Mike Tolbert
Mike Tolbert
33-Year-Old Running BackRB
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Mike Tolbert in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Panthers in February of 2017.
More football left
RBBuffalo Bills
January 11, 2018
Tolbert indicated this week that he'd like to continue his playing career, Jadon Ceravolo of the Bills' official site reports. "I definitely have. I've got a lot of good football left in me, so we'll see what happens," said the veteran. "Obviously, I was on a one-year deal here and my contract is up."
Tolbert is a backup at best at this stage of his career, and even though his career traces back with coach Sean McDermott to Carolina, his production lacked enough (247 rushing yards, 3.7 yards per carry, one touchdown) that the Bills might be looking for more in the No. 2 and No. 3 running back spots, especially with starter LeSean McCoy soon crossing over the other side of 30. We'll see if the team gives him one more go-round, or if Tolbert is forced to find a specialty role with another franchise.
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Mike Tolbert lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Mike Tolbert
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Tolbert shuffles off to Buffalo on a free-agent contract for his tenth season in the league. The fullback was a surprising pick to the Pro Bowl last season. It does show his reputation as a short-yardage gainer and punishing inside runner, a role that is ready for him to assume with the Bills. It's hard to imagine too much fantasy upside here, but if Tolbert is used near the goal line frequently (something that didn't happen with regularity in Carolina) he could amass some in-close scores.
Tolbert has embodied the Panthers' penchant for pounding the ball in the running game for years now. Besides his zero-touchdown, injury-shortened 2014 campaign, Tolbert has scored 18 times in his four seasons in Carolina. Last year, the stocky yet shifty fullback took his 62 carries for 256 yards and one touchdown, and caught 18 passes for 154 yards and three more scores. At 30 years old, Tolbert could see rising second-year tailback Cameron Artis-Payne surpass his touch total this term, but along with quarterback Cam Newton, he should remain an appreciated short-yardage weapon for the Panthers.
The Panthers’ bulldozing fullback and short-yard specialist, Tolbert missed eight games during the middle of last season due to a slight leg fracture. Given the lengthy absence, Tolbert’s hit-or-miss fantasy stock disappointed, as the veteran failed to score at all, managing just 78 yards on 37 carries. Nonetheless, over the previous four seasons, Tolbert totaled an impressive 35 touchdowns, leaving room for optimism that he’ll rebound with a healthy 2015 campaign. Although he won’t see much burn outside of the red zone, Tolbert’s goal-line vulture role is conducive to a plug-and-play option in certain fantasy situations.
A punishing fullback, the 5-9, 245-pound Tolbert is the primary short-yardage back for the Panthers, causing no end of pain to the touchdown-starved fantasy owners of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. However, even with his heavy usage inside the five – 13 carries – Tolbert ended up with just seven touchdowns on the season to go with his marginal yardage totals. Not a guy who's going to give you a high YPC (just 3.6 last year), he's an entirely touchdown-reliant play for deep leagues who'll contribute some catches out of the backfield here and there.
Tolbert will again be the starting fullback for the Panthers and see short-yardage carries and catches out of the backfield.
Tolbert took more of a backseat to Ryan Mathews last year in San Diego, but he still totaled 923 yards with 10 touchdowns. He was clearly miscast, as his seven drops tied for the most among all backs, and he went just 5-for-18 at the goal line. Moreover, getting just 4.0 YPC on a Norv Turner led Chargers offense is far from exceptional. Despite being offered more money to stay in San Diego, Tolbert curiously signed with the Panthers during the offseason, where he’ll be shifted to fullback with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart on the roster.
Tolbert had never received more than 25 carries in a season before last year, when he got 182 rushing attempts thanks to Ryan Mathews’ injury problems. Tolbert took advantage, rushing for 11 touchdowns, as he went 10-for-18 at the goal line. Any lead back for Norv Turner’s San Diego offense would possess plenty of fantasy value, but it’s clear Tolbert is an inferior talent to Mathews, so he’s slated for a backup role in 2011. Tolbert will be one of the most important handcuffs, however.
Tolbert is the second string fullback in San Diego, which means that offensive touches will be few and far between.
Tolbert spent most of his rookie season as the starting fullback, but he seemed to fall out of favor with the coaches down the stretch and appears to have lost his job to Jacob Hester. But even if he regains his playing time in training camp, he is not a player that will ever touch the ball more than one or two times per game, so he should not be counted on in any fantasy league.
Tolbert is looking to make the squad as a fullback in his rookie season. The team is searching for a replacement for Lorenzo Neal after releasing him in the offseason, and Tolbert is in competition with Andrew Pinnock, who has been slow to recover from offseason knee surgery.
More Fantasy News
Set for reserve role
RBBuffalo Bills
January 7, 2018
Tolbert's teammate LeSean McCoy (ankle) is active for Sunday's playoff game in Jacksonville.
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Meaningful Week 17 action
RBBuffalo Bills
January 2, 2018
Tolbert carried seven times for 39 yards in Sunday's win over Miami while catching one of two targets for six yards.
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Modest role in Week 16 loss
RBBuffalo Bills
December 25, 2017
Tolbert carried the ball three times for minus-three yards and caught one of two targets for 11 yards during Sunday's loss to the Patriots.
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Could re-enter game plan
RBBuffalo Bills
December 18, 2017
Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said his decision between Tolbert and Travaris Cadet for the No. 2 running back role could change on a week-to-week basis, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
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Inactive Sunday
RBBuffalo Bills
Coach's Decision
December 17, 2017
Tolbert is a healthy scratch for Sunday's game against the Dolphins, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
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