Cameron Artis-Payne has a legitimate chance to carve a role in the Panthers’ offense this season. While not a versatile threat, he’s a compact, powerful runner who was very productive at Auburn a year ago, averaging 5.3 yards per carry on his way to 1,608 yards total on the ground. He added 13 touchdowns and his low center of gravity helps him in short yardage situations.
The 5th-round rookie will get an opportunity behind Jonathan Stewart with DeAngelo Williams shipped off to Pittsburgh. He will have to beat out Fozzy Whitaker, who played well in a limited capacity last season, but Artis-Payne could find a way to crack the lineup in a complementary role to the oft-injured Stewart as a means to grind the clock out and take advantage of his ability to churn out tough yards. Stewart’s injury history also makes backup running backs in Carolina always intriguing.
He’s a powerful runner, but only caught 14 passes in college and is a year behind Whitaker in picking up the Panthers offense. Artis-Payne will need to work his way up to second on the depth chart to be of any fantasy value, and even then, he has no chance of winning a starting job over Stewart.
Artis-Payne should be considered a late-round flier or Stewart handcuff if he can beat out Whitaker in training camp. However, the most likely scenario if Stewart gets hurt again is that both backups get time on the field and limit each others fantasy value. Keep an eye on Artis-Payne's snap count, but he should stay undrafted at this point unless you have a very large roster and can afford to stash two handcuffs for Stewart.