The Carolina Panthers and fantasy football owners with have DeAngelo Williams back in the starting lineup in Week 9 and he is a better start pick at RB over Jonathan Stewart for the game against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, while Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen are the top players coming in for Cam Newton as the NFC south division rivals matchup.
Williams comes into the game listed as probable and he is expected to start after missing time while dealing with an ankle injury. Williams coming back is big for fantasy owners and he will likely split some carries with Jonathan Stewart in the game. Williams could be in line to get more touches than Stewart and that makes him a batter starter on Thursday night against the Panthers. Williams has played in just two games this season, but that means he will be refreshed coming into Thursday night.
Williams has 25 carries this season for 106 yards and in his last game he had 11 carries for 34 yards against the Ravens. Last season Williams missed just one game and over the past three seasons that's the only game he has missed and fantasy owners hope he will be back for good this season. If Williams can get going as he comes back that will be huge for the Panthers offense and also very good for Cam Newton, as teams have been able to stack the line against Carolina this year.
Stewart comes in after rushing for 79 yards against the Seahawks last week and he also caught three passed for 15 yards in the game. Stewart has missed time as well, but he is back and has looked good over the past couple weeks, getting double digit carries and going over 100 yards combined in those games. Stewart played in just six games last season and nine the year before that and if he can stay healthy he will beat those numbers and he easily should get over the 336 yards he had two years ago.
Newton has been having an up and down season and he has just eight touchdowns with four picks and 1643 yards passing. Newton has missed one game and this could be his chance to have a big performance, as the Saints defense has been giving up a ton of yards this season. Newton has 214 rushing yards and that is about on pace where he was last season and he is down a bit from where he was two years ago. Newton has not had a 300-yard passing day this season and he has not thrown for more than two touchdowns in any game as well.
Kelvin Benjamin is coming in after another solid game and he has been the most consistent player for Newton this season. Benjamin has five of those eight touchdowns and he has been one of the best rookies with 38 catches for 571 yards this season. Benjamin comes in after making four catches last week for 94 yards against the Seahawks and he has scored twice in the past three games. Benjamin had a stretch with four touchdowns in five games and he will be looking to add another one on Thursday night.