With Sunday's games in the books, here's a brief list of the most significant depth chart changes affecting fantasy leagues:
BUFFALO QB - RISING: J.P. Losman. FALLING: Trent Edwards. Edwards suffered a concussion early in Sunday's game with Arizona. While Losman did fine in relief, including hooking up with Lee Evans for an 87-yard touchdown strike, the Bills lost their first game of the season. Losman wasn't too happy losing his job to Edwards last year, so this could be his opportunity to show the Buffalo brass that they were wrong. The Bills' offense is a bit more explosive with Losman at the helm, which will help the value of receivers like Evans. The Bills have a bye coming up, so all of this could be moot if Edwards' concussion is a minor one.
TAMPA BAY QB - RISING: Jeff Garcia. FALLING: Brian Griese. Griese took over for Garcia three weeks ago, and it was believed by many that Garcia's days with the Bucs were over. That all changed when Griese bruised his elbow Sunday and Garcia nearly led the Bucs to a come-from-behind victory over Denver. Griese's injury doesn't sound too serious, but Garcia could get another shot to lead the Tampa Bay offense next week since the Bucs failed to score a touchdown against Denver with Griese under center in Week 5.
SAN DIEGO WR - RISING: Vincent Jackson and Craig Davis. FALLING: Chris Chambers. Chambers wanted nothing more than a big game and victory against his former team. While he found the end zone for the fifth time this season, the Chargers lost. Even worse, he left the game with a leg injury in the third quarter. Jackson will take over as the top wide receiver should Chambers miss any action, with Davis likely starting opposite him. Jackson and Davis were hot sleepers going into 2007, but neither lived up to expectations, which ultimately spurred the front office to acquire Chambers in a trade with the Dolphins.
DENVER WR - RISING: Brandon Stokley and Darrell Jackson. FALLING: Eddie Royal. Going into training camp, Royal was very nearly an afterthought in the Denver offense. An excellent camp, not to mention a strong start to the season, catapulted him into the starting lineup. Royal sprained an ankle Sunday, however, and Stokley and Jackson are around to make sure he gets pushed back down on the depth chart. Stokley caught six passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and looks to be the main beneficiary of Royal's injury. Jackson caught a 48-yard touchdown in the opener, but it remains his only catch of the season due to injuries to his calf and ankle. If Royal is out in the coming weeks, Jackson should get a chance to add to his total.
SEATTLE WR - RISING: Bobby Engram. Falling: A Cast of Thousands. Engram and Deion Branch finally made their 2008 debuts Sunday, meaning the Courtney Taylor/Billy McMullen/Keary Colbert/Michael Bumpus experiment might be put out of its misery. Although the Seahawks couldn't get anything going offensively against the Giants, Engram didn't disappoint, finishing with eight catches for 61 yards. Branch caught three passes, but left the game with a heel injury and could be out for awhile. That's good news for one of the aforementioned quartet. Our money is on McMullen.
PITTSBURGH RB - RISING: Mewelde Moore. Falling: Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall fractured his shoulder in last week's Monday night game, and with Willie Parker still not at 100 percent, Sunday's starting duties fell to Moore. Despite only 17 carries, Moore just missed rushing for 100 yards. Parker should return after the upcoming bye, but Moore will now be the solid backup who could steal goal-line carries from Parker, a role thought to be exclusively Mendenhall's entering the season.
DETROIT QB - RISING: Drew Stanton. Falling: Jon Kitna and Dan Orlovsky. It's hard to imagine things getting any worse in Motown, but the Lions may be starting their third-string quarterback next week. Kitna suffered severe back spasms Sunday and Orlovsky left the game late with an ankle sprain. Neither had done much up to that point, so it's doubtful Stanton can do much worse. Stanton has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game, and even with Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams around, the Detroit offense has struggled moving the ball all season.
ST. LOUIS QB - RISING: Marc Bulger. Falling: Trent Green. Well, that was fun while it lasted. Bulger's one-game benching was the last significant act of Scott Linehan before he was fired. Bulger and Linehan did not get along, and now that Jim Haslett is calling the shots, Bulger heads back to the starting lineup. That's not necessarily a good thing, as the St. Louis offense has been terrible this year, but at least Bulger has a bit more job security than he did a week ago.
CINCINNATI WR - RISING: Antonio Chatman. Falling: Chris Henry. The reacquisition of Henry was a controversial one in Cincinnati, but he was still expected to help the offense as the third wide receiver when he returned from his suspension Sunday. Instead, the Bengals threw 40 passes and didn't target Henry once. Chatman, on the other hand, caught seven passes for 55 yards. Head coach Marvin Lewis did not want Henry back on the team, so conspiracy theorists are free to speculate why Henry wasn't involved.
Article first appeared 10/6/08