and kept his legs running upon receiving contact. Williams lost all short-yardage and goal line work to Mike Tolbert, but when Williams receives of 15 or more carries, he has shown he can be a dynamic player. New York’s defense has yielded several big plays over the last few weeks. Williams just added to the list of players that will post big games against this an increasingly pedestrian New York defense.
Week 16 - Against a stout Saints front DeAngelo Williams fought hard for yardage but found little joy. The Panthers offensive line sprung some decent blocks but each time it seemed the Saints defenders played their gap technique well and were there to foil any positive gain. Williams showed good speed early to get to the edge on a counter, and rarely shied away from contact, lowering his pads for extra yards. His best moment of the game - and indeed, the Panthers' offense best moment - came on a well-blocked 43-yard touchdown scamper at the end of the first half. Left guard Travelle Wharton pulled around to lead Williams through, with good kick-out blocks helping spring him. The play was so well executed that Williams was not touched on his way to pay dirt.
Week 17 - The best thing that could be said about DeAngelo Williams' performance was that he rarely had to settle for negative runs, although the Panthers' rushing attack failed to get any real momentum going in this divisional clash. Limited to 33 yards on 10 touches, Williams was stymied by a disciplined and swarming Atlanta front seven, but he ran hard between the tackles and showed good burst when a crease opened up. His speed was on full display on a 56-yard catch and run that resulted in a fumble. Cam Newton floated the pass out to Williams with blockers in front and the running back showed excellent vision to weave his way past Falcons and turn on the jets. He looked certain to score, but the ball was knocked out from the crook of his right arm and recovered by Atlanta.
Week 19 - In a forgettable outing for the Panthers' rushing attack, DeAngelo Williams was largely anonymous. The offensive line tried to establish themselves early, only for Williams to be stuffed for short gains or met at the line of scrimmage. The Panthers turned to option football to try to spark something positive, but the Niners largely kept this in check too. Williams had no opportunities to influence the game as a pass receiver either, as the Niners snuffed out screen pass attempts.