Austin's return for Cowboys highlights Week 6 Hurt Locker

The Hurt Locker has become a sparsely populated place the past two weeks -- which is a good thing. But still, there are questions involving some No. 1 fantasy RBs and WRs that need to be addressed. Below we'll delve into injury replacements, bad nicknames, hair band lyrics and which running back told us this week to start him on your fantasy team.

Joseph Addai - Expect a Delone Carter/Donald Brown committee to soak up Addai's carries. But they have the Bengals this week, who are the top-rated defense in the NFL. Don't expect anything from anyone in the Colts organization (running backs, chain holders, laundry guys) this week. Sit, sit, sit.

Miles Austin - He's back, so play him as your No. 1 or 2 WR. He gives Tony Romo a second-half option, so no more concerns about what happens when Dez Bryant disappears after halftime. This is the best news for Romo, who I think has a huge week against the Patriots. As Kip Winger taught us, just when we needed him most, he's (no longer) Miles Away.

LeGarrette Blount - With his knee injury, it looks more and more like he won't play Sunday. So pick up Earnest Graham, and start him. Don't expect huge Blount-like numbers, but for a guy who already leads the team in receptions, he can give you 30-40 yards receiving and now you can likely count on him for 40-50 rushing. Hey, 10 points out of him is pretty good, which would make him a Golden Graham this week. (Okay, so it's not 'Blount Force Trauma' but I'm a little hindered here. It's either that or a Graham Crackers line.)

BenJarvus Green-Ellis - He was downgraded this week at practice, so keep an eye here. If he doesn't play, it would mean putting Stevan Ridley in your starting lineup as he'll get the bulk of the carries. Danny Woodhead is also a smaller benefactor.

Brandon Jacobs - His knees are too tough to make him any kind of factor for the Giants. Ahmad Bradshaw will see all the carries and he's a great play, but I think the Giants offense is morphing towards being Eli-centric like it was last season. They can't 'ground and pound' (hmm, where have I heard that before?) like they have in the past. The way out is through the air -- Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz will see amped production. Cruz is now a strong No. 2 play.

Julio Jones - Out for Sunday's game, hopeful for a Week 7 return. Oddly, I think this is great news for Roddy White, who's been disappointing. Hey, someone has to suck up those extra 10-15 targets a game, and it ain't going to be Harry Douglas or Kerry Meier. Big week for White this week. Need a replacement for Jones? Try Darrius Heyward-Bey, David Nelson (more on him below) or Jerome Simpson.

Rashard Mendenhall - He has been given the green light to return to the Steelers lineup full-bore. He's disappointing, yes, but with the bye week playing major havoc at the RB position and RBs down in general? Put Mendenhall back in your starting lineup as high as a No. 2. I know, you don't want to do it, but you have to.

Other hurts

» No Donald Jones in Buffalo this week means better things for David Nelson, who really came through before Jones put his imprint on the offense. Nelson is a good flex play this week…

» Though he told us this week on NFL Fantasy Live to start him, Tim Hightower is officially listed as questionable (if there's anything else you can do to throw us off base Mike Shanahan, please do so). If Hightower is out, Torain becomes a strong No. 2 play this week. This may go right up until kickoff, so keep checking back...

»Chris Cooley is also questionable, which means Fred Davis' fantasy value takes an uptick. He's dropped off of fantasy radars the last couple of weeks, and he stayed in Washington to work out with Rex Grossman during the bye. He's a sneaky add if you need a TE this week - and Cooley's status only helps that.

» Michael Crabtree was limited in practice due to his toe but he'll play Sunday. Get him in as your flex. If he can't do it this week with all the injuries sapping the Niners of their WRs, he'll never do it…

» Louis Murphy looks to be a go for the Raiders against the Browns. I see a huge day from Jason Campbell. He's your best bye-week replacement QB…

» Devery Henderson's been held out of Saints practice this week with a calf injury, but he's not a reliable starter anyway. Marques Colston and Lance Moore are the top two targets. You can play them both as good flex options this week…

» Percy Harvin will play against the Lions this week. Despite his diminished production, with the byes this week there are worse options at the flex.

See Jason Smith on NFL Fantasy Live, airing Sundays at 11:30 a.m. ET on the Red Zone Channel, and Tuesday-Friday on NFL Network at 2 p.m. ET and 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT. He writes Fantasy and other NFL pith on NFL.com daily. Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca. He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.