NFL Quick Hits: Concussed Cam TBD for Week 5
The biggest fantasy football question heading into Week 5 is the status of Panthers QB Cam Newton, who suffered a concussion against the Falcons. Head coach Ron Rivera said Monday that he has "no idea" if Newton will play Monday night against the Bucs, which makes sense because concussion recovery is hard to predict. If you own Newton, you might be waiting all week for an update.
If Newton doesn't play, Derek Anderson would be a capable fill-in against a Bucs' team with a sub-par pass defense (106.5 QB rating against). However, the continued absence of RB Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) and another possible DNP from LT Michael Oher (concussion) wouldn't inspire any fantasy-related confidence in Anderson. Stay tuned.
In other news ...
In case you've been under a rock, Tom Brady's back! Fire him up against the Browns, fantasy owners. He's probably the top QB on the board this week.
The Cardinals think there's a chance that QB Carson Palmer (concussion) could play Thursday night at San Francisco, but you should plan for an alternative.
Just an FYI that Ezekiel Elliott leads the NFL in rushing yards (412) and attempts (94). So much for taking it easy on the rookie.
It seems more likely that Jets WR Eric Decker (shoulder) will land on injured reserve than return for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.
Even though Terrance West ran for 113 yards on Sunday, the Ravens' backfield is still in flux with Kenneth Dixon just about ready to return. The media made a big deal Monday about head coach John Harbaugh declining to name West as the starter, but that was mainly coachspeak referencing the hot hand, helping the team, etc. We know the Ravens like Dixon, but we also know that most teams will happily use two-back committees unless they have one stud. Both backs are owned in less than 20 percent of FOXSports.com leagues and worthy of pickups. Baltimore Beatdown thinks we'll see a 2:1 carry split in West's favor this week, with the ratio becoming more even in short order.
The Week 5 bye teams are the Jaguars, Chiefs, Saints and Seahawks. Plan accordingly.
Tevin Coleman's fantasy owners shouldn't panic if they heard concerns about Coleman's status for Sunday's game at Denver. His sickle cell trait shouldn't be a factor, and the Falcons expect him to play.
John Fox is fanning the flames of a quarterback controversy in Chicago, and they're always fun. Unfortunately, Fox said nothing Monday about the status of Kevin White's injured ankle. White has 36 targets to Alshon Jeffery's 25, in case you haven't been keeping track.
The Eagles will welcome TE Zach Ertz back this week after a two-game absence. RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) should be ready to go as well, and the committee backfield rumors are likely being overstated. Pederson said last week that Mathews would be "the guy" when healthy, so don't blow your FAAB on Wendell Smallwood.
We haven't heard much from the Bengals since their game last Thursday, but it sounds likely that TE Tyler Eifert will make his 2016 debut at Dallas on Sunday.
The status of Lions RB Dwayne Washington (ankle) is TBD for Week 5, so Zach Zenner could be Theo Riddick's sidekick against the Eagles. In other Lions' news, head coach Jim Caldwell said Monday that WR Golden Tate is still an "integral part" of the team's offense despite getting benched during Sunday's loss to the Bears. Tate should no longer be an integral part of your fantasy squad. Holding him at this point would be stubborn in most cases.
Doug Baldwin says that Tyler Lockett is playing with a torn PCL? That would explain a lot.
The Broncos think QB Trevor Siemian (sprained non-throwing shoulder) will be ready to face the Falcons on Sunday.
In case you missed it, Josh Gordon will not return from his suspension this week or any time soon. Let's hope that Gordon gets well.
Looking for some free-agent suggestions? Listen to the podcast via the player near the top of this page. Adam Meyer and I talked about plenty of them.
Tweet me (@jhalpin37) if you have any free-agent questions. Good luck in Week 5!