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Depth Chart Watch: 2009 Depth Chart Movers

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Depth Chart Movers
By Chris Liss
RotoWire Writer

BEARS WR: Jay Cutler spread the ball around to Devin Hester (10 targets, 6 catches, 83 yards), Earl Bennett (5 targets, 4 receptions, 57 yards), (7 targets, 3 catches, 34 yards and a TD). Tight end Greg Olsen is also involved, especially in the red zone. At this point, Hester's probably the best bet among the receivers, but he's not a clear cut No. 1, and any of the three can be productive in a given week.

BILLS RB: Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson are splitting carries with Lynch getting a slight edge (36 to 28 since Lynch returned). Lynch also caught two passes on Sunday while Jackson caught none. Expect this rough split to continue going forward.

BRONCOS RB: Correll Buckhalter returned from an ankle injury and had 10 carries for 46 yards and four catches for 29 yards. Starter Knowshon Moreno had 18 carries, but only 44 yards and just one catch. Moreno will likely see 60 percent of the carries going forward, but Buckhalter's more than just a change of pace back in Denver.

BUCCANEERS RB: Cadillac Williams had 16 carries for 77 yards and a score, while Derrick Ward had just one carry for two yards. Expect Ward to see more work than that, but it's clear Williams is the main option in Tampa's backfield.

CARDINALS RB Tim Hightower had 13 carries for 32 yards and a score and also caught four balls for 26 yards, while Beanie Wells had 12 carries for 29 yards and one catch for seven. Wells has more upside and could gain carries if he demonstrates better ball security, but Hightower is the goal-line back and is also heavily involved in the passing game.

EAGLES RB: The Eagles aren't running much - just six carries from Brian Westbrook (50 yards) and five for LeSean McCoy (13 yards). But Westbrook had nine catches for 91 yards, while McCoy had none. The Eagles will run the ball more often than that going forward, but still far less than most teams. Expect a 60/40 split in favor of Westbrook on the ground and an even bigger disparity in the passing game.

EAGLES WR: DeSean Jackson bounced back, and Jeremy Maclin disappeared. The Eagles will spread it around, but Jackson is still the clear No. 1 with Maclin still working to establish himself as a consistent target.

49ers RB: Frank Gore has recovered from his ankle strain and will play Sunday at Houston, making Glen Coffee merely a backup once again.

JAGUARS WR: Both Mike Sims-Walker (11 targets, 9 catches 120 yards) and Torry Holt (8 targets, 5 catches, 101 yards) were heavily involved Sunday. Sims-Walker has seven red-zone looks to Holt's one, so he's likely to be a better source of touchdowns going forward.

PANTHERS RB: Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart had huge games for the Panthers with Williams seeing 30 carries and Stewart seeing 17. A similar 60/40 split in favor of Williams should be expected going forward.

PATRIOTS RB: With Sammy Morris leaving in the first quarter with a knee injury, Laurence Maroney got 16 carries and produced 123 yards and a score, though keep in mind this was in a 59-0 blowout. Morris' status for the London game against the Bucs is unclear, so Maroney could see another big workload against a defense the Panthers shredded on the ground last week. If Morris is out, Benjarvus╩Green-Ellis could also see a handful of carries along with third-down back Kevin Faulk.

RAIDERS RB: With Darren McFadden likely out until Week 8, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush will get the bulk of the work this week against the Jets. Fargas carried the load last week with 22 carries and 87 yards, so expect him to be the primary ballcarrier again, though Bush is likely to see more than just the six carries (22 yards) he had against the Eagles.

RAMS WR: With No. 1 WR Donnie Avery's status in doubt do to a hip injury, Keenan Burton (5 catches, 47 yards) could be the team's top target on the outside. There are a few other candidates - Danny Amendola, Tim Carter, Ruvell Martin - but all are long shots to have significant roles.

SAINTS RB: Pierre Thomas rushed for 72 yards on 15 carries Sunday, but failed to find the end zone, despite seven Saints scoring touchdowns, including backfield mates Mike Bell, Reggie Bush and even Heath Evans. Thomas and Bell each had 15 carries, however, Thomas was much more effective, and 10 of Bell's 15 rushes came late in the second half after the Saints were comfortably up three or more TDs. The real concern is Bell stealing goal line carries from Thomas, as Sean Payton gave each of them a number of chances to score from short yardage, with Bell finding pay dirt in the first quarter on fourth down. While Thomas will likely continue to see the bulk of carries, he may cede some goal line duties to Bell (and even Bush or Evans) depending on the situation.

STEELERS RB: Rashard Mendenhall Mendenhall rushed 17 times for 62 yards and a touchdown and added two receptions for 15 yards, but also had a fumble.
Meanwhile, Willie Parker had seven carries for 26 yards and a fumble. This seems like the likely split between the two going forward, with the ratio possibly tilting toward the bigger, more explosive Mendenhall in closer games.

TEXANS RB: Steve Slaton led the team with 19 carries (43 yards) and also caught six passes for 102 yards and a score. But Slaton fumbled in the third quarter, and Chris Brown saw most of the work down the stretch and finished with nine carries for 45 yards. Slaton will likely get 70 percent of the carries but should continue to yield to Brown at the goal line for the time being.

TITANS QB: While Vince Young was ineffective in relief of Kerry Collins, there's less and less reason to play the veteran at this point, and every reason to give Young a long look going forward. The Titans have a bye in Week 7, but the odds are decent that Young gets a chance at some point after that.

VIKINGS WR: Sidney Rice had six receptions for 176 yards and has become Brett Favre's favorite deep target in the passing game. It looks like Rice and Percy Harvin have climbed above Bernard Berrian in the pecking order of Favre's reads, while tight end Visanthe Shiancoe is often his first look in the red zone.

Article first appeared 10/20/09