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Depth Chart Watch: Fallout From Week 5

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.


Rookie Alshon Jeffery left Sunday's game with a hand injury, but not before rewarding his owners with a touchdown catch. Devin Hester and possibly Earl Bennett figure to step things up if Jeffery misses time, but considering that the Bears are heading into their bye, it's unlikely that Jeffery's injury will keep him out of action.


Mohamed Massaquoi was out again Sunday, but this week Josh Gordon got the start rather than Josh Cribbs. Gordon and Jordan Norwood - not starter Greg Little - were the most productive Browns wideouts Sunday, combining for 11 catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns (both caught by Gordon). Meanwhile, Little was targeted just twice and didn't catch a single pass while Cribbs was used even less. Although the Browns lost again, rookie Brandon Weeden is showing steady improvement, and it could just be that Norwood and Gordon will be the favored receivers, especially if Little continues to drop the ball and Massaquoi just can't stay healthy.


Matt Cassel was already having an awful day against the Ravens before he was knocked out of the game with a head injury. His four turnovers continued a disturbing trend - at least two turnovers in every game this season - so his leash is getting shorter every day. The injury might just be the excuse the Chiefs need to give Brady Quinn a shot. The Buccaneers are up next, so if Cassel wants to get his groove back, that might be the week to do it.


The brief Andre Brown era may be over. After filling in well for Ahmad Bradshaw a few weeks ago, a lot happened in Week 5 to completely change Brown's fortune. First, Bradshaw had a career game, running for 200 yards on 30 carries. Second, Brown suffered a concussion. Third, David Wilson - in the doghouse all season due to a tendency to put the ball on the ground - scored on a nice 40-yard run. Brown looks like he's made the transition from fantasy darling to fantasy afterthought already.


Mike Thomas started in Laurent Robinson's place after the latter suffered a concussion in Week 4. Thomas and fellow starter Justin Blackmon led the Jaguars with eight targets apiece, but their final numbers - a combined seven catches for 55 yards - indicate just how bad the Jacksonville passing game is. Even when Robinson returns, there probably isn't a single Jacksonville receiver you want on your fantasy team.


The news on Santonio Holmes got progressively worse as the week went on, but the long and short of it was he suffered a Lisfranc injury last week and will need season-ending surgery on his foot. The Jets were already a bit short on wide receivers, and with the red-hot Texans coming to town Monday night, things aren't looking too good in New York. Rookie Stephen Hill should eventually step into the lead role, but he's not exactly the picture of health either, as he missed last week's game and is doubtful against Houston. All that's really left is Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens and Jason Hill (who has been with the team less than a week), and when you consider the team is struggling at all of the skill positions, don't be surprised to see an awful showing on Monday Night Football.


Cedric Benson was seen leaving the Green Bay locker room wearing a walking boot after suffering a foot injury in Sunday's game, but at least he was ably backed up by Alex Green, who ran for 55 yards on nine carries. Green and James Starks were expected to carry the load for the Packers this year, but neither were healthy enough in August to prevent Green Bay from bringing in Benson, who has started all season. Now Green could get his chance, while Starks, who is recovering from a turf toe injury, could see some action as well.


Greg Jennings' groin injury has become more and more worrisome, as it's now kept him out two games and most of another during the young season. James Jones caught four passes - including two scores for the second week in a row - in his return to the starting lineup, but the Packers dropped Sunday's result to the lowly Colts, so they clearly miss their top playmaker. If Jennings continues to miss time, however, Green Bay at least has Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb - not to mention Jones - ready to receive Aaron Rodgers' passes.


Jermichael Finley left Sunday's game with a shoulder injury but already claims he'll play in a big Week 6 match-up against Houston. It's probably too early to say one way or the other, but if Finley can't go, Green Bay can throw D.J. Williams and Tom Crabtree out there.


Danny Amendola has been a nice fantasy surprise during the first quarter of the season, so when he suffered an ugly shoulder injury Thursday night, it was quite a blow to fantasy owners who rolled the dice with him on draft day and had been riding him ever since. The initial report was: broken collarbone, out 6-7 weeks. However, it turned out to just be a dislocation of the SC joint and he could be back in a month. Either way, the Rams will be without their top wideout for a while. Brandon Gibson figures to assume the role, with Chris Givens joining him in the starting lineup. Austin Pettis, Steve Smith and Brian Quick should all move up a notch on the depth chart, but considering the Rams completed just seven passes Thursday, none of those three represent decent fantasy opportunities.


The Redskins raised some eyebrows when they took Kirk Cousins in the fourth round in April after already investing so much in Robert Griffin in the first round, but they got to see what they had in Cousins Sunday when Griffin left the game after suffering a mild concussion. Cousins threw a 77-yard scoring strike to Santana Moss but otherwise didn't make much of an impression. RG3 will need to undergo the standard concussion protocol before he's cleared for Week 6, so it's possible we'll see more of Cousins in the coming days.


It must have been tough for Lance Moore to sit out Sunday night's game with a hamstring. Not only did Marques Colston and Devery Henderson combine for four touchdown catches, but former teammate Robert Meachem got two for San Diego. "Some of those touchdowns," Moore may have thought, "belong to me." Colston and Henderson picked up the slack in a big way, combining for 17 catches for 254 yards. The Saints won their first game of the year and didn't seem to miss Moore one bit.


The Steelers welcomed back Rashard Mendenhall, and the back didn't disappoint, finishing with 81 yards on 14 carries and two catches for 20 yards. He split the work pretty evenly with Isaac Redman, but Redman had just 41 yards rushing. Jonathan Dwyer was the odd man out and wasn't even active. Given how well Mendenhall played, expect him to take a full load in Pittsburgh soon, though with the next game coming up Thursday, that full load may not be this week.


Although an MRI revealed no structured damage to Jake Locker's (non-throwing) shoulder, he nevertheless was ruled out pretty early in the week and might even need surgery, so Matt Hasselbeck's foray into the starting lineup might last a few more weeks. Hasselbeck threw for 200 yards, but it took him 43 attempts to get there. The Tennessee offense is a real mess.