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NFC South Blog

Our NFL News, Rumors and Commentary for the Falcons, Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers.
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Falcons HC confirms WR Julio Jones will be a game-time decision

Falcons head coach Mike Smith said earlier this week that he expects Julio Jones to play in Week 16. Today, he kind of backtracked from that proclamation. He told the media that he will make a decision as to whether or not his star wideout will play against the Saints at 10:30 a.m. Central on Sunday.


Panthers QB Cam Newton returns to practice

Cam Newton is officially on the comeback trail following last week's car accident. Newton practiced Wednesday for the first time since the wreck and split first-team reps with backup Derek Anderson. Newton didn't play in Week 15 due to the two broken bones in his back that were a result of the accident on Dec. 9. The Panthers will host the Browns in Week 16.


Falcons WR Julio Jones' Week 16 status unclear


Falcons expect WR Julio Jones to play in next game

Falcons head coach Mike Smith said Monday that he expects star wide receiver Julio Jones to play Sunday against the Saints. Smith said Jones, who was held out of Week 15 due to a hip injury, has been recovering well and improving since initially suffering the injury during his 259-yard effort in Green Bay the week prior.
Jones has 1,428 yards in 13 games this season.


Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 15?

Nervous yet?

Week 15 represents the semifinals in most leagues. Today is for a chance to play for that brass ring. As such, many owners probably spent a lot of hours this week parsing over every bit of information available, dissecting matchups and breaking down statistical trends. A response: Don't overthink it. That's a difficult concept to comprehend with so much on the line, but the reality in fantasy is that this week is really no different than the previous 14. The reward for winning is greater, but that doesn't mean you have to make drastic changes to your strategy. You were trying to win before the fantasy playoffs and now you're trying to win in the fantasy playoffs. Do what you've been doing to get here. Nothing else matters. Keep deploying the best lineup you have and understand that once those kickoffs begin, it's all out of your hands.


UPDATE: Falcons WR Julio Jones runs at practice Saturday; game-time decision

Updating yesterday's report, Jeff Darlington is reporting that Falcons WR Julio Jones ran at practice Saturday and will test his hip out Sunday during warm-ups. He's a true game-time decision for the Falcons game with Pittsburgh.


Falcons WR Julio Jones unlikely to play Week 15

Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter reports that it's unlikely Julio Jones plays in Week 15 and that if he did, he'd just be a decoy. Jones injured his hip late in the Falcons loss to Green Bay in Week 14.


Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams 'probably' won't play Sunday

Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams practiced Thursday for the first time since breaking his right middle finger in Week 13. But it may not do him any good in regards to this weekend's game versus the Buccaneers. Head coach Ron Rivera said Thursday that Williams will "probably" miss his second consecutive contest due to the injury.


Panthers QB Derek Anderson will draw the start Sunday

Following Cam Newton's car accident Tuesday, which resulted in two fractured transverse processes in his back, the Panthers have announced that QB Derek Anderson will start Sunday versus Tampa Bay. The team has referred to Newton's status as day-to-day, leaving open the possibility that he will return in Week 16.


Who's in and who's out of the early games in Week 14?

You know what time it is.

To help you survive and advance today, this post will provide all of the information regarding this morning's actives and inactives. Among the names we'll be tracking this morning are Isaiah Crowell, Rashad Jennings, Justin Forsett, DeSean Jackson and Greg Olsen, to name a few. Follow along with this post and refresh it consistently starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern for all of the pertinent info.

-- Giants RB Rashad Jennings is active. However, Andre Williams will start, and Jennings is expected to play only on passing downs. Thus, Williams makes for a decent RB2 in a great matchup. Jennings should be avoided as he may not see more than a few touches. The Titans have allowed more than 800 rushing yards over their past five games.
-- Browns tight end Jordan Cameron has tweeted out that he will be active today. It will be his first game played since sustaining a concussion in Week 8. He's worth a shot against a defense that is allowing the third-most fantasy points to TEs.
-- Panthers TE Greg Olsen is active despite a knee injury. He's a fine TE1 against the Saints.
-- Redskins WR DeSean Jackson is inactive because of his bruised fibula. He didn't practice at all this week. Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed will see all of the targets they can take today versus the Rams.
-- Ravens RB Justin Forsett is active. He was limited during the week because of an ankle injury, but he should see a healthy workload against the Dolphins' struggling run defense. He is a low-end RB1. Lorenzo Taliaferro will probably see a few more carries than normal.
-- Torrey Smith is also active for the Ravens, but reports have stated that he was sporting a noticeable limp during pregame warmups and was wearing a wrap over his injured knee. He is listed as probable on the injury report, but that doesn't seem to tell the story now. He's suddenly a risky WR2/3 versus the Dolphins. Marlon Brown will probably pick up some extra snaps to take some of the pressure off of Smith.
-- Reggie Bush is active for the Lions. He shouldn't be in your lineups in this playoff week. Lions RB Joique Bell will still lead this backfield.
-- Isaiah Crowell is active for the Browns. He has a hip injury, but he should be the bell-cow back versus the Colts' below-average run defense. It's worth nothing that Terrance West and Shaun Draughn are also active. Crowell looks like a high-end RB2.
-- For the Titans, QB Zach Mettenberger is active after spraining his throwing shoulder last week. However, WR Kendall Wright is inactive because of a cracked bone in his hand. No Titans offensive player is a recommended start against the Giants. RB Shonn Greene is a healthy scratch.
-- Dolphins tight end Charles Clay after missing last week's game due to knee and hamstring injuries. He's more of a TE2 today versus Baltimore.
-- Bucs RB Bobby Rainey is inactive. We'll see if Charles Sims get some more work versus the Lions, but the matchup is really tough. He should be on your bench.
-- Khiry Robinson is active for the first time in several weeks. He had been sidelined by a forearm injury. He'll chip in to New Orleans' backfield along with Pierre Thomas, but Mark Ingram is still a fine RB2 in a favorable matchup versus the Panthers.
-- Colts TE Dwayne Allen is back from his ankle injury. He's been a touchdown-or-bust tight end for most of the season, and that probably holds true for this week. But he's a fine TE1, and Coby Fleener's value takes a big hit.
-- Lions WR Calvin Johnson is active. He'll continue to be rested routinely during the practice week, but he's fine.
-- Steelers RB Dri Archer is a healthy scratch.
-- Dolphins WR Brian Hartline is active after leaving Monday's game early due to a knee injury. He is a WR5.