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Several big-name running backs on Week 5 fantasy injury report delivers all the important player news with in-depth fantasy analysis for Week 5.


Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle

Hasselbeck (rib, probable) showed improvements throughout the week in practices and is in line to start against the Jaguars. Fantasy owners should still consider using a healthier alternative, however. Hasselbeck is playing behind an injury-depleted offensive line, and that certainly does not bode well for his outlook.

Manning (foot, questionable) is expected to be a game-time decision. The Giants can certainly afford to rest their starting quarterback against an opponent like Oakland, so Manning is no lock to start. When a player's status is unclear by Friday, it's best to reserve him if you have a decent alternative.

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia

McNabb (rib) is expected to start this weekend against the Buccaneers. Use him if your other quarterback option is not reliable, but you can scout McNabb and keep him reserved if your team is strong at the position.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit

According to reports, Lions coach Jim Schwartz will not announce his starting quarterback until Sunday. Stafford (knee) is listed as questionable, yet neither he nor Daunte Culpepper would be useful as the Lions face Pittsburgh.

Running backs

Marion Barber, Dallas

Barber (thigh, probable) was able to practice in full this week. "Marion's practiced and seems to be better and better," coach Wade Phillips told the Dallas Morning News. "I don't know if he's 100 percent." Barber should perform adequately enough to use him, unless you have another option of very similar value and appeal.

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati

Benson (hip, probable) was able to practice in full after sitting out Wednesday's workout. Fantasy owners should not be concerned about his status.

Ahmad Bradshaw, N.Y. Giants

Bradshaw (ankle, probable) missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday but will still be active against Oakland. If the Giants gain a significant lead against the Raiders, though, they could conceivably rest him. Consider that scenario if you are trying to make a tough decision on Bradshaw this week.

Correll Buckhalter, Denver

Buckhalter (ankle) missed practices all week and has already been declared out for Week 5. Knowshon Moreno should operate as Denver's clear No. 1 back and is a solid starting option. LaMont Jordan and Peyton Hillis will likely get some touches as well, but not enough to be used in most leagues.

Jamal Lewis, Cleveland

Lewis (hamstring, questionable) was limited in practices this week. Jerome Harrison has emerged as Cleveland's most productive fantasy back, and Lewis will not be useful in fantasy leagues this week. Keep him benched if he is still on your roster.

Darren McFadden, Oakland

McFadden (knee) has already been declared out, so Michael Bush will get the start against the Giants. Bush should only be used if you are desperate, however, as the New York defense should easily stifle the Oakland running game.

Willie Parker, Pittsburgh

Parker (toe) was not able to practice and is not expected to play against the Lions. The apparently rejuvenated Rashard Mendenhall is an outstanding No. 2 fantasy runner this week based on the tremendous matchup.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina

Stewart (Achilles) is listed as questionable to face the Redskins. The Carolina back has been mediocre so far in 2009, so keep him on your bench regardless of his status.

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia

Westbrook (ankle, knee) is set to return to action this week against Tampa Bay. The Eagles now have the luxury of using rookie standout LeSean McCoy to keep Westbrook from getting overworked, however, so do not use Westbrook as anything more than a flex player.

Derrick Ward, Tampa Bay

Ward (knee) was able to practice fully this week, but he should be benched as Cadillac Williams will likely be ahead of him in the pecking order again this week.

Wide Receivers

Donnie Avery/Keenan Burton, St. Louis

The Rams' top two wideouts are dealing with hamstring problems and are listed questionable after being limited in Friday's workouts. None of the Rams receivers are worth using right now, and Avery is teetering on the brink of being cut by fantasy owners who are still holding onto him.

Steve Breaston, Arizona

Breaston (knee) was limited in practices this week and is listed as questionable to face the Texans. He was able to play through the problem last week, though, so it is still recommended to use him if you need a bye week fill-in.

Antonio Bryant, Tampa Bay

Bryant (knee, questionable) was limited in practice late in the week. He is not trustworthy in fantasy leagues at this point, so keep him reserved. Fellow wideout Michael Clayton (ribs) was able to fully practice on Friday, but he is not worth a roster spot in most leagues at this point.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Friday that Cotchery (hamstring) is in danger of missing Monday night's game against the Dolphins. Prepare to reserve the veteran receiver, and do not expect much from Brad Smith if he is called on to start.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit

Johnson (thigh) was limited in practices late in the week but is listed as probable to face the Steelers. An active Johnson is a must-start option in fantasy circles.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore

Mason (neck) was limited in practices late in the week but is still listed as probable for Week 5. Barring setbacks, he should be used as a No. 3 fantasy wideout as he readies for what is sure to be an intense divisional game with the Bengals.

Roy Williams, Dallas

Williams (ribs) is listed at doubtful for Sunday's game at Kansas City. Miles Austin should start in his place and warrants strong consideration if you are scrambling for wide receiver help this week. Patrick Crayton also sees a bump in value with Williams out of action.

Wes Welker, New England

Welker (knee) was limited in practices this week once again. While he might be able to play again, Welker has not been useful to fantasy owners since Week 1 and should not be started on reputation alone. If you have another player of similar value, consider reserving Welker as he will face a formidable Denver secondary.

Tight ends

Zach Miller, Oakland

Miller (concussion) was limited in practices this week. He has been frustrating fantasy owners ever since a big performance in Week 1 and is not recommended for use right now no matter his status.

Scott Engel is Managing Director and Senior NFL Editor at Visit for more from Scott and check out the Free Fantasy Basketball Draft Kit.

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