Fantasy Doc: Ward good to go for Steelers, fantasy owners

Posted Nov. 20, 2010 @ 12:35 p.m.
Posted By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the regular season is in full swing, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at

Hi there. Who do you like as the three main starters in my .5-point-per-reception league? I have Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Austin Collie, Deion Branch and Larry Fitzgerald. Also, I have Frank Gore, Reggie Bush and Ryan Mathews. Which two would you start? Thanks.

— Shaun

I have some answers for you, Shaun.

At receiver, I think you have to stick with Fitzgerald and Wallace for sure. Both have put up nice numbers and should continue to do so. It's close for the other spot, but I'd lean toward Ward when healthy. Both he and Collie are dealing with concussions right now, but Ward is the more consistent option when they're both at full strength. Branch is too hit-or-miss.

In the backfield, Gore is an obvious must-start, while the second spot is basically a toss-up. Bush hasn't played since Week Two with a cracked fibula. Meanwhile, Mathews has been a huge underachiever and has been hurt as well. Since Bush is due back this week while Mathews might not play, I'd give him the nod. He also has more value in a PPR league like yours. I'd trust him over the inconsistent Mathews at this point.

Hi Doc,
I'm on the bubble for a playoff spot in my league and could really use a win this week. Our league setup is three receivers, two running backs and one flex player. I'm planning to start DeSean Jackson and Lance Moore at receiver and Peyton Hillis and Keiland Williams at running back. For the remaining receiver spot and flex spot, I'm trying to decide between Hines Ward, Malcom Floyd, Mike Thomas and Javarris James. Our scoring is standard non-PPR. What are your thoughts?

— Dan

Well, Dan, for your WR spot I'd start Ward, who is expected to go against the Raiders despite a concussion last week. He hasn't had a great 2010 season, but QB Ben Roethlisberger looks his way often and likely will do so Sunday against a good pass defense. He's a good bet to score this week.

For your flex spot, I'm leaning toward Floyd. He has been out with a hamstring injury but will be back this week following the Chargers' bye. He should resume his role as QB Philip Rivers' primary big-play target, and he'll get to do it against a Denver pass defense that was torched last week by the Chiefs. I think San Diego will have an offensive explosion in this one, and Floyd could be on the receiving end of some big plays. He gets the slight edge over Thomas, who has been playing well but isn't much of a scoring threat.