The Carolina Panthers are looking a lot better on offense and have scored 30 points in three of their last four games. Plus, their D has also been hot with pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which has given their offense some good field position. The paradigm for most effective defense is to have a complement of a running game, so running back DeAngelo Williams has been a key part of that.
After a really busy start, he's starting to slow down a little. In Weeks 5-7, he averaged just 47.7 yards per game and had only 16 carries per game. The Panthers had a bye before that, and Williams was kind of cruising in Weeks 2 and 3 with 102.5 yards per game on 22.5 carries against the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants. Obviously, those two defenses aren't very good, so the numbers can be a little misleading.
Another interesting aspect is Cam Newton's disappearing act in the running game. Newton is averaging just 30 yards per game, 4.6 yards per rush and has only two rushing scores. Plus, the Panthers scoring more should help create more plays and overall offensive production.
As for the Panthers' opponent, one season after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the best rushing defense in the league, giving up only 82.5 yards per game while also ranking No. 1 by allowing 3.5 yards per attempt, they haven't really dropped off. The Bucs' pass defense still isn't quite up to snuff, but they rank fifth in the league in rushing yards allowed per game, fourth in the league in yards per carry and they're tied with Baltimore for the NFL-low of one rushing score allowed.
Williams is a bit of a risk, but given the way the Bucs aren't moving the ball and are in such turmoil, the Panthers could put up some points. He serves as a low-upside guy at the RB2 spot in both standard and PPR leagues.