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Fantasy Doc: Surging Stewart suddenly intriguing

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By The Fantasy Doctor

Now that the fantasy playoffs are here, the Fantasy Doctor will be making regular house calls, answering readers' fantasy questions each Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Send your questions to the Doc at fantasydoctor@pfwmedia.com.

Doc, a little help please. I've got LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Miami, Tashard Choice vs. the Eagles and Jonathan Stewart vs. Atlanta, whom would you start? It's a big week, and I need some of your wisdom. Thanks!

— Jeremy


That's tight call among those three, Jeremy. That's why I have to recommend the guy who'll be getting the most carries.

While both L.T. and Choice will be splitting time, Stewart is going to have the backfield mostly to himself when the Panthers take on the Falcons Sunday. J-Stew has been on fire, running for 190 yards and a TD over the past two weeks, and he should see the lion's share of the work this week. Even though Atlanta is fairly solid against the run, I expect him to be productive as the offense's best option.

It's amazing how many questions I've received about Choice this week. Like I mentioned earlier, I think he'll split carries fairly evenly with Felix Jones Sunday and is worth a flex play in larger formats. I'm not high on L.T., though, as his numbers have been tailing off lately and he has a difficult matchup with the Dolphins. I'd leave him on the bench.

Doc,
Our playoffs start this week and I need to set my lineup (two RBs, two WRs, one flex). I have Ray Rice, Matt Forté, and LeGarrette Blount at RB. My WRs are Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks. I am leaning toward Rice and Forté at RB and Colston and Bowe at WR with Maclin as the flex. I am unsure with Nicks coming off injury, but the Forté/Blount call is a struggle. Help and thanks!

— Doug


These are some interesting choices, Doug, as none of your options looks like a bad play this week.

Since you have to eliminate some of them, though, let's start at RB, where you have Rice, who I think you have to start at Houston, and two other solid backs. Why not start them both? I definitely like Blount this week, as he is coming off a 100-yard outing and is taking on a Washington defense that is giving up a league-high 5.0 yards per carry. I see him getting lots of action and performing well in this one. But I also like Forté this week. His performance has been much better lately, and he should be busy if weather is major factor at Soldier Field Sunday vs. the Pats. I'd give him a start in your flex spot.

For your two WRs, I'd say to go with Colston and Maclin, who both should have good days in favorable matchups. I know that means benching Bowe, but the fact that he has to face the Chargers' No. 1-ranked pass defense with QB Brodie Croyle starting scares me. And Nicks probably isn't going to play a full game in his return from a leg injury. In the fantasy playoffs, it's best to go with your most reliable players.

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