Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin caught three passes for 61 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Packers.
Insight: Although it was a very disappointing day for the Panthers offense, Benjamin salvaged his fantasy day with a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. Benjamin has five touchdowns through seven games in his rookie season.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart had 14 carries and 55 rushing yards against the Packers in Week 7.
Insight: Carolina cannot effectively run the ball, which is causing problems in the passing game and on defense. Stewart needs to improve if the Panthers expect to win and if owners expect to continue starting the Carolina running back.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not build upon his performance in Cincinnati last week.
Insight: Owners were hoping Newton would be able to repeat, or at least get close, to his 200-plus passing yards, 100-plus rushing yards and three totals touchdowns, which he had in Cincinnati last week. Against Green Bay, however, Newton threw for 205 yards, gained 41 yards on the ground, threw a touchdown and pick.
Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin has been cleared to play in Week 7 against the Packers and is active. UPDATE: Benjamin is active on Sunday.
Insight: The Panthers receiver is pretty much a must-start against the Packers. He scored his fourth touchdown last week on the road against the tough Bengals defense, and Green Bay will be without top cornerback Sam Shields and could also be missing No. 2 corner Tramon Williams, who is a game-time decision.
Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin has been cleared to play in Week 7 against the Packers according to Ian Rapoport.
Insight: We will send out another update when the official inactive list comes out at about 12 ET, but all signs point to Benjamin suiting up. The Panthers receiver is pretty much a must-start against the Packers. He scored his fourth touchdown last week on the road against the tough Bengals defense, and Green Bay will be without top cornerback Sam Shields and could also be missing No. 2 corner Tramon Williams, who is a game-time decision.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has made it three consecutive full days of practice and is now in line for a heavy workload Sunday.
Insight: Stewart has been dealing with a knee problem for most of the season, but he's the healthiest back the Panthers have at this time and the Packers have given up the most rushing yards this season - 927 (154.5 ypg).
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has made it two consecutive full days of practice and is now in line for a heavy workload Sunday.
Insight: Stewart has been dealing with a knee problem for most of the season, but he's the healthiest back the Panthers have at this time. DeAngelo Williams (ankle) and Mike Tolbert (leg) are out while Darrin Reaves (calf) and Fozzy Whittaker (quad) are questionable at best.
Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin did not practice on Wednesday and the injury is not disclosed.
Insight: Our best guess is the injury stems from a big hit Benjamin took from Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the tie last Sunday. Benjamin exited the game after the hit but returned to score a touchdown. He is a high-upside WR2 for Week 7 against the Packers.
Description: Carolina wideout Jason Avant should not be on any fantasy rosters at this time.
Insight: Avant is the fourth option ... at best behind Kevin Benjamin, Greg Olsen and Jerricho Cotchery and even Cotchery isn't fantasy worthy. In the last four games, Avant hasn't cracked the 50-yard mark.
Description: Wideout Jerricho Cotchery was inactive for Week 3 against the Steelers and might as well have been inactive for the other five weeks to far this season..
Insight: Cotchery has yet to score and his best performance was a five-catch, 80 yard day against Baltimore. Fantasy owners should avoid him as Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen are doing all the heavy lifting for the Panthers passing game.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton came to life in Sunday's tie against the Bengals.
Insight: Carolina's coaching staff finally let him loose, as he had 107 rushing yards, along with one touchdown on the ground. Newton added 284 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air as well, but did have one interception. If this is the Newton we will continue to see, he is a sure-fire QB1, moving forward.
Description: Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will play Sunday.
Insight: Olsen leads the team in catches and receiving touchdowns through five weeks after a 6-72-2 Week 5. He's dealing with an ankle issue, but has a decent mtachup versis the Bengals who gave up a lot of yards last week to New England's tight ends.
Description: Panthers running back Darrin Reaves is probable for Week 6 against the Bengals.
Insight: Reaves is dealing with a hip issue, but Carolina has no one else left to run the ball. He will likely start with all the injuries at running back for the Panthers. Jonathan Stewart is a game-time decision, but he didn't make it through the second quarter of his last start. Even if Reaves starts, Reaves is not much better than a low-end RB3.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was inactive for Week 5, but returned to the practice field Thursday, according to beat writer Steve Reed.
