Shark Bites

Panthers K Graham Gano has a broken bone in the heel of his plant foot. Gano and team doctors recognized the issue during last week's game against the Chargers. Gano played through it and connected on 4 FGs and 2 XPs. The injury might not be a major issue, but we'd rather roll with a healthy K in your fantasy playoffs.

Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly couldn't quite gain final clearance to play Sunday against the Chargers, but HC Ron Rivera said plans haven't changed going forward. “No. I’ll go along with what the doctors tell me,” Rivera told the Charlotte Observer. “That’s the truth of the matter.” He was reportedly responding to a question about whether the team would go ahead and shut Kuechly down for the rest of the year even if he clears the concussion protocol. This is the 2nd straight year in which Kuechly has lost 3 games to a concussion. We'll see what the situation means for Kuechly's long-term future. IDP owners can keep him on 2016 rosters, though, in hopes that you'll be able to use him over the final 2-3 fantasy weeks.

Panthers WR Devin Funchess needed stitches for a split lip early in Sunday's win over the Chargers, but he returned to catch a 6-yard TD in the 2nd quarter. His 5 targets ranked 2nd on the team, but he caught just 1 other pass and totaled a mere 33 yards. No Carolina WR looks like a safe bet in fantasy right now in a poorly performing pass offense.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen led the team in targets (7), receptions (4) and yards (87) in Sunday's win over the Chargers. He posted the only meaningful receiving line on a terrible passing day for QB Cam Newton (10-of-27 for 160 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). Olsen remains a weekly fantasy football starter, but Newton's recent struggles have obviously lowered his fantasy ceiling. Newton has completed less than 49% of his passes in 4 straight games.

Panthers QB Cam Newton completed just 10 of 27 passes for 160 yards and 1 TD in Sunday's win over the Chargers. He added 31 rushing yards on 8 attempts, as well as an INT. It was Newton's 4th straight game with fewer than 15 completions and a completion rate of less than 49%. Newton's not playing well. The rushing yards marked his highest total in 4 games, though. That aspect is the only thing keeping Newton in starting contention at all.

49ers WR Torrey Smith left in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Jets with a concussion. We'll see how he does in the league protocol, but the veteran wideout has not been a significant fantasy option at any time this season.

The Panthers will have DE Mario Addison (foot), S Kurt Coleman (concussion) and CB Daryl Worley (concussion) in the lineup against the Chargers. All 3 are active after entering the day questionable. Addison remains a risky start and is a boom/bust IDP candidate anyway. Coleman and Worley are top fantasy options among DBs for the week.

The Panthers announced Saturday that MLB Luke Kuechly will miss his 3rd straight game. Kuechly returned to practice this week and was thought to be on track for Sunday's game against the Chargers, but he failed to gain final clearance Saturday. A.J. Klein will start in his place for the 3rd straight week.

Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly practice in full Friday and is on track to play Sunday against the Chargers, "barring a last-minute setback in the concussion protocol," according to ESPN's David Newton. Kuechly, S Kurt Coleman and CB Daryl Worley were all reportedly due to meet with the medical staff after putting in a full practice Friday, and then meet again early Saturday for final clearance. We'll watch the status for all 3 players, all of whom sit well within starter territory at their positions in our Week 14 rankings.

Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly returned to practice Wednesday, though he has yet to clear the league concussion protocol. ESPN's David Newton reports that Kuechly will be re-evaluated Thursday. We'll see how he progresses this week, though returning to practice is obviously a big step.

The Panthers have ruled MLB Luke Kuechly (concussion), S Kurt Coleman (concussion) and DE Mario Addison (foot) out for Sunday night's game at Seattle. That will mean another start for A.J. Klein in Kuechly's place. It should also mean more playing time for DE Kony Ealy, who played his most snaps last Sunday since Week 6. Michael Griffin has worked in as the 3rd safety and figures to take Coleman's spot. Only Klein's worth any IDP attention in most leagues, though Seattle presents some sack upside for Ealy. He has registered a QB hit in 3 straight games, including a pair of sacks.

11:36am EST 11/27/16

49ers WR Torrey Smith (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the Dolphins. He hasn’t been a fantasy factor all season and shouldn’t be in your lineup.

49ers WR Torrey Smith (shoulder) is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins after a limited week of practice. He’s been held under 30 yards in 5 of his last 6 games and shouldn’t be in your fantasy plans.

The Panthers have ruled MLB Luke Kuechly (concussion) and DE Mario Addison (foot) out for Sunday's game at Oakland. Kuechly will at least travel with the team, which seems like a good sign for his recovery beyond this week. A.J. Klein will start in Kuechly's place Sunday. Carolina will also miss C Ryan Kalil (shoulder), which will make life tougher for QB Cam Newton and RB Jonathan Stewart.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera said Monday that there's no timetable for MLB Luke Kuechly's return from the concussion he suffered in Thursday night's win over the Saints, according to the Charlotte Observer. Kuechly's in the league protocol, so we'll see how he progresses. The fact that he missed about a month with a concussion early last season adds concern to the situation. Rivera added that he's concerned with what's best for "Luke the person, not Luke the player." So expect the team to be cautious. A.J. Klein would likely be 1st up to replace Kuechly if he's ready to play Sunday at Oakland. Klein returned to practice Monday after missing Week 11 with a concussion. He has not yet cleared the protocol. David Mayo would be next up behind him. DC Sean McDermott also said that LB Shaq Thompson might see action in the nickel defense if CB Leonard Johnson can't play Sunday because of a chest injury.

2:58pm EST 11/20/16

49ers WR Torrey Smith (back) is inactive for today’s game against the Patriots. He shouldn’t have been in your fantasy plans anyway. Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley will serve as San Francisco’s top 2 WRs.

Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly did suffer a concussion late in Thursday night's win over the Saints, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. It's his 2nd concussion in the past 2 seasons. Last year's affected Kuechly for a little more than a month and cost him 3 games. He's reportedly considering a trip to Pittsburgh to get a 2nd opinion and recovery plan from a concussion specialist. We'll see how this plays out. IDP owners should expect to miss Kuechly for at least Week 12. A.J. Klein started in Kuechly's place last season and played at least 66% of the snaps in each of the 3 games.

49ers WR Torrey Smith (back) is "unlikely" to play against the Patriots today, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Smith has been battling through this back injury for multiple weeks now and hasn't topped 26 yards since Week 6. His absence should mean a few extra targets for Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley.

1:08am EST 11/18/16

Panthers MLB Luke Kuechly left Thursday night's win over the Saints late in the 2nd half on a cart to be evaluated for a concussion. The mood around the locker room was reportedly quite somber afterward regarding Kuechly's situation. A concussion sidelined Kuechly for a little more than a month last season. We'll see how this situation develops.

2:57pm EST 11/13/16

49ers WR Torrey Smith (back) is active for today’s game against the Cardinals. He didn’t make it through last week’s game and certainly shouldn’t be in Week 10 fantasy lineups.


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