NFC South News and Notes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It was already assumed by us that Doug Martin would eventually go on injured reserve and we were right. The sophomore running back went on IR yesterday. This will end a supremely disappointing second season for Martin who was performing terribly. He now gives way to rookie Mike James who has done quite well since taking over. James ran for 158 yards in Seattle last week and is poised for another big game against the Dolphins tomorrow. Owners shouldn’t expect a repeat performance of week 9 but it’s safe to slide Mike into the RB2 discussion.
Atlanta Falcons: Roddy White has already come out and said he will be playing this week but the more important thing to note is that he practiced all week with no setbacks. And word from practice was that he ran at full speed while making cuts. I would feel safe putting him back in your lineups now. Even though he’s going against the vaunted Seattle secondary, he has one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the game and White has a knack of catching anything near him. I could see him finishing with 7-8 receptions for around 80 yards. Not stellar, but still worth playing.
Linebacker, Will Weatherspoon, returned to practice this week after being out since week 2 with a Lisfranc injury. He was on the short-term IR with designation to return and is now eligible to play in week 11. That won’t help the Falcons this week but going forward, Weatherspoon should give the defense a nice upgrade in pass coverage.
New Orleans Saints: Despite playing in nearly all of the offensive snaps during week 9, Jimmy Graham is still listed as questionable. He practiced all week and will not miss this game.
Also questionable for week 10 is WR Marques Colston. He didn’t play vs the New York Jets last week and was limited in practice this week. If he plays, you probably are starting him but he shouldn’t be considered more than WR3 right now. He’s had a disappointing year and the Saints don’t need to rush him back with Graham, Sproles and Moore all ready to go this week.
Carolina Panthers: There isn’t a whole lot of news for the Panthers leading up to their matchup versus the San Francisco 49ers but they did lose reserve DB James Dockery for 2-4 weeks with a torn labrum.
Also continue to monitor the RB carries this week. Jonathan Stewart out performed DeAngelo Williams in his first game back this season and will look to continue that trend. I suspect that the Panthers will continue to share the carries, including TD vulture Mike Tolbert, but a hot hand approach could emerge. If that happens, the only RB safe to start would be… gulp… Tolbert. Williams and Stewart are both capable of giving fantasy big contributions but it’s maddening just trying to figure out when to play them. I would feel more comfortable giving Stewart a shot in PPR leagues, but only as a desperate FLEX option.