Insight: Stewart has a better chance than fellow running back DeAngelo Williams to return Sunday. Darrin Reaves and Chris Ogbonnaya would carry the load in the backfield if Stewart isn't ready. Given Stewart's injury history, fantasy owners should not count on him.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled early but led the Carolina comeback over Chicago to win, 31-24, in Week 5.
Insight: The Carolina defense certainly helped as well as they held Chicago to just one field goal in the second half. Newton went 19-for-35 with 255 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He looked a bit healthier as he rolled out on more option plays in Week 5 than in previous weeks.
Description: Panthers running back Darrin Reaves will be starting on Sunday against the Bears.
Insight: DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert are all inactive, so the running duties fall to Reaves. Fozzy Whittaker and Chris Ogbonnaya are Carolina's other running options in Week 5. Hopefully, it doesn't come down to starting any of those guys on your team.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is inactive for Week 5 against the Bears.
Insight: Stewart and fellow running back DeAngelo Williams are both not going to play on Sunday. That leaves Carolina with Darrin Reaves, Fozzy Whittaker and Chris Ogbonnaya to carry the load in the backfield.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) was not at practice Thursday and has been downgraded to doubtful for Sunday's game.
Insight: The Panthers' backfield is a disaster with DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert also sidelined, Darrin Reaves, Fozzy Whittaker, and Chris Ogbonnaya are going to have to carry the running game for at least this weekend.
Description: Panthers running back is currently the team's starting tailback, according to coach Ron Rivera.
Insight: With Deangelo Williams and Mike Tolbert out for an extended period of time, combined with Jonathan Stewart (knee) working his way back, Reaves shoul be in line for some carries. However, Carolina will most likely use a committee, moving forward. Reaves will be be RB3 this week.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) returned to practice Wednesday.
Insight: The Panthers desperately need a running back to come back healthy and be able to play a full game. Stewart hurt his knee in Week 3 against the Steelers and initially, doctors gave him a month-long recovery. Even if he is less than 100 percent, the Panthers may ask him to play against the Bears.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton finished 14-of-25 for 197 yards and one touchdown in the loss against the Ravens.
Insight: It is clear that Newton is still not one-hundred percent healthy. The Ravens made things worse with constant pressure all day. With Newton unable to move around effectively in the pocket and no healthy running backs, Newton is not a wise fantasy start.
Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin led the team with nine targets and caught five balls for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: Benjamin had another touchdown, but it was called back due to offensive pass interference. Quarterback Cam Newton even targeted Benjamin more than his security blanket, Greg Olsen. Benjamin should be owed in all leagues.
Description: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams left Sunday's game against the Ravens with a new injury.
Insight: Williams was questionable this week due to a thigh injury, but it appears that Williams injured his ankle on a running play in the second quarter. There is no official word yet on the injury, but Williams removed his shoe on the sideline and looked to be working his ankle. Stay tuned for more.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was expected to miss multiple games due to a knee sprain, but was on the practice field Friday.
Insight: Last season, Stewart missed five games last year with a sprained MCL, so he's likely to miss at least a couple of weeks. His return to the field, in a very limited fashion, probably doesn't change that.
Description: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh) was inactive for Week 3, but was back at practice Wednesday.
Insight: The Panthers are desperate for running backs after both Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart went down last weekend. Williams and Darrin Reaves figure to get the work in Week 4 with Williams getting the bulk if he's healthy.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart may miss as much as a month with his knee sprain according to the Charlotte Observer.
Insight: Last season, Stewart missed five games last year with a sprained MCL, so beat writer Joe Person is estimating the same amount of games this time around as well. Injury has decimated the Panthers backfield as DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert are both indefinitely out.
Description: Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin showed off his considerable skills Sunday night against the Steelers defense.
Insight: Benjamin, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound stud receiver, made a tremendous catch in the front corner of the end zone after the game had already been decided, but it gave fantasy owners the numbers they needed - 8-115-1.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart left Sunday night's game with a right knee contusion.
Insight: He is questionable to return in a game which is getting out of hand for the Panthers. Carolina is short-handed in the backfield with Fozzy Whitaker and DeAngelo Williams already on the sidelines. Darrin Reaves and Mike Tolbert are the remaining options, though they will likely throw the ball the rest of the way.
Description: Wideout Jerricho Cotchery is inactive for Week 3 against the Steelers.
