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Player Spotlight: Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles from some of the most established, respected members of the DLF forum. These articles may not always reflect the opinions the DLF staff, but they will always be high quality & thought provoking, and are intended to provide a platform for sharing the insights and opinions from some of the best ffb minds around. Enjoy! – DLF Staff

I think most will agree that Jonathan Stewart has the talent and ability to become the next elite RB in the NFL.  Playing for the Panthers may keep him from reaching that level anytime in the near future, however.  There are a lot of questions to be answered in Carolina, and how that all shakes out will determine the level of production for Stewart.  With three years left on his contract, he should finally have the opportunity to be the featured back in the offense.

First and foremost, we need to see DeAngelo find a new home.  Where this is all but a certainty, there’s no such thing as a sure thing in today’s NFL.  If Williams for some odd reason stays in town, Stewart remains as a high end RB2.  Assuming “Smash” finds employment elsewhere, “Dash” still has competition in Carolina.  Goodson took advantage of injuries to JStew and Tyrell Sutton and made a case to be a contributor to the offense moving forward.  He showed his ability not only running the ball, but in the passing game as well.  Some will make a case for a three-headed back field similar to what we’ve seen out of Dallas.  Sutton missed a golden opportunity with his injury and very well may have lost the back-up role to Goodson.  Don’t count him out yet, however, as he has the potential to be a productive member of the offense.

All of this, of course, is subject to change with a changing of the guard in Charlotte.  Ron Rivera finds himself as the new head coach after owner Jerry Richardson decided not to bring back John Fox for a 10th season.   Running back coach Jim Skipper also has been informed that he will not be returning to the team in 2011.  Rivera served as defensive coordinator for the Bears from 2004-2006, leading the formidable defense that helped the team reach the Super Bowl in the 2006 season.  He also led San Diego’s top ranked defense this season.  If he can turn the defense around, the Panthers may find themselves in more competitive games which will allow them to run the ball more often.  Pay close attention through the summer months to see how Rivera and his new regime approach the RB situation as I’m sure we’ll see some sort of committee with all of the talent they have in the backfield.

Sutton and Goodson could earn a prominent role if Stewart suffers from injury again.  He hasn’t missed much game time due to his injuries, but it still has its impact.  He’s missed the OTA’s in both of his first two seasons.  He had surgery before the draft in 2008 which kept him out, missing valuable time as a rookie.  He then dealt with a toe injury throughout his first season, which is said to have led to his issue with his Achilles tendon.  In week 9 of this season he collided with Darren Sharper, knocking him out of the contest and causing him to miss games against the Bucs and Ravens.  He needs to stay on the field or he may find himself labeled with an “injury prone” tag.

Assuming the new coach doesn’t move in a different direction at the quarterback position, they will implement a run-heavy offense as they continue to groom Jimmy Clausen.  The wide receivers fall short after Steve Smith, who has struggled over the past two seasons himself, and he’ll be 32 heading into next season.  Dwayne Jarret was thought to be the answer as the WR2, but he fell well short of expectations.  LaFell is an intriguing prospect, but the lack-luster offense made him a difficult player to assess in his rookie year.  As a whole, the team has large strides to make during the off-season to find itself as a viable offense in the league.  Stewart will see a direct effect in the success or lack-there-of from the rest of the Panther’s offense.

With the lead role, JStew should gain plenty of yards on the ground, even with defenses focusing in on him.  This season he’ll still be held short of top 10 RB numbers due to the offensive struggles.  The window is getting smaller to obtain Stewart before he reaches RB1 status.  He won’t come cheap as expectations are still high, but the price will go through the roof as he showcases his talents as the main back.  He’ll be a great piece for both contending teams and re-building teams as he will be only 24 heading into next season.

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Mike Cross
11 years ago

decent read. Id love to see one of these for DeAngelo, as there are more points to argue, and discuss.

Storm
11 years ago

Would you rather have JStew in the FLEX spot or DeSean as a WR2?

Allen
Reply to  Storm
11 years ago

Right this second DeSean Jackson, for sure if it’s PPR if things go right this year and DeAngelo Williams leaves town the future is very bright for Stewart. He’s got top 5 RB upside, it’s just the offense right now that is hurting him along with Williams. Maybe this year at least DeAngelo will be out of the picture.

Allen
Reply to  joebidwell
11 years ago

I agree with this but I did say right this second I would rather have DeSean than Stewart. If Williams leaves then I’d rather have Stewart.

Allen
11 years ago

Jonathan Stewart is my personal favorite project RB out there right now. Mark Ingram will be the other.

TheFlyingLineman
Reply to  Allen
11 years ago

So, I have a deal pending for my 1.1, which would include me giving up the 1.1, Forsett, Edwards and two future 2nd Round picks for Stewart/Goodson. Would you rather have Stewart, less the players and picks, or Ingram and retaining them?

Eric Dickens
Reply to  joebidwell
11 years ago

Joe, I’m proud of you for admitting that about Forsett 🙂

Allen Hooten
Reply to  TheFlyingLineman
11 years ago

Wait until you find out for sure that Williams is leaving. Last year for instance. I move S. Jackson and M. Crabtree for J. Stewart. That’s how much I believe in this kid. I’ve only bought into one other player like that in my like in my pay league and that’s Calvin Johnson.

Joey
11 years ago

How is no one talking about the injuries the Panthers had on their O-line??? i know they lost at least two starters and gross is an all-pro. also, it’s not like they had a stellar passing game with delhomme when dwill and jstew were running train a couple years ago

Joey
Reply to  Joey
11 years ago

jstew is going to explode this year.

Misfit74
Reply to  Joey
11 years ago

This.

Allen Hooten
Reply to  Joey
11 years ago

Stewart is going to explode this year “IF” DeAngelo Williams leaves. No DeAngelo Williams and they get a decent QB. I would say that Stewart is a lock for the top 10 at his position.

Misfit74
11 years ago

Stewart is one of just a handfull of running backs that I would send away the 1.01 for. No-brainer in getting both JStew and Goodson for those pieces.

Watch out for Forsett this year, though. Cable will get him involved enough to be an occasional Flex or RB3 play. I think Forsett and Goodson will have similar value to each other in 2011.

That said, take that deal. 😉

Misfit74
11 years ago

Are there really two Allen’s? Who is the other? Mine is Allen and spelled the same way.

Allen Hooten
Reply to  Misfit74
11 years ago

There sorry about that.

Clint
11 years ago

No doubt stewart has elite talent, I think only Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson(speed), Jaamal Charles, and AP have more talent. With that said it is just a matter of time before jstew is a top three fantasy back, now is the time to nab him!!!!!!!

Allen Hooten
Reply to  Clint
11 years ago

I don’t know at top 3 in PPR’s because he’s not much of a catcher, but pure RB skill. He’s right a notch below AP imo. Production only leagues, GET HIM NOW, PPR’S GET HIM NOW, but I personally would not expect top 3 at his position in PPR’s.

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