2013 Fantasy Football - A Deep Look at Running Back Kenjon Barner
Sunday, October 6, 2013 will mark the NFL debut for Kenjon Barner, and fantasy owners should pick him up immediately. Everything you need to know about Barner can be found below-- the bottom line is that he is likely to make little impact over the next few weeks, but watch out when he does, because he will take the NFL by storm.
Kenjon Barner played in 49 college games for the Oregon Ducks, where he was in an offense that catered to his talents. At the NFL Combine in 2013, Barner was listed at 5’9” and 196 lbs. He is a scatback-type all-purpose running back who can rush and catch passes. At Oregon, he impressed in all four years, albeit in limited time prior to his senior year while he split touches with former teammate and current NFL running back LaMichael James. On seizing the role as a senior, Barner dominated the running game, racking up 1767 yards and averaging a ridiculous 6.4 yards per carry. He also was seventh in the country with 21 rushing touchdowns.
The Carolina Panther ground game is presently among the most stable in the NFL, largely due to the influence of DeAngelo Williams, who has been very impressive carrying the load through the first three weeks of the season. Throughout Williams's career spanning 99 games, he has averaged a little over 12 carries per game. In 2013, Williams has logged games of 17, 22 and 23 carries respectively, which represents a substantial increase over his career average. He is on pace to see his highest workload-- in excess of 330 carries-- since 2008 when he maxed out at 273 carries. Also in the conversation is Jonathan Stewart, another Oregon running back who was drafted just two seasons after Williams was. Stewart is currently on IR and due back mid-season. He was brought in to share time and workload with Williams, and the tandem did quite well. Also on the Carolina depth chart is Mike Tolbert. While Tolbert is listed as the fullback, he has more career games as a running back despite weighing over 250 lbs.
Into this picture comes Kenjon Barner, fresh off the bye week, and far from the bruisers that the other backs in Carolina are. If utilized correctly, Barner can be a dynamic weapon for Cam Newton. Looking ahead at the schedule, Barner will have a tough time against Arizona in his first game, followed by at Minnesota. But beginning October 20th, the schedule begins to favor the Panthers. It starts with a home game against the Rams which could just be a breakout game for the rookie. Could Barner flame out? Of course, but the risk of owning a bench player with this much upside is well worth the reward.
Make sure to check out our full RB depth charts for information on all the RBs in the league. Our Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups Blog also has a ton of good RB info and recommendations to help you win your league in 2013.