Insight: Cotchery was listed as a game-time decision and will not play against his former team. This means Jason Avant and Kelvin Benjamin along with Greg Olson become Cam Newton's top targets against the Steelers.
Description: Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams (thigh) was inactive for last Sunday's game and is questionable for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh
Insight: Jonathan Stewart would carry the load for the Panthers with Mike Tolbert used in short-yardage situations if Williams is a no-go. As always its hard to start any of the Carolina running backs.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart was given 15 rushing attempts with DeAngelo Williams sidelined, but could only manage 37 yards.
Insight: At least he scored - from two yards out. That's a good sign for a team with a running quarterback in Cam Newton and a fullback-type back in Mike Tolbert. Williams is questionable for next week as is Stewart's fantasy value.
Description: Panthers tight end Greg Olsen had six catches for 72 yards on eight targets against the Lions in Week 2.
Insight: Olsen led the team in targets along with rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but Benjamin only caught two of his targets. Olsen has nine straight games with at least four catches, which is the longest active streak among tight ends.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart will be the starting running back this week against the Lions.
Insight: DeAngelo Williams is inactive with a thigh injury. Stewart rushed for just 20 yards on nine carries in Week 1. There is also a possibility Mike Tolbert and Fozzy Whittaker will get carries on Sunday. Plus, going against a tough Lions front seven, Stewart is a risky play even in the Flex.
Description: It appears clear the Panthers will continue to allow defensive end Greg Hardy to play while he appeals domestic violence incident.
Insight: Jury trial is expected in November, meaning unless there is a change he's going to play for the first half of the season. Hardy's 15 sacks last season were a career-high. If there had been video of the incident ... who knows?
Description: Running back Jonathan Stewart could be a viable fantasy option if DeAngelo Williams can't play Sunday.
Insight: Williams is dealing with a thigh injury and missed the last two practices. The one thing the Panthers have is depth at running back. Stewart, Mike Tolbert, and Fozzy Whittaker can carry the load if Williams is inactive. Stewart rushed nine times and caught three balls in Week 1.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (ribs) is ruled out for Sunday's game against the Buccaneers.
Insight: Derek Anderson will get the start. If you have anyone on the Panthers offense, they take a major fantasy hit for Week 1. On the other hand, the Tampa Bay defense is a sneaky good start for Week 1.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (ribs) told the media on Thursday that he doesn't "want to put this team in jeopardy (if he is not healthy)" and then went on to praise his offense saying "One monkey don't stop the show" according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Insight: Although fantasy owners may have had their own speculation, this is the first time anyone from the Panthers has hinted that Newton might not play Week 1. Newton did also say he has never missed a game at any level in his career, but the fact he has put some doubt in our minds is some cause for concern this Sunday.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (ribs) participated in just portions of Thursday's practice as he was limited to just handoffs.
Insight: It is not a good sign that three days before the opener Newton was not throwing at all. We still expect him to be out there, probably wearing a flak jacket for protection, but in deep leagues with one starting quarterback, owners can find a better starting quarterback for Week 1.
Description: According to the Charlotte Observer's Joe Person, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said there's "no doubt" Cam Newton will play Week 1 despite his rib injury.
Insight: Newton has a hairline fracture in a few of his ribs, but normally, quarterbacks can play through this type of injury. Rivera also added that the zone-read will still be in play despite the injury. All good signs for Newton, but we will keep an eye on the situation the next week and a half.
Description: According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers don't expect to know quarterback Cam Newton's status for Week 1 until next week. Newton sustained a hairline fracture in one of his ribs Saturday night.
Insight: Coach Ron Rivera said Newton won't play in the final preseason game, but he expects him to play in the season opener at Tampa Bay. In addition to the injury to his ribs, Newton is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery and his rushing output could be lean early in the season. Derek Anderson is Newton's backup.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a hairline fracture in his ribs, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Insight: Newton took a shot to the ribs during Saturday's preseason game. He won't play in the fourth exhibition contest, but coach Ron Rivera thinks he'll be ready for Week 1. In addition to the injury to his ribs, Newton is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery and his rushing output could be lean early in the season.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered a back bruise late in the second quarter against the New England Patriots on Friday. Newton underwent X-rays as a precaution according to ESPN, and head coach Ron Rivera said they came back negative.
