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Depth Chart Watch: The Fallout From Week 13

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.


Earl Bennett caught one pass Sunday - for a 12-yard touchdown, but left the game with a concussion. With Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester already out of action, Jay Cutler didn't have many options left (except for Brandon Marshall of course), but apparently Eric Weems is next in line. Bennett better get well soon.


Just when it looked like Mohamed Sanu was going to become a really interesting fantasy playoff name, he suffered a stress fracture in practice and is probably done for the year. Marvin Jones started in his place Sunday, and Andrew Hawkins returned after missing last week's game. Hawkins has had a decent season and caught five more passes Sunday.


Despite the fact that Bills coach Chan Gailey had been saying for weeks that C.J. Spiller was going to get the majority of carries, Sunday was a different story. Spiller, as usual, was worthy of getting the ball, running 14 times for 77 yards and a score, but Fred Jackson got 25 for 109 yards. It continues to be a timeshare until we actually see differently on the field.


T.J. Graham got the first start in his career with Donald Jones out with a calf injury. On a day where the Bills only completed nine passes due to poor weather and a running game that was humming, Graham led the team in receiving yards with 54, most of them coming on a 51-yarder early in the game. Steve Johnson left the game with a minor hamstring injury, but he's expected to play Week 14, and Jones shouldn't be out long, so the window for Graham to impress won't be open much longer.


A sore ankle kept Andre Roberts out of Sunday's game, though the way Ryan Lindley threw the ball, he didn't miss much. Michael Floyd started in Roberts' place and was targeted 10 times, but he only hauled down two catches for 22 yards. Lindley was just 5-of-22 targeting his wide receivers, so unless the offense gets going soon, it won't matter who is out there.


Although Dwayne Allen played well in Coby Fleener's four-game absence, catching 17 passes for 211 yards, Fleener returned to the active roster and starting lineup Sunday and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass. That was his only catch of the game, and he was only targeted twice. Meanwhile, Allen caught two passes for 50 yards and had five targets. Fleener, who played with Andrew Luck at Stanford, should still have the inside track for the starting job, but Allen doesn't look like he's going away.


DeMarco Murray last played seven weeks ago, but the Cowboys didn't exactly ease him back into action Sunday night. He led the team with 23 carries for 86 yards and scored on a one-yarder late in the first half. Felix Jones, Lance Dunbar, and company had their chances, but Murray is back and should be the workhorse as the Cowboys stay in the playoff hunt.


A rib injury knocked DeSean Jackson out of last Monday's game and may have finished him off for the season considering what a mess the Eagles are now. Jason Avant caught four passes in Jackson's stead against the Cowboys on Sunday night, and with Nick Foles showing a little improvement, there's hope that Avant - and fellow starter Jeremy Maclin - can salvage some fantasy value down the stretch. Riley Cooper, who caught a touchdown Sunday, also should see a bit more work.


Jalen Parmele's stay atop the depth chart didn't last long in Week 12 when he left the game with a season-ending groin injury. Rashad Jennings got yet another chance to strut his stuff Sunday ... and he finished with his usual eight carries for 20 yards. To add injury to insult, Jennings left the game with a concussion. Montell Owens got seven carries in relief, finishing with 29 yards and scoring on a two-point conversion. Maurice Jones-Drew may be close to returning (but why?), but Owens may get a crack at the starting job next week even if Jennings is cleared to play.


Cecil Shorts probably didn't get drafted in your league, but the guy who picked him up is probably rolling, as Shorts has either 100 yards or a TD (and sometimes both) in six of his last seven weeks. The hot streak may come to an end, however, as he left Sunday's game with a concussion. There's not a whole lot of exciting behind Shorts and Justin Blackmon: just Kevin Elliott, Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby. No need to rush out to the waiver wire for any of them.


Isn't it just Tim Tebow's luck that in the week the Jets finally figured out that Mark Sanchez isn't much of a quarterback, Tebow was inactive due to a couple of fractured ribs. The Jets turned to Greg McElroy, who completed just five passes for 29 yards after Sanchez's three-pick start, but one of those completions was a touchdown in a 7-6 win. It's unclear who will be behind center next week, but whoever it is, you can do better.


That touchdown pass from McElroy went to Jeff Cumberland, who saw a little extra action when Dustin Keller was forced from the game with a high-ankle sprain. Even though Cumberland should start in the next game or two, his fantasy upside is limited.


With Titus Young sitting out once again Sunday - by his coach's decision - Ryan Broyles got the start and was expected to play well against the soft Colts D. However, he suffered a knee injury early in the game and didn't play much. Mike Thomas is next in line, but don't be surprised if Young's punishment ends if Broyles' injury is serious (though the Detroit News reported after the game that Young may not play again this season). For the record, Broyles tore his ACL in his left knee last year, while the injury Sunday was to his right knee.


On the day that Greg Jennings returned to action after an eight-game absence, Jordy Nelson went down with a hamstring injury after catching just one pass. Jennings led the team in targets, and though Nelson has been a big part of the offense (well, on the rare occasions he's been healthy), the Packers probably won't skip a beat with Jennings in the lineup instead of Nelson. They, of course, still have Randall Cobb and James Jones around as well. It's an embarrassment of riches among the Green Bay receiving corps.


With Jonathan Stewart out with a high-ankle sprain, DeAngelo Williams got the start and led the Panthers in carries against the Chiefs. Although he averaged 5.6 yards a carry, he unfortunately ran the ball just 12 times and didn't even lead the team in rushing (that honor went to QB Cam Newton). Williams hasn't played well this season, but he'll get another chance in Week 14 if Stewart - who didn't even make the trip to Kansas City - can't play.


Although Marcel Reece is still starting, the Raiders preferred to use him more in the passing game Sunday, giving Jeremy Stewart the ball nine times to Reece's seven. Both backs averaged 5.1 yards a carry, but Reece added five receptions for 20 yards. Darren McFadden nearly played Sunday, but the Raiders opted to keep him out a few more days with a game coming up Thursday. He should be back in action, but Reece - especially if he's used as a receiver - will continue to hold fantasy value.


Just when you thought you figured this one out (and if you're being honest, you didn't really figure it out), the Saints throw another curve, giving the ball to Pierre Thomas early and often in a key match-up with Atlanta on Thursday. Thomas finished with 14 carries for 84 yards, while Mark Ingram, who scored the only TD of the game for the Saints (from one yard out), finished with just six carries for 13 yards. Chris Ivory didn't do much in his three totes, while Darren Sproles did all of his damage as a receiver, catching five passes for 47 yards. Use any at your own peril.


Sidney Rice took a hard shot to the head on the game-winning touchdown in overtime Sunday. Although he didn't dance around like Cuba Gooding Jr. in "Jerry Maguire," he was able to walk off on under his own power after staying on the ground for several minutes. He'll likely undergo concussion tests this week. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards all figure to move up a notch if Rice can't play against the Cardinals next week.


Antonio Brown returned Sunday and was part of a balanced passing attack that saw three wideouts and one tight end all catch exactly five passes. Coach Mike Tomlin has been a bit disappointed in Mike Wallace recently, and demoted him to "co-starter" along with Emmanuel Sanders. At least Charlie Batch improved, so all three wideouts were reasonably productive. For what it's worth, Brown led the team with 10 targets, with Wallace following close behind with eight.