Panthers WR Steve Smith and RB Jonathan Stewart miss Thursday practice
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Panthers WR Steve Smith and RB Jonathan Stewart miss Thursday practice

Carolina faces Atlanta this week with a chance to win the NFC South for the first time since 2008. While Atlanta has struggled this year, they would like nothing more than to spoil Carolina's party. Steve Smith and Jonathan Stewart @Jonathanstewar1 are doubtful for Sunday's finale.

Fantasy Analysis:

The good news for Smith came Monday when an MRI showed a sprained PCL and not a more serious injury. It is unlikely that Smith will be able to go this week, but he is hopeful to make it back for the Pathers' postseason run. If Smith is out, Brandon LaFell @Blafell1 will continue to start, while Ted Ginn @CCM_Theodo Jr. and Domenik Hixon @domenik_hixon will split duties on the other side. None of these guys are particularly exciting options, but LaFell and Ginn should be the best fantasy options in Smith's absence.

Jonathan Stewart has done very little since returning to the lineup this year and is not worth a fantasy start in the unlikely event that he suits up on Sunday. However, the lack of receiving options and an ailing Stewart will bump up DeAngelo Williams @DeAngeloRB value this week.

ESPN David Newton

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Tony Casale -
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Chicago, IL
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2013
Tony Casale is happy to be joining as a contributor starting late in the 2013 season. Tony has been involved with fantasy football for over a decade and has been writing and recording podcasts as a fantasy football expert for the past three years. Winner of numerous high profile fantasy leagues, he also competes and is involved with fantasy baseball.

When not adjusting his line-up, Tony is a professional actor and screenwriter, spending most of his time in Chicago after spending the last 7 years in Los Angeles. Go Bears, Go Bulls, Go Hawks and White Sox...but never, ever the Cubs.
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