Insight: The bruise happened when Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins nailed Newton in the back after the quarterback scrambled seven yards. Newton entered the game with questions about his ankle due to offseason surgery. Rivera expects both Newton's back and ankle to be fine by Week 1.
Description: Running back Jonathan Stewart only carried the ball four times in Carolina's second preseason game against Kansas City, but rushed for 26 yards and scored two goal line touchdowns.
Insight: Stewart's value has diminished significantly with injuries the past two seasons. The 27-year-old has rushed for one touchdown in 15 games the last two seasons, but when healthy, he can still be productive splitting carries with DeAngelo Williams. It is also a good sign Stewart is getting involved in goal line packages.
Description: David Newton, the Panthers beat writer for ESPN.com, says wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was the star of Carolina's training camp.
Insight: Benjamin, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound behemoth, had a 29-yard touchdown in the preseason opener and he's made a few eye-opening catches during camp. The first-round pick will fill the team's No. 1 receiver spot immediately and he has a lot of upside at his ninth-round ADP.
Description: According to ESPN.com, the Panthers have medically cleared Cam Newton (ankle) to play in their second preseason game next Sunday against the Chiefs.
Insight: Newton was also given clearance during Sunday's practice to run the read option for the first time since training camp began. He's been rehabbing from left ankle surgery since March. The fourth-year quarterback has top-three fantasy QB upside, but he's going 10th among quarterbacks at an ADP of 82.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) returned to practice Sunday, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Insight: Due to injuries, Stewart played 15 games combined and rushed for 3.7 ypc the last two seasons. When healthy, he forms an unenticing backfield with DeAngelo Williams in which the two split carries evenly but neither one gets goal-line touches.
Description: Carolina wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin caught a 29-yard touchdown from Derek Anderson in the preseason opener Friday against the Bills.
Insight: Benjamin beat Bills starting CB Stephon Gilmore down the left sideline and recovered from a stumble to make a diving catch in the end zone. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder is going to be Carolina's No. 1 receiver right from the start of the season and could return nice value on his 10th-round ADP.
Description: The Panthers held quarterback Cam Newton (ankle surgery) out of the first preseason game Friday night.
Insight: Newton is dealing with lingering pain from his ankle surgery. He described it as a "thump from your mom when you said something that you weren't supposed to. She'll thump you dead in your ear or on your head. It'll hurt for that little second but it'll go away after 2-3 minutes," according to the Charlotte Observer. Newton has a month to go before Week 1 so we aren't concerned yet, especially because the intention of the surgery was to strengthen his ligaments. He might run less early in the year, but he still has top-three fantasy QB upside and is being drafted 10th among quarterbacks.
Description: Carolina wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin is expected to return to the practice field Saturday.
Insight: No one thought the sore knee was too serious, but as thin as the Panthers are at wideout it's important they all stay healthy. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Benjamin should be a red zone favorite of Cam Newton's next season.
Description: Carolina wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin bumped knees in practice and will have an MRI Monday, according to beat writer Steve Reed.
Insight: No one thinks it's too serious, but as thin as the Panthers are at wideout it's important they all stay healthy. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Benjamin should be a red zone favorite of Cam Newton's next season.
Description: Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart pulled his hamstring before training camp even started and thinks he'll miss 2-4 weeks. SOURCE: Jonathan Jones, Charlotte Observer
Insight: Given Stewart's history of recovering from injuries, he could be out longer. It's a bad sign that a player who seemingly is always hurt is already injured. He's played 15 games combined and rushed for 3.7 ypc the last two seasons. DeAngelo Williams should be good for another 200 carries, but he lacks upside because Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton are the goal-line rushers.
Description: Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle surgery) is out of his walking boot and ready to begin his rehab work, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Insight: Newton was given a four-month timetable when he had left ankle surgery in mid-March. He's not expected to resume practicing before training camp, but his health won't be a concern when the season starts. Newton's supporting cast, however, may be an issue after Steve Smith signed with the Ravens and LT Jordan Gross retired. The Panthers drafted 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State with the 28th-overall pick in the 2014 draft, but he may not be ready to make an immediate impact.
Description: Carolina filled its void at wide receiver by selecting Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin with the 28th pick at Thursday's NFL Draft.
