The stage was set Sunday for Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart to make up for his unproductive fantasy season. But all he did was deliver another dud.
With DeAngelo Williams out with a foot injury, Stewart drew his first start of the season this week against the Rams, a situation that should have resulted in a big day. But J-Stew never got going in the Panthers' loss, gaining a mere 30 yards on 14 carries.
Coming off a year in which he ran for 1,133 yards and 10 TDs and gained 5.1 yards per carry, hopes were high that Stewart would build on those stats. Instead, he has done practically nothing all season, running for 178 yards and one score in seven games and picking up only 2.8 yards per attempt. Overall, he has been a fantasy nightmare.
Although he claims to be healthy after constantly dealing with nagging injuries his first two seasons, something is clearly wrong with Stewart in 2010. While the offensive line deserves some of the blame for not opening up as many holes as in years past, Stewart also isn't breaking tackles or making anyone miss. It's like he has been running in the mud.
Even if Williams misses more time, owners in standard leagues can't trust Stewart in their starting lineup right now. He'll have to prove that he has turned things around before he earns back the confidence of the fantasy community.