Steve Smith sits out Thursday practice, expects to play Sunday for deep-league fantasy owners

Streeter Lecka

The Panthers' veteran receiver sat out practice on Thursday for precautionary reasons. We break down the fantasy implications.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was held out of practice on Thursday for precautionary reasons, but is still in line to play Sunday versus the New Orleans Saints.

The report by the Charlotte Observer's Jonathan Jones refers to Smith's dislocated finger, which he injured in Wednesday's practice. Despite the injury, Smith will gut it out in a Week 16 showdown versus the New Orleans Saints, a game that could very well decide the winner of the NFC South. Because of the playoff implications, the Panthers will want all hands on deck, and that includes the hands of Smith even if one contains a dislocated finger.

Fantasy Spin: Though Smith is in no imminent danger of missing time, fantasy owners would still be better suited to go with a different option at wide receiver during championship week. Smith has not logged more than 69 yards in a game this season, and his four touchdowns don't make him the inspiring fantasy play he used to be. He is a flex play in deep leagues only, and otherwise, fantasy owners should not bother.

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