I'm in the process of doing our annual projections (we get a head start on them before the draft, then tweak them after the draft), and I'm on the Carolina Panthers.
With the club passing on other RB options (aside from LaBrandon Toefield) in free agency, third-year RB DeAngelo Williams is about a month away from being the unquestioned, No. 1 RB for the Panthers. If that happens, Williams would vault into No. 2 Fantasy RB territory with the potential to be a No. 1. Take away any durability reservations you might have on him, and he's virtually a perfect running back. Small, quick, speedy, great field vision, very good hands ... Williams was a huge favorite of mine coming out of Memphis three years ago and I'd like to see him get a real chance to play.
But here's the cherry on top: In 7 games last season where he had at least 10 carries, Williams had at least 4.0 yards per carry in ALL SEVEN. Additionally, he's topped 4.0 yards per carry in 10 of 12 career games with at least 10 rushes -- the two he missed on were games where he averaged 3.9 and 3.7.
Could it be that the Panthers wanted to give Williams' body a 24-month quasi-break after being used so much in college? Could it be that they're ready to rev him up for the 2008 season?
We'll find out next month -- if the Panthers don't draft a running back, then Williams will be the top cat in Carolina.