News and notes for Week 5

  • Giants QB Eli Manning (foot) took half of the first-team snaps in Giants practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Week 5. Chances are he’ll be a game-time decision. Owners should be prepared to go without Manning in case he’s unable to start. QB David Carr isn’t a great last-minute fantasy option.
  • Steelers RB Willie Parker (turf toe) missed Friday’s practice and is expected to be inactive for Sunday’s game at Detroit. That makes RB Rashard Mendenhall almost a must-start back. RB Mewelde Moore is also worth a look as a potential flex starter based on the attractive matchup.
  • The Dallas Morning News reports that Cowboys WR Roy Williams (ribs) is listed as doubtful to face the Chiefs. WRs Patrick Crayton and Miles Austin are in line to start and become great sleeper candidates with Williams out of the mix.
  • Lions QB Matthew Stafford (knee) returned to individual drills on Friday but is still not expected to play against Pittsburgh. That means veteran QB Daunte Culpepper will start in his absence. The Steelers have been vulnerable against the pass, so Culpepper is a viable desperation play for fantasy owners.
  • Eagles RB LeSean McCoy is a viable flex option this week, but don’t expect him to split carries down the middle with RB Brian Westbrook. McCoy admitted to PhillyBurbs.com that Westbrook will “probably get most of the action” against the Buccaneers. The rookie could see some garbage time touches if the game is a blowout, however.
  • Raiders coach Tom Cable confirmed to the Oakland Tribune that RB Michael Bush will start against the Giants. RB Justin Fargas will also see carries, however, and Cable is expected to play the hotter hand. Of course, both backs are cold fantasy plays against the G-Men.
  • Newsday reports that because the Browns’ and Jets’ offenses are so similar that WR Braylon Edwards won’t need much time to have a full knowledge of the system. Of course, Edwards still has little rapport with rookie QB Mark Sanchez and is a risky option for fantasy owners.
  • Patriots RB Fred Taylor (ankle) is out for several weeks (if not the season), so RBs Sammy Morris and Laurence Maroney will see more work against the Broncos. Morris could be a sneaky flex play, while RB Kevin Faulk warrants consideration in leagues that reward points for catches.
  • Jets coach Rex Ryan said Friday that while he’s expecting WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) to play on Monday night, there’s a “definite possibility” that he won’t be active. There’s an obvious contradiction there, but the fact that Cotchery plays on Monday night makes him a huge risk for fantasy owners.
  • Rams WRs Donnie Avery (hamstring) and Keenan Burton (hamstring) are both listed as questionable for Week 5. With QB Marc Bulger (shoulder) already ruled out, the Rams offense isn’t going to score many points against a Vikings defense that is a must-start option in all fantasy formats.
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