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Depth Chart Watch: Toss-Up in the Buffalo Backfield

Kenn Ruby

Kenn Ruby

Kenn has been writing and editing for RotoWire since 2003. Though he attended Northwestern with the co-founders of RotoWire, he is not considered a made member of the RotoWire Northwestern mafia, as he can't trace back all of his ancestors to Dan Okrent.

BILLS RB: Although he caught four passes, it was quite surprising to see C.J. Spiller get only one carry against the Packers Sunday. Meanwhile, Marshawn Lynch started and ran for 64 yards on 17 carries. There has been some speculation that the Bills were showcasing Lynch for a possible trade, but for one day at least, he was the top Buffalo rusher. Fred Jackson, for what it's worth, had nine carries for 39 yards and scored Buffalo's lone TD.

BRONCOS WR: Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney are still the starters, and Eddie Royal is still playing the slot, but the Broncos welcomed a new wide receiver to their corps Sunday who could be better than all of them. Rookie Demaryius Thomas, who missed Week 1 after sitting out the preseason while recovering from foot surgery, marked his NFL debut with eight catches for 97 yards, including a 21-yard score. Lloyd was the surprise starter in week one, but if Thomas keeps things up, Lloyd could be coming off the bench in the coming weeks. Gaffney, who caught just two passes for 15 yards, could also see his value slip a bit further.

BROWNS QB: Seneca Wallace started in Jake Delhomme's place Sunday and wasn't too bad, throwing for 229 yards and a score. The Cleveland offense isn't exactly the best place to find a fantasy quarterback, so regardless of whether or not Delhomme returns from his ankle injury in Week 3, neither quarterback is worth a roster spot right now.

BROWNS RB: Although Jerome Harrison had 16 carries to Peyton Hillis' eight, Hillis outgained Harrison on the ground 35 to 33 and scored for the second week in a row. Throw in Harrison's fumble, and it’s looking like it's time to jump on the Hillis bandwagon if it's not too late.

CHARGERS RB: There were already rumblings that Mike Tolbert could get the ball in goalline situations before Sunday's game, so it's not surprising that he was used in those situations after Ryan Mathews left the game with an ankle injury. What's a bit more surprising is that Tolbert was the team's primary back, instead of Darren Sproles, in Mathews' absence. Tolbert had 82 yards on 16 carries, two of which found paydirt. Right now, it doesn't look like Mathews' injury is too serious, but Tolbert could be a nice Week 3 option if Mathews is held out for a game.

CHIEFS RB: After Sunday's game Jamaal Charles referred to himself as the "backup" running back, and though it is easy to see why he said it, it is still unfathomable that he is playing a secondary role. Starter Thomas Jones didn't have a bad game - 22 carries for 83 yards - but Charles continues to outplay Jones when given the opportunity. The Chiefs are off to a 2-0 start, so don't expect them to mess with what has won them games so far. Still, sooner or later, Charles' talent will win out.

COWBOYS TE: Jason Witten suffered a concussion on a big hit in the fourth quarter, putting his Week 3 status in doubt. Martellus Bennett, who caught seven passes for 45 yards Sunday, should assume Witten's spot in the offense if Witten is forced to miss any action.

EAGLES QB: Possibly the biggest news in the NFL last week was the return of Michael Vick. With Kevin Kolb out with a concussion on Sunday, Vick turned in another stellar performance, throwing for 284 yards and two scores and picking up 37 yards on the ground. Head coach Andy Reid has repeatedly stressed that a healthy Kolb is his starting quarterback, but Vick's early-season performance will force Reid to make a tough decision when Kolb is cleared to play, and also put even more pressure on Kolb.

FALCONS RB: With Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood both felled by injuries, Jason Snelling had a monster game Sunday, rushing for 129 yards, catching five passes for 57 yards, and scoring three times. Turner had nine carries for 75 yards before leaving the game with a mild groin injury, and with the game well in hand, there was no reason to bring him back. Let someone else blow their FAAB on Snelling this week - Turner will be back soon enough.

JAGUARS QB: David Garrard was benched after throwing four interceptions, but he hasn't lost his job yet. Luke McCown certainly played better than Garrard Sunday, but most of his production came in garbage time. Garrard returned to throw a TD pass late in the game when McCown was shaken up.

LIONS QB: Shaun Hill will start in Detroit until Matthew Stafford, who suffered a shoulder injury in Week 1, is able to return. When Stafford returns is anyone's guest, though Stafford is already back on the practice field (he's not practicing, but still). Hill threw for 335 yards and two TDs, but Jahvid Best did most of the work for him on one of those scores.

PACKERS RB: With Ryan Grant out for the year with an ankle injury, the new Green Bay starter is Brandon Jackson. Jackson was bottled up in his first start, gaining just 29 yards on 11 carries, though he did score from one yard out. John Kuhn saw some significant action as well, including on the Packers' first drive of the game, but Jackson's job is safe for now.

PANTHERS QB: For the second week in a row Matt Moore was relieved by Jimmy Clausen, though this time it wasn't injury-related. Moore played one week after suffering a concussion, but perhaps he should have stayed on the sidelines. Moore completed just six passes in 16 attempts and is now 20-for-49 on the season with four interceptions. Clausen wasn't any better, completing 7-of-13 passes for just 59 yards. Our money is on Clausen getting the start next Sunday, but expect the Panthers to make an official announcement early this week.

PATRIOTS RB: It was the usual mess in the New England backfield this week, as Fred Taylor, Kevin Faulk, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, and Sammy Morris combined for 52 yards on 20 carries and three catches for 34 yards against a stingy Jets defense. Anyone trying to read the tea leaves at least got a clearer picture last week when Laurence Maroney was traded to Denver, but on a week-to-week basis, it doesn't look like any Patriots running back is worth starting. For what it's worth, Green-Ellis led New England with 10 carries Sunday.

RAIDERS QB: After struggling last week, Jason Campbell was even worse on Sunday, throwing for 87 yards and an interception in just one half of play. Bruce Gradkowski replaced him after the break, rallying the Raiders to a rare victory. Campbell hasn't lost his job yet, but he's on a short leash.

STEELERS QB: Dennis Dixon sprained his knee Sunday and was replaced by Charlie Batch. Dixon and Batch competed with Byron Leftwich in camp to see who would replace Ben Roethlisberger during the big man's suspension; and though Batch has yet to start, he is the last one standing due to injuries to the other two competitors. Batch didn't have to do much Sunday, but if he starts in Week 3, he could be counted on to throw the ball a bit more against a stiff Tampa Bay run defense.