NFC South News and Notes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bobby Rainey will look to continue his hot hand as he broke out in week 11 for 160 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Leonard was thought to be the starter after Mike James went on IR but it was Leonard that stole the show. Leonard goes back to the change of pace slot and could actually be useful this week in PPR leagues versus the Detroit Lions. Leonard could finish with 5 or more receptions as the Bucs look to keep pace.
Atlanta Falcons: Roddy White has now played in two consecutive games without a setback and should be ready to take on the Saints tonight. While he still doesn’t have the burst to break one long, his ability to shield defenders away from the ball should get him plenty of targets tonight. I expect White to finish with his best game of the year.
After missing practice Tuesday, superstar TE Tony Gonzalez was present for the walk thru on Wednesday. He is expected to play and be a top option for Matt Ryan as they try and keep pace. The Saints are expected to be up big this week, so there should be plenty of opportunities for all of the receivers for the Falcons to have useful fantasy numbers.
New Orleans Saints: You are pretty much playing everyone for the Saints this week. The Falcons are a shell of themselves at this point and don’t look anything like the team from the past five years.
The one concern for the Saints is if Darren Sproles will be able to take the field during a short week in which he injured himself against the San Francisco 49ers in week 11. He hasn’t practiced this week and Mike Triplett is giving him a 50/50 shot tonight. His owners will need to check the Inactive report prior to the game to be sure. If Sproles does miss the game, it will likely mean more action for Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram. But Thomas is the more versatile back and will be called upon to cover some of the passing situations that Sproles manned.
If you are looking for a deep sleeper, you might take a look at rookie receiver Kenny Stills. The Falcons give up a lot of big plays and that’s what Stills does best.
Carolina Panthers: The big news for the Panthers is that defensive end Charles Johnson will likely miss week 12 due to a sprained MCL he suffered during week 11. He is a big part of what Carolina does on defense and will be missed. Johnson was on track for his best season with 8.5 sacks on the year.