NFL fantasy news and views

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While the nation got acquainted with Joe The Plumber, plenty of news broke around the NFL. Here's what you need to know heading into the weekend.

News:Cowboys quarterback Tony Romomay play Sunday against the Rams despite a broken pinkie on his throwing hand.

Views: Between the Adam Jones fiasco and pinkie-gate, it's been a nutty week in Dallas -- even by Cowboys' standards. Just when you thought it was safe to pencil in Brad Johnson as the starter, Romo throws some passes during Thursday's practice and says he wants to play. Johnson would still be an above-average fantasy play if he eventually makes the start. If Romo plays, you've got to assume he's healthy enough to finish the game.

Verdict: There's a chance this one won't be decided until Sunday morning. Romo, obviously, is the more enticing fantasy performer if he's in the lineup. Keep checking back for more updates on the quarterback situation in Dallas.

News:Chiefs running back Larry Johnson will be deactivated for Sunday's game against the Titans for violating team rules.

Views: Coach Herman Edwards refused to specify the rule Johnson broke, but did say that the punishment is not related to the simple assault charge filed against Johnson this week. A 26-year-old woman accused Johnson of pushing her at a Kansas City night club in February.

Verdict: This is a big loss for the Chiefs, who face a tall order against the NFL's lone unbeaten team. Kolby Smith and Jamaal Charles will carry the load with Johnson on the sidelines. Neither running back is a good bet against the tough Titans' defense.

News:Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockeypracticed for the Saints Thursday and are expected to play Sunday against the Panthers.

Views: Coltston is the Saints' most dynamic receiver, and Shockey is a versatile playmaker at tight end. Their respective returns will only bolster what is already the leagues' best passing attack.

Verdict: With quarterback Drew Brees at the controls, the Saints are averaging a league-best 324.7 passing yards per game. Meanwhile, the Panthers allow just 158.8 passing yards per game, which is second in the NFL. Clearly these teams make for an interesting matchup. Feel free to activate both Coltson and Shockey this weekend.

News:Steelers running back Willie Parkerdidn't practice on Thursday and may miss Sunday's game against the Bengals.

Views: Parker is returning from a sprained MCL that has kept him out of action since September 21. He went through a full practice on Monday, but then reportedly re-aggravated the injury while working out on his own.

Verdict: Not a good sign for Parker or his fantasy owners. The Bengals are horrible against the run, and are fresh off surrendering two rushing TDs to the Jets' Thomas Jones last week. Mewelde Moore figures to get the start if Parker is unable to go.

News:Four of the 10 best-selling jerseys in the NFL belong to members of the Cowboys.

Views:Brett Favre is No. 1, but Tony Romo, Marion Barber III, Jason Witten and Terrell Owens cracked the top 10.

Verdict: It's totally irrelevant for fantasy purposes, but further evidence that, like it or not, the Cowboys are the most popular team in America. As if we needed more proof ...