Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football Thursday Edition: Carolina Panthers Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers




WHEN: 7:25 p.m. CT

WHERE: NFL Network

This game has a chance to be a real stinker as the Panthers have played very well over their last four games, winning three, and have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and Tampa Bay is one of the worst overall teams in the league and still hasn’t won a game.

With Fantasy Football roster decisions due today in regards to the players taking the field tonight, let’s take a look at some of the pertinent information about the Panthers and the Buccaneers.



The Panthers are amazingly healthy. Maybe that is a reason they are playing so well. Except for running back Jonathan Stewart, who has been Out for almost a year now, everyone else will probably play.

Wide receivers Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are both a bit nicked up but are listed as Probable, as is tight end in Greg Olsen. All should play.


The reeling Buccaneers are not so lucky. Star running back Doug Martin will not play due to a shoulder injury. This is a big blow for a team struggling with offense as it is.

Wide receiver Mike Williams is still battling a hamstring injury and is listed a Questionable. He played last week but it may be harder to get ready for a game on Thursday.

Defensively, safety Dashon Goldson is listed as Questionable with a knee injury. He he can’t go,  it hurts the Bucs in trying to slow the Panthers’ versatile offense.


Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


Cam Newton is not setting the world on fire with his passing stats, averaging only 222 yards a game, but he he does have 10 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. With Newton, there is always a serving of gravy – rushing yards. This season, he has 179 thus far with 2 touchdowns. Against the struggling Buccaneers, go ahead and start Newton. It will give you a reason to watch.

Because he doesn’t get any touchdowns (none!), DeAngelo Williams isn’t a must start every week, but you should start him this week. He picks up around 7 points a week for fantasy owners, plus another 2 receiving. Not a terrific return, but he’s better than some others out there. If he is your second running back, you could do worse.

If you are having bye or injury issues, both Smith and LaFell could be started as your second receivers but the Panthers are dominant enough of a passing team to be must starts on a regular basis.

If you have the Carolina defense, congratulations! Who knew? Enjoy this one. They are likely to rack up a bunch of points tonight.

In all honesty, the only Tampa Bay player I can recommend this week is Vincent Jackson. He is quarterback Mike Glennon‘s favorite target and he has 544 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. Despite his team’s woes, Jackson is a must starter every week.

If you have Martin, and don’t have any good options, you may have to pick up Mike James until Martin is back. Only start James tonight if you have no choice.

I really like the Panthers in this game. I don’t even think it will be close. The Panthers defense is too good and the Tampa offense isn’t good enough, especially with Martin out. Cam Newton is playing very well right now and is fun to watch.


Tags: Carolina Panthers Kansas City Chiefs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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