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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Carolina Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart

Howard Smith USA TODAY Sports

We are officially at the midseason mark for the Fantasy Football regular season. For some people, this is a time to celebrate a commanding lead piled up thanks to a skillful draft and a little bit of luck along the way. For people who had the misfortune of rolling up a subpar draft followed by a hard bite from the injury bug, this might be a time of frustration and desperate choices.

Unfortunately, we’re also at a point in the season where a lot of the easy plays on the Fantasy Football Waiver Wire are picked clean. If you’re desperate you’re going to need an out-of-nowhere play to pay off, or you’re going to need to grab a player now before demand for him shows up later.

Topping the list on players you might have forgotten about is Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. His double ankle injuries are an issue. Updated reports say that he is probably another two to possibly three weeks before he sees any game time again. The PUP restriction he is on currently requires the Panthers to suit him up by Week 9 or put him on season ending IR.

If you’re desperate enough to be thinking Jonathan Stewart, then chances are decent that there is someone on your squad that you can flush to make flier room for Stewart. If you’re in a keeper or dynasty builder league Stewart is a keen pick up.

The reality is that had Stewart’s ankles not acted up in the offseason the Panthers probably would have shipped DeAngelo Williams out of town. The Panthers can’t realistically shoulder the salary cap weight of carrying both backs in a backfield that is also crowded by Mike Tolbert.

So far this year, William’s production has a pedestrian 394 yards on 91 carries with 11 catches for 94 yards with zero touchdowns. Once Stewart is back and in game shape around Week 9 or 10 the smart money is that the Panthers will try to run him hard through the rest of the season. The Panthers need to see if he can take over and standalone next season or if they need to look another way.

If you’re fielding a bad season but still have playoff aspirations, grabbing Stewart now before he’s on anyone’s radar he might just be the spark you need to win some late games to make the playoffs.

Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ericbeuning or add him to your network on Google.