Falcons Fantasy News

Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 6:11pm

Falcons WR Julio Jones (illness) did not practice Wednesday. This shouldn’t impact Jones’s status for Week 12.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 9:06am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Slow starts offensively are becoming an issue for the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton.

During a five-game losing streak the Panthers (3-7-1) have scored only 26 points combined in the first three quarters, an average of 5.2 points per game.

They had only three points through the first three quarters of Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, who came into the game with the worst rated pass defense in the NFL. The Panthers scored a combined 48 points in the fourth quarter, including 28 the past two weeks against Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Newton hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in the first three quarters since a 3-yarder to Kelvin Benjamin six games ago in a 37-37 tie at Cincinnati.

Fantasy Impact:

The story goes on to say over the last five games, Newton has no touchdowns and five interceptions in the first half. In the second half, he has five touchdowns (all in the fourth quarter) to three interceptions. Newton’s passer rating this season is 80.3, worse than every quarterback except Oakland rookie Derek Carr (76.0), Minnesota rookie Teddy Bridgewater (75.0), Jacksonville rookie Blake Bortles (72.2) and New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (65.6). With a bye in Week 12, the hope for Newton owners is he can heal and come back strong for the final stretch of the fantasy season. But owners are likely finding it tough to trust him and may have already moved on.

Falcons RB Antone Smith (broken leg) placed on IR

Monday, November 17, 2014, 3:00pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Atlanta Falcons placed explosive running back Antone Smith on season-ending injured reserve after he suffered a broken leg in Sunday's 19-17 win over Carolina.

Smith suffered the injury while on the punt-coverage unit early in the fourth quarter. He had to be helped off the field and was on crutches following the game.

The loss of Smith takes away one of the Falcons' most dangerous offensive weapons. He currently is tied with Roddy White for the team lead with five touchdowns. Smith also was one of the Falcons' best special teams players.

Fantasy Impact:

The loss of Smith likely means more opportunities for rookie running back Devonta Freeman behind starter Steven Jackson and backup Jacquizz Rodgers. The team has already expressed interest in bringing back Smith.

Browns players expect Josh Gordon to step right in

Monday, November 17, 2014, 9:29am

Chronicle-Telegram - [Full Article]

WR Josh Gordon’s arrival couldn’t come at a better time for Cleveland, which hasn’t scored more than three touchdowns in a game since Oct. 12, and badly needs a psychological boost after its run of major injuries.

“I don’t know if you can just walk back in and be functional, but that’s something we’ll see and plan accordingly around,” HC Mike Pettine cautioned. “(Josh) has missed around 75 to 80 days and 10 games and a preseason game, which is a significant amount of time not having contact and being apart.”

Austin, though, has no such concerns, saying he expects Gordon “to come in and hop right on board.”

Nor does QB Brian Hoyer, who plans on getting the NFL receiving yards champion back in the groove immediately. While Gordon can’t cure all of the team’s ills by himself, he can be a difference-maker over the final six games.

Fantasy Impact:

While Pettine seemed a little more reserved about it, the players think Gordon will have an immediate impact. With defenses having to pay attention, it could very well help the Browns running game. But it sounds like Hoyer wants to get Gordon involved right away, and who can blame him for that. We'll see where Gordon stands when our rankings come out later this week, but for owners who have kept him all this time, it's going to be tough not to get him in lineups in a juicy matchup against the Falcons.

Panthers turn to RB Fozzy Whittaker during key parts of fourth quarter

Monday, November 17, 2014, 8:44am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Panther RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart stood on the sideline and watched.

The Carolina Panthers were mounting a fourth-quarter comeback in Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, and their running backs that count more than $10 million against the salary cap were nothing more than spectators.

On the field for two straight series -- three if you go back to Carolina’s last series of the third quarter -- was journeyman Fozzy Whittaker.

It seemed odd. Asked about it, Carolina coach Ron Rivera didn’t offer much insight.

"We have a nice trifecta of running backs," he said.

Fantasy Impact:

The story went on to say that perhaps the Panthers saw something in Whittaker’s 46-yard second-half kickoff return that made them believe he could offer a spark. Or perhaps this is a sign Carolina is close to turning the page on "Double Trouble." For neither to be on the field during a crucial part of a game raises questions about whether they in the plans for 2015. Williams is the most likely to be gone. He has one year left on his deal. Because of an option bonus that would have to be exercised between the first and fifth day of next season, odds favor him being cut. From a fantasy perspective, this was already a situation to stay away from outside of Williams and Stewart possibly having some flex value in lineups.

Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm

Falcons WR Harry Douglas (foot, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 11.

Friday, November 14, 2014, 6:06pm

Falcons WR Devin Hester (ankle, questionable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is questionable for Week 11.

Browns OC: 'We'll make sure to work' to get WR Josh Gordon the ball

Friday, November 14, 2014, 9:28am

Chronicle-Telegram - [Full Article]

Shanahan has said repeatedly that his scheme is designed for the quarterback to throw to the open receiver and not force the ball to a target, but he acknowledged Thursday the lure of Gordon.

“I can’t wait to get him back, looking forward to it,” he said. “And as soon as he’s ready to go, we’ll make sure to work to get him the ball.”

Shanahan said his entire focus is on figuring out how to move the ball and score Sunday against Houston. He’ll soon turn his attention to the best ways to take advantage of Gordon.

“I’m aware of how good Josh is and what he did last year and how talented he is,” Shanahan said. “So (I’m) as excited as anyone to get him back. But it’s definitely not something I’m thinking about until very early Monday morning when I wake up.”

Fantasy Impact:

There were some raised eyebrows last week when GM Ray Farmar said that Gordon would have to fit in to the offense, but Shanahan is keenly aware of his talent and ability to help his offense. He won't be the safest start in his first game back, but given his 2013 production and his matchup with a shaky Falcons pass defense, Gordon will be startable in Week 12, provided he has a solid week of practice and is in good physical condition.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Stewart should be fine for a great matchup against the Falcons. Of more interest is the status of DeAngelo Williams. He’s expected to play, but is still missing practice. Stewart would be a Sneaky Start if Williams is out or limited.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm

Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (foot) missed practice again Thursday. Williams has been dealing with an ankle injury for the last couple of weeks, though HC Ron Rivera said that he expects him to practice on Friday. If he’s not able to play, Jonathan Stewart would be a terrific Sneaky Start against a shaky Falcons rush defense.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm

Falcons WR Harry Douglas (foot) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:29pm

Falcons WR Devin Hester (ankle) returned to limited practice reps Thursday after missing Wednesday practice.

Panthers QB Cam Newton: 'Yes, I'm hurt.'

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 3:06am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Panthers QB Cam Newton, who has battled rib and ankle injuries this year and now reportedly has a foot injury as well, confirmed today that he is, in fact, hurting.

“Hurt is hurt. If you’re asking me, am I hurt right now? Yeah, I’m hurt. I haven’t, you know, felt 100 percent in a long time,” Newton told reporters today. “You ask me a question, is Cam Newton hurt? Yes, I’m hurt. And that’s all honesty. But can I play? Yes, I can play and I will be playing. It’s mind over matter.”

Fantasy Impact:

Anyone watching can see that Newton isn't 100 percent, but he still managed to throw a couple of touchdowns against the Eagles. He has another favorable matchup this week against the Falcons and is a difficult player to bench given his upside in any given game.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 5:52pm

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced fully Wednesday. RG3 should be fine for a great matchup with the Bucs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 5:52pm

Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle) took limited practice reps Wednesday. Stewart could be a great start if DeAngelo Williams’ ankle injury keeps him out of Week 11. The matchup with the Falcons is about as good as it gets.