Snap, Crackle & Pop Snap, Crackle and Pop is a weekly column that reviews the major injuries (Snap) and then projects both busts (Crackle) and sleepers (Pop) for the coming week.
In-season trades are uncommon in the NFL, which is why we only get about one significant deal a year. Last season it was Chris Chambers. This season it's Roy Williams. Detroit sent their unhappy wide receiver to Dallas for three 2009 picks. Detroit gets Dallas' first-, third- and sixth-round picks and Dallas gets Williams and Detroit's seventh round pick next season. It seems like a steep price to pay for the under-performing Williams. Given Dallas' defensive problems, the return of the other Roy Williams (the safety) might be more beneficial to Dallas. The other Williams is practicing again and may return Sunday.
• It looks like the Bengals will be without Carson Palmer for at least another week. Palmer might need Tommy John surgery, and he's consulting the New York Mets' team physician. That's a guy who knows his way around a sore elbow. There's no telling when Palmer will be ready to play again, but if he gets surgery he will be done for the year. Ryan Fitzpatrick gets the thankless task of starting against the Steelers this week.
• Denver WR Brandon Stokley was knocked out of last week's game with yet another concussion. This is at least the 10th time Stokley has had a concussion. The Denver medical team may be reluctant to clear Stokley to play against the Patriots under these circumstances. The Broncos are already thin at receiver with Eddie Royal missing last week's game with an ankle injury. If neither Stokley nor Royal can go on Monday, then Darrell Jackson will start opposite Brandon Marshall. The news is not all bad for Denver, however. The Broncos should get RB Selvin Young back against New England.
• Colts RB Joseph Addai posted a big fat zero for fantasy owners last week, injuring his hamstring after only two carries for three yards. Addai owners better sit down for this: the hamstring is partially torn and will force him to miss not only this Sunday's Packers game but potentially another three weeks after that. Dominic Rhodes will be the feature back for Indianapolis.
• Patriots RB Laurence Maroney is becoming increasingly irrelevant. He will miss his second straight game with shoulder injury. It's unlikely that Maroney will contribute in any meaningful way in '08.
• Steelers RB Willie Parker will return from his knee injury this Sunday. Parker missed two games and then had the bye-week to recuperate his strained MCL. Parker also didn't want to miss a chance to play against Cincinnati's defense. Last season he had 213 yards rushing in two games against the Bengals.
• Saints WR Marques Colston is practicing and should be ready to return from a thumb injury on Sunday against the Panthers. TE Jeremy Shockey (groin) could also be ready, putting the Saints offense at full-strength for the first time since Week 1.
• Did you know the Jets give up just 67 rushing yards per game? That's third-best in the league. New York poses a nasty match-up problem for the Raiders, a team that must rely on their running game. Neither Justin Fargas nor Darren McFadden is much of a fantasy option this week. Fargas and McFadden are coming off 35- and 30-yard rushing efforts, respectively, against the Saints. Both should be avoided this week and next week (versus the Ravens).
• Bears rookie RB Matt Forte has tapered off since his fast start. His three best games were arguably weeks 1 through 3. Now he faces the sturdy Minnesota run defense. Sit Forte if you have some depth at running back.
• Chiefs RB Larry Johnson has rushed for 200 yards over his past two games. Unfortunately 198 yards were accumulated in one game and only two yards in the other. Johnson has a bad hand to play this Sunday against the undefeated Titans. Brodie Croyle will start at quarterback for the Chiefs, which means that the Titans will key on Johnson.
• Miami QB Chad Pennington is quietly having a nice season. He has five TD against only two interceptions and a 99 QB rating. A lot of his success is attributable to Ronnie Brown's strong running and some well-executed gadget plays. The Ravens were burned badly last week through the air, but the Dolphins can't match the Colts' passing game. Pennington is no Peyton Manning. Greg Camarillo and Ted Ginn are not Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. This will be a low-scoring game with low fantasy-potential for the offenses.
• Make sure you rest all your Falcons, Eagles, Cardinals and Jaguars since they will be on their bye week.
• Is Kerry Collins the worst quarterback ever for a 5-0 team? Tennessee is winning in spite of the lack of production from the passing game. Running backs LenDale White (165 yards, 5 TD) and Chris Johnson (381 yards, 2 TD) have led the way. Both are strong plays this Sunday against the Chiefs. The Chiefs run defense is so bad that you would do well to start both White and Johnson, assuming you had them both on your fantasy team.
• All of you Romo owners may need a quarterback this week. Brad Johnson is a very playable choice versus the 31st-ranked Rams defense. The acquisition of Williams will be bad for Patrick Crayton owners. For this week, however, I don't expect Williams to know the Dallas playbook well enough to be a factor. You can ride Crayton one more week.
• Texans QB Matt Schaub is a good bye-week replacement for Donovan McNabb and Kurt Warner owners. Schaub is throwing to a red-hot Andre Johnson and is facing the terrible Detroit defense. The matchup also makes WR Kevin Walter (21 for 266 and 3 TD) a good option on Sunday.
• Tampa Bay RB Warrick Dunn had a huge day last week against the Panthers. Injuries forced the Bucs to move Earnest Graham to fullback and make Dunn the feature back. Dunn responded with 22 rushes for 115 yards. It was Dunn's first 100-yard game since Week 9 of the '07 season. Expect Dunn to continue to get the ball until Cadillac Williams comes off the PUP list. Dunn is a great play against the Seahawks' defense.