Wild Card Weekend Fantasy Football Practice News & Notes for Friday
Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (right wrist) took full practice reps all week. Bortles will be fine to face the Bills. After scoring 11 touchdowns (9 passing, 2 rushing) in his previous five games, Bortles wasn’t good—158 passing yards, 2 interceptions—against the Titans in a Week 17 game that the Jaguars were trying to win.
Panthers QB Cam Newton (right shoulder) took full practice reps again Friday. Newton compiled 350 passing yards and 67 rushing yards in two games against the Saints this year. He accounted for 3 total touchdowns (1 rushing) and 3 picks in those two meetings.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (knee) took limited practice reps again Thursday. Freeman should be out there against the Rams. His rushing numbers have dipped over the past two weeks—22 carries for 59 yards against the Saints and Panthers—but he has 16 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown in his last three games.
Bills RB LeSean McCoy (ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 18. McCoy is trending the right way and should be able to play against the Jaguars, even though he won’t be near 100 percent. If he’s unable to play, then Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy would try to pick up the slack.
Titans RB DeMarco Murray (knee, out) missed practice again Thursday and is out for Week 18. With Murray out look for Derrick Henry to carry the load against the Chiefs, who have given up 119 rushing yards and 1.0 rushing touchdown per game this year. Last week, Henry carried the ball 28 times for 51 yards against the Jaguars, but scored on a 66-yard touchdown reception to post a nice fantasy line.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (back) took full practice reps again Friday. Stewart should be back in the fold after missing Week 17. In two meetings with the Saints this season, Stewart has carried the ball 23 times for 102 yards (4.43 YPC) and a touchdown.
Panthers WR Devin Funchess (shoulder, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 18. Funchess will continue to play through he shoulder injury. He has only caught 6 passes for 78 yards on 14 targets in his last three games. In two meetings with the Saints this season, he has 8 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets.
Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 18. It looks like Lee may be able to return this week after sitting out the last two games. If he returns, the projections for Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole will take a hit.
Saints WR Michael Thomas (hamstring) was removed from the injury report Friday after taking full practice reps Thursday. Thomas will be out there against Carolina. In two meetings with the Panthers this season, Thomas has 12 total catches for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns on 17 targets. He’s our No. 1 receiver this week.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen (foot) took full practice reps all week. Olsen didn’t play in either meeting against the Saints this year, but was targeted seven times in both games against New Orleans in 2016. His injured foot may be an issue on the turf in the Superdome.