Panthers WR Steve Smith officially active; RB Jonathan Stewart scratched
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Panthers WR Steve Smith officially active; RB Jonathan Stewart scratched

There was never really a question of if Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith would play today against the 49ers, but rather how agile and effective he can be. We will get a look. Smith is officially active for the divisional-round playoff game. He didn't get in much practice time due to a sprained PCL.
On the other hand, running back Jonathan Stewart @Jonathanstewar1 is a surprising inactive. He went through full practice all week. Yet, he'll miss his four consecutive game due to a sprained MCL.

Fantasy Analysis:

You weren't starting Stewart anyway, but you don't ever see someone be unlimited in practice three straight days and then not play unless they are at the end of the roster. That is not the case with Stewart; he can be a valuable part of Carolina's rushing attack. There's got to be more to that story. Bump up DeAngelo Williams @DeAngeloRB and Mike Tolbert.
Smith should be avoided in fantasy playoff leagues. To produce a big game against the Niners' defense and with a nagging knee is going to take a gutty effort that Smith just might not be healthy enough to deliver today.

Charlotte Observer

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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