With Sunday's games in the books, here's a brief list of the most significant depth chart changes affecting fantasy leagues:
PHILADELPHIA QB - RISING: Kevin Kolb. FALLING: Donovan McNabb. Thanks to a strong start to the 2008 season, McNabb's year-to-date statistics cover up what has been a horrible two-week run. After three first-half turnovers Sunday, McNabb was yanked in favor of Kolb. Fortunately for McNabb and his fans, Kolb didn't fair much better. Kolb may be the future, but with Philly going nowhere fast, he could be the present as well. The Eagles play on Thanksgiving, while head coach Andy Reid announced McNabb as the team's starter on Monday morning.
CINCINNATI WR - RISING: Glenn Holt. FALLING: Chad Johnson. The sleepy Johnson was deactivated against the Steelers, and it's very possible his days in the Queen City are over. The Bengals have put up with his antics over the years, but he's always produced. Now that he's having the worst year of his career, Ocho Cinco has been shown the door. Holt took over in the starting lineup and scored a touchdown, but he only caught one other pass and had a number of drops. Chris Henry and Andre Caldwell also move up a notch in the pecking order, but Cincinnati's offense has been abysmal this year, so it's unlikely any of them will have much value the rest of the way.
SEATTLE RB - RISING: Maurice Morris. FALLING: Julius Jones. Morris replaced Jones in the starting lineup Sunday, rushing for a season-high 103 yards on 14 carries. Jones didn't have a bad start to the season while Morris was out, rushing for 312 yards and three touchdowns in the first three weeks. Since then, he's been sharing time with Morris, but neither back has shown much since then. The Seahawks are now 2-9, so there's no harm in giving Morris another shot, especially if he continues to play well.
PITTSBURGH RB - RISING: Mewelde Moore and Gary Russell. FALLING: Willie Parker. Another week, another status change in Pittsburgh. Parker aggravated a knee injury in the third quarter against the Bengals, meaning Moore once again could be heading to the top of the depth chart. Moore has been great when Parker has been out this year, and it looks like Parker just can't be counted on to stay healthy. Temper your excitement for Moore, however, as it looks like the Steelers may want to start using Russell as the goal-line back. Russell scored on a two-yarder against Cincinnati.
ST. LOUIS QB - RISING: Trent Green. FALLING: Marc Bulger. Technically, Green is rising, especially if Bulger's concussion is serious, but he did not play as though he wanted to keep the job. After taking over for Bulger in the first quarter, Green threw four interceptions, eventually being replaced by Brock Berlin. The Rams are in a tailspin right now, but as long as they continue to get way behind early, there's always the possibility that their quarterback can rack up yards trying to make a second-half comeback.
CLEVELAND QB - RISING: Derek Anderson. FALLING: Brady Quinn. Remember two weeks ago when Quinn looked like the next big star in the league? Well, that was against the Broncos and their awful defense. Now that Cleveland is playing against good defenses like Houston, Quinn has fallen back down to earth. Wait…Houston? Yes, the Texans, 27th in scoring defense, stymied the Browns Sunday, intercepting Quinn twice before he gave way to Anderson. Anderson wasn't much better, but at least he has more than one good NFL game under his belt. Perhaps Quinn isn't as ready as we thought way back on Nov. 6.
BUCCANEERS RB - RISING: Cadillac Williams. FALLING: Earnest Graham. The Cadillac came out of the garage for the first time all season, nicely coinciding with Graham's season-ending ankle injury. Although Warrick Dunn is now the starter, Williams actually carried more times on Sunday than Dunn did. Williams rushed for 1,178 yards as a rookie in 2005, but injuries have limited him to just 19 games since then. He could be a star again in this league, but with the Bucs on their way to the playoffs, Williams will continue to back up the healthier Dunn the rest of the season.
ARIZONA RB - RISING: Tim Hightower. FALLING: J.J. Arrington. Last week it looked like Arrington was taking over as the goal-line back in Arizona, but Sunday Hightower was back in the role, scoring twice inside the five. Of course, on his other nine carries he gained just 16 yards, so he may be taking the short-yardage thing a little too seriously. Arrington caught five passes for 38 yards, but didn't carry the ball once, so Hightower's job looks safe…for now.
MIAMI WR - RISING: Davone Bess. FALLING: Greg Camarillo. Bess caught five passes for 87 yards Sunday and was targeted three times in the last five minutes of the game. Notably, that drive was after Camarillo suffered a twisted a knee. Camarillo has been the top receiver on the Dolphins this year, but Bess has been playing better lately, and he's an intriguing pickup following news that Camarillo is now out for the season.
Article first appeared 11/24/08