Man these guys looked like Priest Holmes/Larry Johnson last night.
It's a nice RBBC to have from an NFL standpoint that's for sure. Williams has been performing like a stud lately, but Stewart is receiving a good chunk of carries as well when healthy. It makes sense that things are working out for the Panthers because they spent good picks on both of these guys, but you have to think at one point someone is going to emerge as the guy. Has Deangelo Williams done that and is he the long term answer? Personally, I thought Stewart was the much better back coming into the season and I still think that Stewart is too good not to get around 50% of the carries if he is a healthy option there. But Williams has really opened up my eyes and made me come back to why he was a top3 or 4 dynasty pick a few short seasons ago. The guy is showing his break away speed, but there are also some broken tackles and lanes he is taking that he wasn't just one year ago. Is Carolina's O-line that much better or is this guy just finally getting it?
I don't think there is a RB in football that has been playing as well as Williams has for the past half season. I still think he is a sell high in all leagues though considering how well he has done this season. Stewart is a redzone vulture and is an extremely talented RB sharing a good chunk of carries in a backup role. This guy is good enough to start on basically every team in the NFL, but an incumbent starter would keep him relegated to the role that we've seen this season. Even still, Deangelo Williams is only touching the ball 15 or so times a game on average. His long runs have carried him.
This is not a CJ/Lendale split occurring here, Stewart is touching the ball in a lot of different situations. Lendale comes in on the majority of goal to go situations and he does almost exclusively mop up and short yardage. I think Stewart is much more of a backup featured RB. If we are looking at roles, that is more of a Ricky Williams in Miami. And talentwise, Stewart and Deangelo each have a more even balance of speed/power to their game than either CJ/Lendale, so a lopsided split is much less likely with both healthy. I think both of these guys are featured RBs and they are being used in a committee system. Hard to argue with what works though when both players are having multiple 100/1 type games with 15 or so carries and even multiple games where they BOTH have those types of games in the same game...
Speaks volumes to the system in Carolina. What happens when the system is not working is the question. Earlier in the season when both are healthy Williams was sometimes only getting 10 carries a game. Later in the season when Stewart was banged up, Williams would get the 17 and Stewart was left with the 4. I think there is no question you continue to start Denagelo regardless of opponent this season, but next season when both are healthy could see a return to the 50/50 type split. Leads me to believe that if you can sell Williams for RB1 or even high RB2 value this offseason, you do it.