Panthers WR Steve Smith Hopes To Return Next Week: Fantasy Implications

Aug 11, 2012; Charlotte, NC, USA Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) runs out of the tunnel before the start of the game against the Houston Texans at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith is expected to return to practice Tuesday. We break down the fantasy implications.

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said Sunday night that he hopes to have wide receiver Steve Smith back by practice Tuesday. The Panthers are set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final week of preseason, but Rivera said that even if Smith in 100 percent, he will not play. Smith has been temporarily sidelined by a foot infection this offseason.

Analysis: Smith was a huge success in fantasy football last season, surprising many fantasy owners. With Cam Newton landing on the scene, Smith has returned to prominence. The veteran receiver is showing no signs of slowing down, and when healthy, is one of the top pass catchers in the league. Smith has the speed and big-play ability owners look for in a fantasy receiver, and having a quarterback with a rocket arm really helps his value. Smith should be good to go by Week 1 of the regular season, making him an early round selection in most draft formats.

For more on Smith and the Panthers, head over to the SB Nation blog Cat Scratch Reader.

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