Insight: Benjamin is best known for scoring the game-winning touchdown against Auburn in the National Championship. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Benjamin should be a red zone favorite of Cam Newton's next season.
Description: Carolina has reached a one-year agreeement with former Eagles wideout Jason Avant.
Insight: Philadelphia may not have been as eager to cut Avant had they known of DeSean Jackson's off field issues. Either way, he's with Cam Newton now and figures to start alongside Jerricho Cotchery. As long as Avant stays healthy, we'd expect him to improve on the 38 catches and 447 receiving yards he totaled last season.
Description: Panthers QB Cam Newton (ankle surgery) is unlikely to practice before training camp, GM Dave Gettleman said Tuesday during a radio appearance.
Insight: Newton was given a four-month timetable when he had ankle surgery last week. When it comes to Newton's fantasy value, we're far more concerned about Carolina's receiving corps than the surgery.
Description: Former Tampa Bay wideout Tiquan Underwood has signed a deal with Carolina.
Insight: The Panthers are desparate to find receivers, recently signing Underwood and Jerricho Cotchery. They need to keep at it as neither of these two can carry an offense. Hopefully they can find a star in the draft or Cam Newton is going to drop in fantasy value.
Description: Wideout Jerricho Cotchery has agreed to a two-year deal with Carolina. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Insight: Cotchery is the most talented receiver on the current Panthers roster, which definitely isn't saying much. He can be a solid No. 2 guy, but Cotchery's fantasy value will be limited in Carolina if he's covered by the opposition's best CB every week.
Description: Panthers QB Cam Newton had successful ankle surgery on Wednesday. SOURCE: David Newton, ESPN
Insight: He's going to be out for the next four months. Newton has never missed a game in his NFL career. If the recovery takes longer than expected, Derek Anderson would open the year as Carolina's starting quarterback.
Description: Two-time Pro Bowler Roman Harper has reached a two-year agreement with Carolina. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: The contract includes $4.5 million in base salary with a $1.5 million signing bonus. Harper was cut by the Saints last month. In nine games last season, Harper totaled 29 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Description: The Panthers officially released their longtime No. 1 wideout Steve Smith on Thursday.
Insight: The 34-year-old's career was revitalized when Carolina drafted QB Cam Newton and he put up 2,568 yards and 11 touchdowns on 152 catches in 2011-12, but he had just 745 yards and four scores on 64 catches (11.6 ypc) in 15 games last season. The Ravens are the favorite to land the veteran, but he's unlikely to carry much fantasy value as a third option behind Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. As we just saw for years in Houston, new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's offense heavily features the tight end and No. 1 receiver but not the No. 2 wideout.
Description: According to his agent, Steve Smith has played his last game with the Panthers. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: Carolina is trying to trade him, though that could be difficult given Smith's age (34) and his $7 million salary. We're guessing he'll be cut sometime in the next few days. When that happens, look for the Buccaneers and Raiders to be among the teams interested.
Description: Longtime Panthers receiver Steve Smith suddenly finds himself on the trading block. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Insight: It appears Smith's 14-year tenure in Carolina may be coming to an end. If teams are hesitant to trade for Smith, there's a good chance the Panthers will wind up cutting him. Smith is only a year removed from a 1,000-yard season and could make an immediate impact if he finds the right situation.
Description: Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year on Saturday.
Insight: Kuechly followed up his Rookie of the Year in 2012 with an equally sensational sophomore campaign in 2013. In 16 games, the Boston College alum generated 156 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions. With Kuechly anchoring the defense, Carolina won its division for the first time since 2008. Indianapolis linebacker Robert Mathis was probably just as deserving of this award but it's tough to argue with the voters choosing Kuechly.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith (knee) is active for Sunday's game against the 49ers, according to profootballtalk.com.
Insight: Smith missed Week 17 after spraining his PCL the week before. He suffered a setback in practice Thursday and will probably be used as a decoy Sunday. Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn will have to step up.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith (knee) is telling people he is "positive" he's playing Sunday against the 49ers. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com.
Insight: Smith missed Week 17 after spraining his PCL the week before. He suffered a setback in practice Thursday and will probably be used as a decoy if he does play Sunday. Greg Olsen, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn will have to step up.
