‘Good chance’ Brian Westbrook won’t play against Giants

According to Philly.com, the Eagles are unlikely to rush Brian Westbrook back, even for a big game like Sunday’s tilt against the Giants.

From a fantasy perspective, Westbrook’s owners knew that he was going to miss a few games throughout the season, so they shouldn’t be surprised or angry about this news. LeSean McCoy is a capable backup, but it’s not like next week’s game against the Giants is a tasty matchup for either RB.

Desperate owners should look to Shonn Greene and/or Beanie Wells, who may be available. Greene is going to get most of Leon Washington’s touches and Wells is getting more and more work in the Arizona backfield. He’s a much better natural runner than Tim Hightower, though Hightower has more experience and better hands.

If Greene and Wells are gone, Mike Bell is another option. He is getting all of the Saints’ goal line work and has 27 carries in the last two games. He’s not going to post Westbrook-like numbers, but he should help fantasy owners get by. If Bell isn’t available, Justin Fargas ran really hard against the Jets and has a nice matchup against the Chargers in Week 8.

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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Westy, Eli, Braylon and more

Westbrook and McNabb to play. It looks like LeSean McCoy will eat into Westy’s touches, but he’s still a very good start against the Bucs’ sketchy defense. This should also be an upgrade for DeSean Jackson and even David Akers, who should see more opportunities now that McNabb is back under center.

Eli Manning sits out of practice. He’s looking like a game-time decision for Sunday. The good news is that he can’t make his foot worse by playing on it — it’s all about what kind of tolerance he has for the pain. I’d expect Manning to continue with the great season he’s having since mobility isn’t one of his strengths in the first place.

Giants want to involve Hakeem Nicks. On three targets, Nicks caught one pass for 54 yards and a TD in Week 4, while Mario Manningham went 1-43 on eight targets. Manningham is currently getting the lion’s share of looks, but he didn’t convert very well on Sunday. His conversion rate is now down to 56%, which is just mediocre. Nicks’ rate (43%) is even worse, but the Giants still want to get him involved in the offense. The only safe start for the Giants right now is Steve Smith.

Roy Williams (ribs) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. This an upgrade for the rest of the Cowboys’ receiving corps, and now Patrick Crayton looks like a decent start in most leagues while Sam Hurd becomes a sleeper with Williams sidelined. This hurts Tony Romo since he’ll have one fewer weapon to utilize, but he shouldn’t have trouble posting a nice fantasy line against the Chiefs. Keep an eye on Williams this week.

Braylon Edwards to start Monday night. You’d think they’d bring him around slowly, but the Jets don’t have a lot of options at WR now that Chansi Stuckey is gone. They’re going to take their new toy out for a spin. Will Braylon suddenly discover where his hands have been hiding the last year and a half? Only time will tell.

Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Westy, DeSean, Bowe, Bell, MBIII and more

DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook miss practice. Westy has a long history of not practicing during the week and then killing defenses on Sunday, so plan to use him in Week 3. The Eagles play in the early game, so you’ll have an opportunity to make an adjustment if he’s inactive. While tweaked ankles can clear up fast, I’m a little worried about Jackson’s groin injury. Muscle injuries don’t typically just go away, but he may be able to fight through it. One wonders if the Eagles will risk it against a Kansas City defense that hasn’t shown much in 2009.

Dwayne Bowe fighting a hamstring injury. He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, but the fact that he was out there is a good sign for Sunday. Again, the PHI/KC game is at 1 PM ET, so you should have time to make a move if he is a surprise scratch. He was practicing again on Friday, so that’s a good sign.

Giants lose SS Phillips for the season. This is a serious blow to a Giants DT that has looked strong thus far this season. The loss of Phillips will hurt both in the passing game and in run support, and given the team’s other injury problems on defense, don’t be afraid to start players facing the Giants this week (mainly Cadillac Williams, if healthy, and Derrick Ward).

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Fantasy Fallout, Week 6: RBs

It’s clear that RB2 duties in New Orleans belong to Deuce McAllister (15 touches, 72 yards). Pierre Thomas saw just three carries (for 18 yards)…The Raiders split touches between Justin Fargas (10 touches, 35 yards) and Darren McFadden (8 touches, 30 yards). Michael Bush saw just four touches (for 13 yards). This appears to be the plan when all three backs are (reasonably) healthy…Thomas Jones (20 touches, 78 yards, 3 TD) finally had a big game, but it’s doubtful that too many fantasy owners were starting him. I like Jones, but the Jets love to throw at the goal line…Chris Perry (13 carries, 14 yards) is playing dreadful football. He failed to score from inside the three yard line and dropped an easy catch…For a guy who’s averaging 5.6 yards a carry, Earnest Graham (5 carries, 11 yards, TD) sure doesn’t get a lot of work. The Bucs were running him at fullback for most of the game…Michael Turner (25 carries, 54 yards) put in another disappointing performance against a good defense. At least he’s predictable…The Baltimore running game was a huge disappointment against a bad Colts rush defense. Willis McGahee got knocked out of the game and his backup, LeRon McClain, only managed three carries (and fumbled once)…Maurice Jones-Drew (24 touches, 148 yards, 2 TD) capitalized on a Fred Taylor injury to post some big numbers. That’s just a glimpse of what he’ll do once Taylor finally retires…Correll Buckhalter (25 touches, 178 yards, TD) looked like Brian Westbrook, Jr…Ryan Grant (33 carries, 90 yards) looked a little better, but still failed to break off any big runs. The holes just aren’t there at the point of attack.

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