RB Mike Tolbert, Free agent
HT: 5-9, WT: 243, Born: 11-23-1985, College: Coastal Carolina, Drafted: ---
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: M Floyd (215), E Royal (216), Mike Tolbert (217), J Grimes (218), T Bridgewater (219)
Position: C Anderson (208-RB63), J Rodgers (214-RB64), Mike Tolbert (217 - RB65), J Grimes (218-RB66), B Cunningham (223-RB67)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: Mike Tolbert (219), C Latimer (221)
Position: J Grimes (202-RB64), C Anderson (213-RB65), Mike Tolbert (219 - RB66), S Taylor (228-RB67), M Lattimore (232-RB68)
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Mike Tolbert, who was a valuable role player for the San Diego Chargers before joining the Panthers, has been an important player for the Panthers as well. In his second season with the team last year Tolbert handled 101 carries for 361 yards and five touchdowns, while snagging 27/184/2 receiving. He is the team's backup running back as well as a powerful goal-line option for the Panthers. Given Jonathan Stewart's fragility, Tolbert is likely to see a significant number of touches again during 2014.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Mike Tolbert spelled DeAngelo Williams at tailback but played full back for the most part, busting open a couple of holes for his backfield mate to burst through. Tolbert failed to gain any ground on his handful of carries, but credit belongs to the Seattle defense for their gap discipline up front.
Week 2 - A short dumpoff in the right flat went for no gain to Tolbert, ending on a nice tackle from LB Kiko Alonso. Tolbert leaked out of the backfield, cutting to the left, catching and running for an eighteen yard gain. Tolbertís first run of the game came with about 30 seconds left in the half, taking it up the middle for four and causing Carolina to use their final timeout. A handoff up the middle to Tolbert resulted in one yard and a first down, doing his job and moving the chains. A five yard pickup to Tolbert up the middle on first down, who continually carried out his assignments effectively. On his next carry, Tolbert showed some nice burst up the middle and picked up nine yards, further bleeding the clock in the fourth quarter. On the following play, Tolbert jammed it up the middle for two yards and another first down, moving the ball to the Buffalo thirty in time for the two-minute warning in the second half. On a key third down with 1:48 left in the game, Tolbert was given the ball inside. He needed five for the first, but only picked up four, and the Panthers decided to kick the field goal, putting them up six points with 1:38 left in the game. The door was left open for Buffalo with this conservative decision, and the game was over by the time Carolina could touch the football again. One will never confuse Mike Tolbert with Adrian Peterson, but heís a solid football player in the role in which he was used. He does whatís asked of him, and keeps drives moving in short yardage.
Week 3 - Ron Rivera boldly went where he hadn't often gone before with the score deadlocked at 0-0 in the first quarter, calling on Mike Tolbert to get the football on fourth and inches near the goal line. The former Charger obliged on the power play and, finding no joy where the run was intended to go behind right guard and right tackle, bounced it outside to pay dirt. Tolbert continued to see snaps on third down and did a solid job in pass protection, but saw no targets in the passing game. Apart from his touchdown, he was limited to a lead blocking and short-yardage role, seemingly his niche until, or perhaps more accurately if, Jonathan Stewart returns.
Week 5 - The bulldozing running back showed well on his handful of touches as the Panthers' rushing attack stalled against one of the league's better run defenses. Tolbert dragged a pair of tacklers with him on one impressive 20-yard run, bouncing a wham play outside with neat footwork before lowering his shoulders and powering forward. His role will remain as a short-yardage back.
Week 6 - Bruising back Mike Tolbert made the most of his limited opportunities against Minnesota, registering two touchdowns Ů one through the air and one on the ground. Tolbert was the beneficiary of a game script that saw the Panthers go out to a big lead, allowing them to pound the football between the tackles with the former Charger. Almost exclusively used in short yardage situations, Tolbert punished defenders with his hard-charging style and converted a key 4th-and-1 in the first quarter. Spelling DeAngelo Williams at the end of a long drive, Tolbert lined up alongside Newton in the red zone. Tolbert ran in front of Newton, allowing the quarterback to pitch him the football. A relentless Tolbert bulled through three would-be tacklers to reach the goal line. Later on, again spelling Williams in the red zone, Tolbert got the call to give the Panthers a 35-3 lead in the fourth quarter, penetrating the Vikings line with ease to put the seal on the win. The possible return of Jonathan Stewart off the PUP next week could return Tolbert to a full-back role.
Week 7 - Mike Tolbert found little running room against a ferocious Rams front seven that continued to stuff his rushing attempts for minimal or no gain. Although he managed to grind out some tough yards between the tackles late in the fourth quarter as the team chewed the clock, prior to that was largely disappointing for the short-yardage back. Tolbert got the call on the goal line in the second quarter to finish a long Panthers drive, bulling over the defensive line for a one-yard touchdown plunge. However, earlier in the game he was stuffed twice in the same situation. Tolbert continues to play an important role in the offense, but for fantasy purposes his week-to-week involvement is too unpredictable to count on.