Description: Though he's officially been listed as questionable, the Panthers fully expect running back Jonathan Stewart to play Sunday against San Francisco. SOURCE: Steve Reed, Associated Press
Insight: Knee issues have kept Stewart off the field since Week 14. He'll slide in as a change of pace back behind starter DeAngelo Williams. Both players will cede goal line carries to fullback Mike Tolbert.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith suffered a setback at practice on Thursday. Smith returned to practice Wednesday after missing Week 17 with a sprained PCL. SOURCE: Jonathan Jones, Charlotte Observer
Insight: Smith said he felt about 57 percent after saying Wednesday that he was at 71 percent. If he does play against the Niners this weekend, he'll probably be used as a decoy. Expect Greg Olsen and Brandon LaFell to be Cam Newton's primary receivers on Sunday.
Description: According to Steve Reed of the Associated Press, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (knee) said he expects to play in the divisional playoff game against the 49ers Sunday.
Insight: Stewart played just six games this season (180 rushing yards), leaving most of the heavy lifting to DeAngelo Williams (843 yards) and red zone work to Mike Tolbert. Stewart probably won't see double-digit touches if he plays so his fantasy value is very limited.
Description: Panthers receiver Steve Smith is expected to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, according to profootballtalk.com.
Insight: Smith sat out Week 17 with a sprained PCL, but he has vowed to play in the divisional round against the 49ers. Smith finished the season with just 745 yards and four touchdowns on 64 catches in 15 games, but he's still the Panthers' best receiving option even at age 34.
Description: According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers expect Jonathan Stewart back at practice Wednesday.
Insight: Stewart played just six games this season (180 rushing yards), leaving most of the heavy lifting to DeAngelo Williams (843 yards) and red zone work to Mike Tolbert. Stewart probably won't see double-digit touches if he plays so his fantast value is very limited.
Description: Panthers receiver Steve Smith did not play in Week 17 due to a sprained PCL in his left knee and is questionable for Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoff against San Francisco.
Insight: Coach Ron Rivera hopes to have Smith back at practice this week. Smith finished the season with just 745 yards and four touchdowns on 64 catches in 15 games, but he's still the Pathers' best receiving option even at age 34.
Description: Panthers receiver Steve Smith will not play in Week 17 due to a sprained PCL, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Insight: Smith will finish the season with just 745 yards and four touchdowns on 64 catches (11.6 ypc) in 15 games. The Panthers had difficulty moving the ball through the air in Week 16 after Smith went down, but the Falcons' defense has been horrible this season. Carolina can lock down a first-round bye with a win against Atlanta, giving Smith a chance to have three weeks off to heal before returning.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith said he felt something pop in his knee Sunday against the Saints, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
Insight: Smith suffered a non-contact left knee injury in the first quarter when Cam Newton overthrew him on a slant. He was walking around fine without crutches after the game and will have an MRI Monday.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled Sunday against the Saints but he came through with a game-winning TD to Domenik Hixon with 23 seconds remaining.
Insight: Newton frequently sailed his passes and finished with 181 yards, one TD and one interception. To be fair, he played most of the game without Steve Smith, who suffered a non-contact knee injury in the first half. Newton also rushed just four times for six yards.
Description: Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries Sunday against the Saints.
Insight: Apparently, Williams can only contribute to fantasy teams when Jonathan Stewart is out. He put up 235 yards from scrimmage and two scores the last two games with Stewart nursing a knee injury.
Description: Carolina wideout Steve Smith is officially out for the rest of the game against the Saints on Sunday.
Insight: Smith suffered a non-contact left knee injury in the first quarter when Cam Newton overthrew him on a slant. He was able to return for one play later in the game before limping off and immediately returning to the locker room.
Description: According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers confirmed that running back Jonathan Stewart has a torn MCL.
Insight: Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it's possible Stewart could return in Week 17, but that seems doubtful for the oft-injured running back. DeAngelo Williams will see an increase in carries with Stewart out. Williams has rushed for just 185 yards on 50 carries in five games since Stewart returned from an ankle injury in Week 9, compared to 477 yards on 114 carries the first seven games.
Description: Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart will have an MRI on his right knee after taking a hit from Keenan Lewis. It appears to be serious, but we should know more after results of the test are announced.
Insight: Obviously that's going to add to DeAngelo Williams' workload and possibly Mike Tolbert's as well.
