The Panthers on Friday released RB Cameron Artis-Payne after 4 years with the team. He had re-signed in the offseason after finishing his rookie contract. The backup plan doesn't seem clear yet for Carolina, and the #2 RB might not even be on the roster yet. The "unofficial" depth chart on the team site lists Reggie Bonnafon -- a 2018 undrafted free agent -- 2nd on the depth chart. Carolina drafted Jordan Scarlett in Round 5 and signed Elijah Holyfield as a UDFA. All were following CAP into preseason games. It's Christian McCaffrey and then question marks, which can only help the starter's workload.
The Panthers released RB C.J. Anderson. After inking a 1-year, $1.75 million deal in May, Anderson carried just 24 times in 9 appearances with Carolina. His departure leaves RB Cameron Artis-Payne as Christian McCaffrey's backup.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart missed practice on both Wednesday and Thursday with a foot injury. His last carry in Week 16 came late in the 3rd quarter. It looks like he's in danger of missing this weekend's finale -- which, of course, is meaningless to the Panthers. Stewart's absence would leave Carolina's backfield to Cameron Artis-Payne and Fozzy Whittaker.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is active for today’s game against the Saints. He put in full workouts on Thursday and Friday. J-Stew is a RB2 with upside vs. the league’s 32nd-ranked RB defense. RB Cameron Artis-Payne is a healthy scratch today, leaving RBs Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert behind Stewart.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) has been ruled out for Monday night's game against the Bucs. HC Ron Rivera said Saturday that he feels "pretty comfortable" with Stewart being ready to return for Week 6. Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne will again share backfield duties this week.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera on Thursday ruled out RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) for this weekend's game against the Falcons. The fact that he was ruled out so early in the week is a good sign that he's not close to a return. Carolina has a Week 7 bye, and it's possible Stewart is held out through then. Cameron Artis-Payne operated as Carolina's lead back last week and is the backfield's best fantasy bet this week. Atlanta has allowed 4.8 yards per carry to RBs.
The Panthers' official website calls Cameron Artis-Payne the "feature back" while Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is sidelined. That's probably an exaggeration. Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert will also be involved. Artis-Payne averaged 12.7 touches per game with Stewart out last year. Expect similar volume in Week 3. That makes him just a RB3 or flex option against a stout Vikings defense.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera told reporters Monday that RB Jonathan Stewart will be out "at least a week or 2" with the hamstring injury suffered early in Sunday's win over the 49ers. His absence will leave the backfield to Fozzy Whittaker, Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert. Whittaker took over as the lead back after Stewart exited yesterday, carrying 16 times for 100 yards and catching 3 passes for 31 more. Artis-Payne has been a healthy scratch the first 2 weeks because he doesn't contribute on special teams. He figures to have a role as long as Stewart is out, though. So will Tolbert. Whittaker will be your best fantasy bet here but shouldn't be considered more than a low-end RB2. Carolina gets a solid Vikings defense in Week 3.
The Panthers have ruled RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) out for the 3rd straight week. Carolina will run with Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert leading the backfield against the Bucs, with RB Fozzy Whittaker also out. CAP is the best fantasy bet, but neither remaining RB looks particularly attractive.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Falcons. Carolina is wisely focused on getting him healthy for the postseason. Cameron Artis-Payne, Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker will handle backfield duties again this week. Artis-Payne is the best bet for touches and looks like a lower-end RB2 vs. an Atlanta defense that yielded 5.3 yards per carry to Panthers RBs a couple of weeks ago.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) was non-commital on his Week 16 status on Tuesday, according to insider Steve Reed. "I am trying to get back as fast as I can," Stewart said. HC Ron Rivera followed suit, saying he's "very comfortable" giving Stewart more time off and that he'll continue to "err on the side of caution." Fantasy owners shouldn't be expecting Stewart to play against the Falcons this weekend. That'll again leave the backfield to RBs Cameron Artis-Payne, Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) has officially been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Giants. We still don't have any clarity on what Carolina's backfield will look like with Mike Tolbert, Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne. It's a situation best avoided in fantasy lineups. If you wanna dabble, Tolbert is the best TD bet.
Panthers HC Ron Rivera said Wednesday that RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) won't play in this weekend's game against the Giants. The sprained foot is "not necessarily" an injury that will keep Stewart out beyond this week, Rivera added. The coach also said that RB Fozzy Whittaker "likely" will start, RB Mike Tolbert "also could start," and RB Cameron Artis-Payne "will get game action." Thanks, Ron. Carolina will run plenty against a subpar Giants defense, but none of the Panthers RBs is a reliable fantasy option.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (foot) did not practice on Wednesday. His injury isn't believed to be serious, but the 13-0 Panthers have no reason to rush him back. Stewart is probably worse than 50/50 to play against the Giants this weekend. That'd leave the backfield to some combination of Cameron Artis-Payne, Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert.
Panthers insider Joe Person reports that RB Jonathan Stewart's status for Sunday's game against the Giants is "unclear." Stewart sprained his foot last week, and the team will "err on the side of caution," according to Person. It sounds like Carolina might opt to hold Stewart out this weekend. And his snaps could be limited even if he plays. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation over the next few days. RBs Cameron Artis-Payne and Mike Tolbert figure to share backfield duties if Stewart doesn't play.
ESPN's David Newton reports that Panthers RB Mike Tolbert will factor into the team's plan to replace injured WR Kelvin Benjamin. That will include lining Tolbert up wide at times to run pass routes. Obviously, Tolbert isn't going to shift to WR full time, and Newton mentions his ability to line up at various spots, including at TE. But Tolbert's certainly capable of surprising receiving numbers, as he proved with 54 receptions for the Chargers in 2011. For his career, Tolbert has averaged an impressive 8.9 yards per catch and scored 8 receiving TDs. This guy's probably going to wind up with more fantasy starter weeks than just about anyone expects. We see him -- rather than rookie Cameron Artis-Payne -- as the 2nd Panthers RB to own behind Jonathan Stewart this year.
The Panthers believe rookie Cameron Artis-Payne is capable of stepping in as the lead back if Jonathan Stewart goes down. "He's a complete back," HC Ron Rivera said. "I watched games last year where he took games over. That's what you saw with [Todd] Gurley. That's what you saw with the kid from Wisconsin [Melvin Gordon]. And he played in the SEC. He played good, quality football against good, quality competition." Artis-Payne dropped to the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft at least in part because of mediocre measurables (5'10, 212 pounds, 4.53 40 time). But he busted out for 1,608 yards and 13 TDs on a 5.3 per-carry average in his final season at Auburn. Artis-Payne shouldn't have much trouble beating out Fozzy Whittaker, Darrin Reaves and Jordan Todman for the backup job behind the injury-prone Stewart.
The Panthers selected RB Cameron Artis-Payne in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL Draft. The Auburn product exploded for 1,608 yards and 13 scores on a 5.3 per-carry average this past season. He's well-built at 5'10 and 212 pounds and ran a decent 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. Artis-Payne isn't a homerun threat but gets upfield with nice burst. He could immediately step in as a change-of-pace option behind Jonathan Stewart in Carolina. His only competitors for that role are Fozzy Whittaker and Jordan Todman. Artis-Payne more than likely lacks the upside to emerge as a lead back, though.
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