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Scott Pianowski

9-on-9: Austin stories, doing the committee crawl

Scott Pianowski
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Ten links for the nine-link price. Here's a Tuesday look around the fantasy football landscape.

While Wade Phillips hasn't slapped the starter tag on Miles Austin(notes) yet, it's not too hard to read between the lines in Big D. Here's what the head coach had to say when asked about Austin's role for Week 7 (Dallas is off this week): "He's going to play. I mean, he played 58 plays [at Kansas City] and I'm saying he's going to play 50-something plays in the next game, too. We're going to get him on the field." Phillips also praised Austin's ability to make yards after the catch, albeit that's something the Chiefs secondary aided greatly in Week 5 (note the flag football technique that's shown above). The Cowboys get Atlanta, Seattle, Philadelphia and Green Bay after the bye. [Dallas Morning News]

LeSean McCoy(notes) had one more touch than Brian Westbrook(notes) last week against Tampa Bay (nine for the rook, eight for the veteran) and the time share will probably continue so long as the Eagles are playing patsies. Philadelphia gets Oakland (favorable) and Washington (somewhat favorable) the next two weeks before things get harder; the Giants and Cowboys wait after that. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Willie Parker(notes) (toe) is expected to have a full day of practice when the Steelers get back to work Wednesday. What's going to happen with this team's backfield when everyone is healthy? Ed Bouchette speculates that Mendenhall will keep two-thirds of the work. [Steelers.com, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Are more runs on the way in Arizona, with Beanie Wells(notes) getting a significant piece of the action? That's the siren song Ken Whisenhunt seems to be singing right now. We'll see if he remembers Sunday against Seattle. [Cardinals.com]

Larry Johnson(notes) is averaging just 2.4 yards a carry but Todd Haley isn't blaming his featured back – he's flagging the offensive line instead. The Chiefs haven't looked too much at backup Jamaal Charles(notes), giving him just 15 carries through five games (a Week 4 fumble didn‘t help Charles break into the lineup). [Kansas City Star]

Derek Anderson(notes) didn't lose his job despite his 2-for-17 exhibition in the Buffalo wind tunnel; just win baby. "D.A. will continue to start," said Eric Mangini, who generally doesn't like to tell us anything earlier in the week. The Steelers are next up, a defense that's looked ordinary without Troy Polamalu(notes) (and his hair) in the lineup. What becomes of Brady Quinn(notes)? Perhaps he'll be trade bait, as Mary Kay Cabot speculates. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Anthony Gonzalez(notes) (knee) isn't going to be practicing during the Colts bye this week, something to consider as you make roster-space decisions on Austin Collie(notes) and Pierre Garcon(notes). Collie has three touchdowns in the last two weeks as a heady slot receiver, while Garcon is averaging 19.6 yards per reception. [Colts.com]

The Buccaneers will probably start the Josh Freeman(notes) experiment sooner or later in 2009 but it's not going to happen right now; Josh Johnson(notes) is keeping his job for the moment. Johnson was perplexed by the Philly pressure packages last week but he did some good things too; of note, Kellen Winslow(notes) came back from the dead in that game. The Bucs get Carolina this week, much to the joy of The Original Steve Smith owners. [St. Petersburg Times]

Brandon Jacobs(notes) is just about the only big-name Giant not going off with the rest of the Eli Manning(notes) undertow, but be careful what you say about No. 27 – he's been a little defensive lately. [Newsday]

Michael Crabtree(notes) will stay with the San Francisco coaches during the bye week as he looks to play catchup with the Niners playbook. "He's already had his bye week," Mike Singletary offered. "He's had a long bue week." The team is hoping to get Crabtree into the slot position before the end of the month. [Santa Rose Press Democrat]

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