Flex Spending: Jennings' injury opens door for Jones with Packers

Thursday October 4th, 2012

Week 5 of the season brings the full force of the bye weeks, with the Cowboys, Bucs, Lions and Raiders off. Your depth will be tested. It also means the new faces could end up swinging games, making it absolutely necessary to stay up on who's coming and who's going at the flex position.

James Jones, Packers -- Jones has taken advantage of an increased role thanks to Greg Jennings' groin injury, and has totaled 191 yards receiving and three scores on 16 catches. With Jennings still hampered by his groin injury, Jones should remain a solid fixture in the Green Bay offense. We know the top two receivers in the Packers' offense will be strong fantasy plays every single week. For at least the next couple of weeks, Jones should find himself in one of those spots. Given the fact that we're in the thick of the bye-week portion of the schedule, Jones owners are going to want to start him more often than not. This week offers a great matchup against the Colts in the passing-friendly confines at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Jackie Battle, Chargers -- Battle started over Ryan Mathews last week and carried the ball 15 times. He picked up just 39 yards on the ground, but caught four passes for 42 yards, and ended up scoring twice. There's no doubt that Mathews is the more talented back, but there's also no doubt that San Diego's coaching staff and management are fed up with his propensity to put the ball on the ground. Mathews picked up 10 carries in the fourth quarter alone and will undoubtedly play a bigger role in the offense than he has thus far, but Battle has earned his spot in this offense. For the time being, he can be considered a decent flex play, depending on your depth.

Andre Roberts, Cardinals -- After scoring four touchdowns and racking up 229 yards on 15 catches, it's time to take notice of Roberts, the starting receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. He has produced only one real stinker of a game, catching just one pass for two yards in Week 3 against the Patriots, but even that one catch was a touchdown. He's clearly the second option in the passing game behind Fitzgerald, and for a team that is struggling to get anything going on the ground, he could legitimately be the second option on the entire offense. For now, he's a guy you want to add to your roster, but not necessarily start. He could be worthy of starting if your roster is decimated by bye weeks. Make no mistake, though. He's a guy you should pick up if still available.

Brandon Bolden, Patriots -- Oh, that crafty Bill Belichick. Just when he gets us all on the Danny Woodhead bandwagon, he breaks out Bolden, gives him 16 carries and watches his new back go for 137 yards and a touchdown. With Alfred Morris looking like the feature back in Washington, it appears Belichick is the new Mike Shanahan. That means that while Bolden is certainly worth adding to your roster, there's a great chance he has already had his best game of the season. Like Roberts, he's a guy that can be started with some confidence this week depending on the bye-week situation. In fact, I'm likely starting him in one of my leagues where I have multiple running backs on byes. Stevan Ridley is still the No. 1 back in New England, but this is an offense that has proven it can support plenty of mouths.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers -- After his third straight uninspiring performance, it's time to downgrade Martin. He piled up 95 yards on 24 carries and caught four balls for 23 yards in his NFL debut, but since then has ran for just 152 yards on 47 carries. The good news is there really isn't a back in Tampa to take a ton of work for him. The bad news is LeGarrette Blount scored a goal-line touchdown last week, and appears to be in line for the short-yardage work. That will take a significant chunk out of Martin's value. I'd still advise starting him in most situations, but let's just say the bye week is coming at the right time for him.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals -- Like Martin, Green-Ellis will be a guy to start most weeks. But where most owners would have done that with confidence after the first week of the season, you're probably not feeling quite as good about it now. In the last three weeks, Green-Ellis has rushed for 195 yards on 64 carries. That's an average of 3.05 yards per rush -- not exactly the things rushing titles are made of. Thankfully for his owners, he's the only show in the Cincinnati backfield, so he should continue to get a ton of carries. However, this is a pass-first team with a world-class receiver in A.J. Green and a below-average defense. Green-Ellis has also fumbled three times in the last two games after not fumbling once in his career coming into this season. Green-Ellis was once a strong RB2 and a lock as a flex play. He's now a fringe RB2 and a solid flex, but not a lock at the position.

1. Arian Foster 2. Ray Rice 3. A.J. Green 4. Adrian Peterson 5. LeSean McCoy 6. Jamaal Charles 7. Marshawn Lynch 8. Victor Cruz 9. Roddy White 10. Wes Welker 11. Trent Richardson 12. Frank Gore 13. Maurice Jones-Drew 14. Jimmy Graham 15. Brandon Marshall 16. Rob Gronkowski 17. Julio Jones 18. Reggie Bush 19. Stevan Ridley 20. Percy Harvin 21. Dwayne Bowe 22. Larry Fitzgerald 23. Willis McGahee 24. Ryan Mathews 25. Matt Forte 26. Ahmad Bradshaw 27. Jordy Nelson 28. Reggie Wayne 29. Michael Turner 30. Alfred Morris 31. Darren Sproles 32. Brandon Lloyd 33. Torrey Smith 34. Mike Wallace 35. Andre Johnson 36. C.J. Spiller 37. DeMaryius Thomas 38. Marques Colston 39. Steve Smith 40. Fred Jackson 41. Chris Johnson 42. Brian Hartline 43. Steve Johnson 44. DeSean Jackson 45. Eric Decker 46. Pierre Garcon 47. Steven Jackson 48. Vernon Davis 49. Antonio Brown 50. Donald Brown 51. James Jones 52. Tony Gonzalez 53. Ryan Williams 54. Rashard Mendenhall 55. BenJarvus Green-Ellis 56. Nate Washington 57. Danny Amendola 58. DeAngelo Williams 59. Andre Roberts 60. Fred Davis 61. Ben Tate 62. Brandon Bolden 63. Jackie Battle 64. Lance Moore 65. Domenik Hixon 66. Malcom Floyd 67. Antonio Gates 68. Michael Bush 69. Kendall Hunter 70. Jonathan Stewart 71. Michael Crabtree 72. T.Y. Hilton 73. Jerome Simpson 74. Jeremy Maclin 75. Owen Daniels 76. Jermaine Gresham 77. Jacquizz Rodger 78. Andre Brown 79. Andrew Hawkins 80. Kyle Rudolph 81. Donnie Avery |82. Anquan Boldin 83. Randall Cobb 84. Daniel Thomas 85. Greg Olsen 86. Greg Little 87. Heath Miller 88. Sidney Rice 89. Brandon LaFell 90. Bilal Powell 91. Donald Jones 92. Daryl Richardson 93. Brent Celek 94. Shonn Greene 95. Alshon Jeffery 96. Jeremy Kerley 97. Davone Bess 98. Jonathan Baldwin 99. Golden Tate 100. Kenny Britt

Chat with me on Twitter, @MBeller.

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