Hillis hurt in practice: Just when it looked like Browns RB Peyton Hillis (hamstring) was on track to return to the field, the former Arkansas Razorback hit another setback, aggravating his hamstring during Friday’s practice. Hillis hasn’t played since suffering the injury during Cleveland’s Week 6 loss to Oakland. That news is bad enough for Hillis fantasy owners, but it’s even worse for the Browns. With Montario Hardesty (torn calf muscle) out for at least the next couple of weeks, the burden likely falls to Chris Ogbonnaya for Sunday’s game at Houston. The Texans haven’t been in the habit of giving up big games to fantasy running backs, which would have made Hillis a rocky start. If it’s Ogbonnaya, you should make an end run of your own…away from the Browns backfield.
Nicks, Bradshaw not practicing: Despite Thursday’s confusion over the status of RB Ahmad Bradshaw’s foot, there is no mix-up about the Giants running back missing practice on Friday along with WR Hakeem Nicks. Bradshaw’s absence seems to further solidify Brandon Jacobs as Big Blue’s chief rushing option for Sunday’s game against New England. Likewise, without Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham figure to see more targets against a Patriots secondary that has been torched all season. The matchup figures to be a shootout, so it’s worth having any Giants offensive players in your lineup. Except the ones who aren’t playing, of course.
Chargers optimistic about Brinkley: With RB Ryan Mathews (groin) looking doubtful, the Chargers are hoping Curtis Brinkley (concussion) will be available to help Mike Tolbert with the team’s rushing duties this week. Brinkley did a nice job Monday, rushing for 43 yards on 10 carries in the loss to Kansas City. Unfortunately, Sunday’s opponent is Green Bay, who has been quite stout against the run. Tolbert could see some goal-line carries, making him worth a look as a flex option, but Brinkley is probably someone to avoid unless you’re really hurting at the position.
— Marcas Grant