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.
Neither Eli Manning nor tight end Kevin Boss participated in Giants' practice on Wednesday. Both would normally be strong plays against Oakland this Sunday, but coach Tom Coughlin may be tempted to give them both the day off since New York can beat the Raiders with their junior varsity. Manning could be a game-day decision.
Dallas RB Marion Barber played well last week before his quadriceps injury acted up. He practiced this Wednesday so it should be safe to have him in your lineup. Barber draws the Chiefs this Sunday: one of the softest match-ups he will see this season. Teammate Roy Williams suffered cartilage damage to his ribs last week and is questionable for Sunday's game in Kansas City. Though the match-up is tasty, it's hard to recommend Williams or any Dallas receiver not named Jason Witten.
The Eagles will be back to full strength coming off their bye week. QB Donovan McNabb and RB Brian Westbrook return against the NFL's 31st-ranked defense. Rookie RB LeSean McCoy goes back to being no more than a handcuff.
Oakland RB Darren McFadden was a fantasy pit last week: six carries for minus-3 yards. Adding injury to insult, McFadden tore his right meniscus and underwent surgery on Tuesday. Don't expect to see him for another month. Michael Bush and Justin Fargas get the unenviable job of facing the Giants defense this Sunday.
Denver RB Correll Buckhalter has played surprisingly well this season. If you've had the guts to play the journeyman you were rewarded with four productive fantasy starts. Buckhalter sprained an ankle against Dallas last week and is still hobbling around. Rookie Knowshon Moreno figures to get most of Buckhalter's carries against the Patriots.
New England RB Fred Taylor did not practice on Wednesday. He hurt his ankle in last Sunday's win over the Ravens. Sammy Morris' stock goes up a little with Taylor out, though it's a very tough match-up against Denver's second-ranked defense.
The Jets' defense is for real. They contained the potent Saints in a loss last week. The Saints scored only 10 points on offense. This Monday they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins. The ferocious Jets defense will clamp down on the Miami running game and force young Chad Henne to try to beat them. It's time to bench running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.
Rest all your Saints, Chargers, Packers and Bears this week; it's their bye week. No Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Jake Cutler or Philip Rivers, among others.
If you have a Marques Colston, Greg Jennings or a Donald Driver you will need a bye-week replacement. Indianapolis' Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie have been productive since the injury to Anthony Gonzalez. Last week they combined for nine receptions for 136 yards and a TD against the Seahawks. This week they face the putrid Titans' pass defense.
Speaking of putrid, that describes the Jaguars' pass defense as well. They are tied with Tennessee for dead last in the NFL. That's why I like the Seahawks' passing game against Jacksonville, especially WR Nate Burleson and TE John Carlson. Even QB SenecaWallace is a good choice if he starts for Matt Hasselbeck. If Brees, Rodgers, Cutler or Rivers is your QB1, grab Wallace off waivers.
I liked WR Mohamed Massaquoi as a sleeper even before the trade of Braylon Edwards to the Jets. However, after the trade, I like Massaquoi even more. He had a huge game last week in Derek Anderson's first start at quarterback: eight receptions for 148 yards. As for Edwards, he has tremendous upside, but I would not rush to put him into my starting lineup until he learns the New York playbook.
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall got his chance last week with Willie Parker resting his injured toe. All he did was rush for 165 yards against the Chargers. This week he will face the defenseless Lions. He's a great play against Detroit, especially with Parker sidelined again.