DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers
After carrying 12 times for 67 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs, DeAngelo Williams (56% owned) is officially relevant again in fantasy circles, at least until Jonathan Stewart gets past his ankle issues. And while nothing is official, it sounds as if Stewart is at least a week away from being game-ready.
This week, the Panthers face an Atlanta defense that has been shaky against the run, allowing 121.3 yards per game on a downright shameful 4.8 YPC. We can only assume that Carolina’s gameplan will be to run early and often in the hopes of keeping the Falcons’ high-powered offense off the field.
The obvious disclaimer with Williams is that he’s in the midst of his worst NFL season. He’s got three total touchdowns and his 3.5 YPC average is a career low, but we wonder how much of that is a result of his reduced role in the offense. We wouldn’t be surprised if Williams is rejuvenated by the responsibility of being the go-to back this week. He’s not a sure thing, but we trust Williams as an RB2 this week.
Montell Owens, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
How many of you had Montell Owens on your draft boards back in August?
The big bruising veteran – who happens to be Jacksonville’s all-time leading tackler on special teams – began the 2012 season at fullback, and was a complete afterthought for fantasy owners. But a rash of injuries at RB has left Owens (15% owned) as the apparent starter when the Jaguars take on the Jets this Sunday.
Last week’s starter, Rashad Jennings, suffered a concussion during the Jaguars’ loss to Buffalo. Owens was solid in relief, picking up 29 yards on seven carries. Jennings hasn’t officially been ruled out for Week 14, but he didn’t practice on Thursday. Furthermore, we suspect that Jennings, with his 2.8 YPC average, might be behind Owens on the depth chart this week even if he was healthy.
Where Owens’ limited skill set and lack of experience as a ball carrier will give fantasy owners pause, his matchup with a Jets run defense should give them a degree of confidence. New York ranks 29th in rushing yards allowed (137.7 YPG) and has given up 12 rushing touchdowns in 12 games.
In a game that will not be easy on the eyes, having Owens on your roster just might make Jets vs. Jags worth watching. We see him as a low-end RB2, but one with some upside because of the matchup. If you’re in a pinch, you could definitely do worse.
Written by Aaron Schuldiner exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. For more great fantasy analysis, follow Aaron on Twitter @SheaLivesOn.