NFC South Blog
Some of you will be playing for fantasy titles in Week 17, but for the majority of us, this is the end. Championship Sunday is here, and it's time to be what this day is all about in fantasy football: A champion. Good luck to you all. To help your efforts, we'll be tracking this morning's game-time decisions and giving you the latest as the official inactives reports come out around 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Some of the bigger names we're tracking include Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins. Go get that ring!
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.