Whittaker enjoyed the best season of his four-year career in 2016, taking 57 carries for 265 yards (4.6 average) and catching 25 of 33 targets for 226 yards, albeit without any touchdowns and no gains of more than 25 yards. The offseason departure of Mike Tolbert might have opened up a bit more work for the fifth-year back, but the Panthers then used the No. 9 overall pick on McCaffrey, who figures to dominate passing downs while also eating into some of Stewart's rushing workload. Whittaker's new two-year contract and ability to contribute on special teams should keep his roster spot safe, but he probably needs Stewart or McCaffrey to suffer an injury if he's going to have a significant role on offense.
Whittaker was rewarded for the best season of his career, in which he rushed the ball 57 times for 265 yards and added 25 receptions (on 33 targets) for 226 yards over 16 games. He proved himself to be a solid third-down back for Carolina and filled in nicely when Jonathan Stewart missed time due to injuries.
Whittaker enjoyed an early-season spike in his fantasy value after starting running back Jonathan Stewart suffered a Week 2 ankle injury. With Stewart sidelined until Week 6, Whittaker impressively gained 186 yards on 32 rushes and caught 19 passes for 164 yards through his first five outings. However, once Stewart returned to his usual workhorse role, few touches were left for Whittaker, as evidenced by his year-end totals. Despite his failure to find the end zone, the 2016 campaign was still clearly Whittaker's best as a pro, which should help him as he becomes a free agent this offseason. While that situation leaves some uncertainty around his fantasy stock, it's likely to continue to reflect that of a veteran change-of-pace tailback wherever he lands prior to next season.
Whittaker's yardage total was his most since Week 5, and he's now been handed three carries in three straight games. While that low usage doesn't inspire much confidence in his fantasy stock, Saturday's performance at least brought Whittaker's season average to 4.8 yards per carry.
Whittaker's 28 scrimmage yards marked his most since Week 5, but considering he's yet to get more than four touches in a game since then, his fantasy stock remains really restricted.
|P2||8/19/17||@ TEN||3:00 pm|
|P3||8/24/17||@ JAC||7:30 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ SF||4:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|