Description: According to NBC's Pro Football Talk, Panthers DE Charles Johnson has been diagnosed with a sprained right MCL and is week-to-week.
Insight: Johnson suffered the injury Monday when he was leg-whipped by Patriots lineman Marcus Cannon. He was able to return to action on the final drive of the game to help Carolina close out a win but is expected to miss Week 12.
Description: Panthers running back Mike Tolbert scored a touchdown for the fourth straight game Sunday against Atlanta.
Insight: Tolbert has five touchdowns in his last four games and six TDs on the year. If you're choosing a Panthers running back to start in fantasy, Tolbert is the best choice as he has the best chance of scoring.
Description: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams found himself back in a three-way timeshare Sunday against the Falcons.
Insight: Jonathan Stewart made his season debut and had nine carries for 43 yards, while Williams took 13 handoffs for 42 yards. Mike Tolbert had six carries for 24 yards and a touchdown and Cam Newton also rushed for a score. Now that Stewart is back, Williams can be avoided in fantasy leagues.
Description: Panthers quarterback Cam Newton struggled Sunday against the Falcons but still had a solid fantasy day.
Insight: Newton threw for 249 yards and two picks and rushed for 22 yards on five carries, but he threw for a touchdown and ran for another. Newton has been a boom-or-bust fantasy player far too often over the last two years, so it was nice to see him scratch out this type of game coming off a big effort in Week 8 at Tampa Bay.
Description: Carolina halfback DeAngelo Williams is expected to play Sunday against Atlanta. SOURCE: Jonathan Jones, Charlotte Observer
Insight: Williams missed a couple practices earlier in the week because of a quad injury but it looks like he'll be good to go. With Williams having to compete with Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and even Kenjon Barner for carries, he won't be a recommended fantasy play in Week 9.
Description: Carolina halfback Jonathan Stewart is expected to receive between six and ten touches Sunday when he returns from an ankle injury. SOURCE: Charlotte Observer
Insight: Obviously that's going to cut into DeAngelo Williams' workload and possibly Mike Tolbert's as well. It's not an ideal situation but in a week with so many teams on bye, all three Carolina running backs will be given fantasy consideration.
Description: We might see Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart suit up this week against Atlanta. SOURCE: Steve Reed, Associated Press
Insight: Stewart, who missed Carolina's first seven games with an ankle injury, was seen taking first-team reps at practice on Wednesday. It's tough to gage his fantasy value until we see how head coach Ron Rivera balances the workload with Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and goal line vulture Mike Tolbert.
Description: Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams missed practice on Wednesday. SOURCE: Joe Person, Charlotte Observer
Insight: It's a little concerning that Williams still isn't practicing a week after suffering what was thought to be a pretty minor quad strain. He'll carry the questionable label into Week 9's matchup against Atlanta.
Description: Carolina halfback DeAngelo Williams should play next week against Miami despite suffering a quad injury Thursday at Tampa Bay. SOURCE: Charlotte Observer
Insight: Thursday night was somewhat of a breakthrough for Williams, who was finally able to score his first touchdown of the season. Mike Tolbert is still the Panthers' preferred goal line rusher but it's good to know Williams can punch it in too when given the opportunity.
Description: Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (foot) had a full week of practice and is expected to play on Thursday night.
Insight: olsen has struggled with the foot injury over the past two week and it shows in his numbers. He caught 21 balls for 273 and a score in his first four games and six for 66 yards in the last two contests. Hopefully he's feeling better.
Description: Carolina wideout Brandon LaFell got in a solid afternoon of practice Wednesday and is probable for Thursday's game with Tampa Bay.
Insight: LaFell has been dealing with a sore knee. We keep seeing small glimpses of his ability to be a viable fantasy wideout, but not enough. After posting 107 yards and a score in Week 6, he slipped backward last week with a three-catch, 35-yard performance.
Description: Panthers receiver Steve Smith was added to the injury report after missing a couple of days worth of practice and only being a limited participant in Wednesday's practice but he is expected to play Thursday against Tampa Bay.
Insight: What's more concerning is a 10.5 ypr average, the lowest of his career except for the 2004 season when he played just one game. He's no better than an RB2 these days, but with all the teams on bye in Week 8 he's worthy of a start.