Running back Jonathan Stewart was part of a serious shift in the offensive philosophy in Week 8 for the Carolina Panthers. According to Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer, the team didn't use a single true zone-read rush against the Chicago Bears. Prior to the game, the zone-read had accounted for nearly 60 percent of the team's running plays.
Stewart finished with 42 yards on 17 carries, enough to lead the team in rushing for the first time this season. Quarterback Cam Newton, who had led the team in rushing the last three weeks, ended up with 37 yards on five carries. The Panthers face the Washington Redskins in Week 9.
Fantasy Impact: Panthers coach Ron Rivera named Stewart the starter to help him get in a better rhythm but that was clearly tough to do against a good Chicago defense. Fantasy owners aren't going to get excited about 42 yards but it was encouraging to see Stewart get 17 carries heading into Sunday's game with Washington.
Stewart is a low-end No. 2 running back going forward and could have some solid games for fantasy owners the rest of the way.