Week 8 - Edging out the overall snap count over DeAngelo Williams 38 to 30, Mike Tolbert proved to be a real thorn in the side for Tampa Bay's defense, as creative play calling and straightforward power football won the day. Tolbert was relied upon more in the fourth quarter with DeAngelo Williams hobbled after a hit to his knee. Even earlier in the game, however, the bruising back was a fixture of the offense. Apart from one poor piece of pass protection that resulted in a sack, Tolbert was solid out of the backfield and excelled as a receiver. Newton's second touchdown toss of the game went to Tolbert, who leaked out into the flat off play action in the red zone. Tampa Bay linebacker Mason Foster was unable to get over to cover him in time, and Tolbert walked in for an easy score. Carolina's offensive line managed to blow open a few good holes for Tolbert, including a beautiful 22-yard scamper in the first half. Tolbert's role is likely to be de-emphasised when Jonathan Stewart returns, but it will be hard to ignore Tolbert's talent with how important a cog he is in this flourishing offense.
Week 9 - Mike Tolbert's role did not change much in this home divisional outing, with short-yardage touches and lead blocking still his bread and butter. The return of Jonathan Stewart - who only seemed to gain strength and confidence as the game wore on - will undoubtedly eat into Tolbert's touches, limiting his fantasy relevance. Tolbert managed to get into the end zone again, converting from three yards out by bulling his way between Atlanta defenders and looked strong on his short yardage touches, but he is a marginal fantasy factor.
Week 10 - With only a pair of rushes and a pair of catches to his name, Mike Tolbert appears to be returning to his full-back role for the foreseeable future as Jonathan Stewart's return all but puts an end to any lingering fantasy value he had. Tolbert performed well against the 49ers, being a nuisance as a pass blocker and run blocker and barrelling over Niners safety Eric Reid Ů knocking the defender out of the game - on a 17-yard catch and run. Tolbert made a crucial play late on after a Stewart fumble, dashing in to recover the ball as the Panthers looked to eat some clock. In a tight, physical encounter, Tolbert was limited to the grunt work. While he has a 50-50 chance of reaching pay dirt in an offense that has been scoring freely of late, he cannot be relied upon in fantasy leagues unless an injury occurs to DeAngelo Williams or Stewart.
Week 11 - The entire Panthers rushing attack was shut down early and often by a stifling Patriots front seven, with jack of all trades back Mike Tolbert bearing the brunt. Tolbert was limited to short-yardage carries as a change-up option, and sometimes got touches out of an option look, but the result was the same each time. Tolbert, normally a factor in the passing game, did not make a catch and was kept in to block in max protect looks against a Patriots defense that continued to send pressure.
Week 12 - Doing yeoman's work as a blocker first and foremost, Mike Tolbert and the Panthers offensive line, hard as they tried, were unable to blow open consistent holes against Miami. The Dolphins played excellent gap defense and kept contain quite effectively. Tolbert's best contribution on the ground was a late third down conversion on the game-winning drive as he powered through a couple of Miami tacklers to set Carolina up on the one-yard line. With so many mouths to feed in the Carolina backfield, it appears Tolbert will be left hungry.
Week 13 - Picking up the slack for an injured DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert displayed his usual 'bull in a china shop' running mentality, lowering his pads and gaining extra yards for fun against a Bucs defense that wanted no part of him. Contributing as both a runner and passer with equal effectiveness, Tolbert came alive in the second half, showing good patience against a disciplined Bucs front seven that filled rushing lanes quickly. He routinely trucked the first tackler and was given a handful of opportunities to convert with the Panthers set up in the red zone, one of which just came up short of the goal line. The Panthers' jack of all trades continued to showcase his crucial role in this offense.
Week 14 - The Panthers' Ždo everything' back took a back seat early on as the Saints offensive output forced Carolina into a pass-first offense. Tolbert was the recipient of a couple of check down passes as Newton had to release the football quickly under duress. Tolbert also contributed in the red zone, carrying the ball for a third down conversion and showing good body lean and power. However, that was to be the sum total of his contribution as the Panthers struggled to establish a rhythm offensively. x
Week 15 - With Jonathan Stewart nursing a knee injury, Mike Tolbert was responsible for all short-yardage and goal-line work. Tolbert had a tough time finding running room against New Yorkís second ranked run defense, but during the fourth quarter, Tolbert converted a 1-yard touchdown run. Tolbert was initially stacked up at the line of scrimmage, but a second surge from his offensive line thrusted him into the end zone. This scoring play gave Carolina a 23-13 fourth quarter advantage.
Week 17 - Playing a backup role to DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert played a larger role in the offense compared to last week with the Panthers keeping their cards close to their chest and trusting the defense to pull it out. Tolbert bulldozed past a few Falcons for a 17-yard charge in the waning seconds of the first half to set the Panthers up in the red zone. The play was power personified and trademark Tolbert. How the team chooses to handle the futures of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will play a large part in Tolbert's future.
Week 19 - Finding little room to run against a ferocious and disciplined Niners front, Mike Tolbert was limited to short-yardage work and spelling DeAngelo Williams. Tolbert got the call on third-and-short at the goal line as the Panthers tried to punch it in, but a good surge by San Francisco stopped him shy as they blew up a pulling guard's block.