NFL Quick Hits: Cam looking good for Sunday
The Panthers are preparing for a matchup with the Saints, putting most of their skill players in contention for good fantasy performances. QB Cam Newton practiced fully on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday, but is technically still in the NFL's concussion protocol, and needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist. While that last step could go badly for fantasy owners, you should expect Newton to play without any limitations.
In other news ...
RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) is expected to join Newton on the field after a three-game absence.
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (knee) has been limited in practice this week, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that he is not expected to play at Green Bay.
Redskins TE Jordan Reed has been officially diagnosed with a concussion. Reed hasn't officially been ruled out for Sunday, but my expert medical opinion rates his chances to play at .0000000000000001 percent. A Vernon Davis/Niles Paul combo would replace Reed, and the fact that there are two options instead of one makes both players somewhat risky. Davis is the preference if you need to grab a replacement.
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) was limited in Thursday's practice, and could be tracking toward a gametime decision. Teammate James Starks will be away from the team until Saturday due to a death in his family, and is dealing with a knee injury. The third-string back is practice squadder Don Jackson, but let's hope things don't get to that point. Lacy seems to think he'll play.
Remember your byes: The Vikings and Bucs are off.
Dolphins RB Arian Foster (groin/hamstring) "looks normal," according to head coach Adam Gase. It sounds like Foster will be ready to go against the Steelers.
Tyler Eifert (back) still isn't practicing, and you should expect him to be sidelined again. If you're holding Eifert, he might be ready soon and could be productive, but he's not a stash-at-all-costs kind of guy. Too many fantasy owners seem to be expecting too much from Eifert.
Giants RB Rashad Jennings (thumb) thinks he'll play on Sunday. Before you get too excited, remember that the Giants rank 27th in the league in rushing and will face a Ravens' run defense that ranks fourth.
Speaking of the Ravens, WR Steve Smith (ankle) hasn't practiced this week, while WR Mike Wallace (ribs) has been limited. Kamar Aiken (owned in 14.9 percent of FOXSports.com leagues) could be a PPR flier if you're in a bind.
The Lions were without RB Theo Riddick, RB Dwayne Washington and TE Eric Ebron at Thursday's practice, but the backs are still in the mix to play. If Riddick can't go because of his ankle injury, consider Justin Forsett, who was signed by the Lions on Monday.
Raiders RB Latavius Murray (toe) still isn't practicing. Our weekly look at running back committees detailed that DeAndre Washington (25.3 percent owned) and Jalen Richard (16.6 percent owned) each had 14 touches in Murray's Week 5 absence.
Bears QB Brian Hoyer says he won't force the ball to WR Alshon Jeffery. We've noticed, as Jeffery has been targeted just 18 times in Hoyer's three starts. If opponents keep doubling Jeffery, Hoyer will continue to look toward WR Cameron Meredith and TE Zach Miller.
Steelers WR Sammie Coates didn't practice Thursday due to a cut on his finger. Coates will probably play, but his owners need to keep an eye on this situation. Like he wasn't dropping enough balls already ...
Remember a couple of days ago, when Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles said he was 110 percent and ready to remove the training wheels and everyone couldn't wait to start him? On Thursday, offensive coordinator Brad Childress said that the team would "sprinkle (Charles) in where we feel he's most effective." Head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that Charles would "probably do a little bit more" than his limited workload from Week 4. Where does this leave fantasy owners? ChiefsWire projects a 50-50 split between Charles and Spencer Ware. I've got Charles at RB27 and Ware at RB33, knowing that Charles could blow that ranking out of the water with a big play or two.
Good luck in Week 6!