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Fantasy football: James Jones is a bye week solution


Whether you're a fantasy beginner or don't have as much time to devote to your fantasy team during the week, I'm here for you with the newest edition of Fantasy 101 - all your fantasy needs in 15 minutes or less. Because that's how long you'll need to digest this column and make your appropriate moves. As we put Week 4 behind us, it's quite possible right now you're experiencing frustration when it comes to picking up players on the waiver wire. Look, it happens. One week a guy can be a hero and the next he's a zero (I think that's a line from a Vanilla Ice movie, actually). But that's how it goes. It's why you can't fall in love with your players, because you'll constantly need to pick up new ones and turn the page on others as the season goes on.

Trust me, if you're an active owner, you'll find at the end of the season you'll only have half the players you drafted originally. It's OK, that's how it works. And every week, I try to give you just the best players to pick up, not a laundry list of guys who had big days. I only recommend the ones who deserve a spot on your bench, or in your starting lineup. Don't forget we're in our second week of byes, and teams who are off this week are the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So make sure you remove everyone on those teams from your active lineup.

On the injury front, there weren't a lot of players with fantasy value who got dinged up Sunday. Keep an eye on Scott Chandler of the Buffalo Bills, since he'd normally be a good free agent to try to nab, but his situation makes his production somewhat cloudy. I don't think anyone was playing Santonio Holmes, Jake Locker or Laurent Robinson, but just in case you had them on your bench, they should stay there for awhile.

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Free agents to pick up

Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots: Not only did he have a big week, but he could be cutting into Stevan Ridley's workload. He's the top free agent of the week, so go get him. You can stash him on your bench and see how it plays out in New England. (I'm not as high on Jackie Battle - I think his week was a one-hit wonder and it's going to be Ryan Mathews' show from now on.)

Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans: In your never-ending quest to find a TE with weekly fantasy value, Daniels is pretty dependable and if he's available, grab him. He's the best TE pickup you can get.

Brian Hartline, WR, Miami Dolphins: Why not? Anyone with a 253-yard day is worth a flier, right? We talked about him a couple of weeks ago - with byes coming up he's a great flex play considering he's Ryan Tannehill's top target.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals: He's tricky. The first couple of weeks he scored, and that was nice. Now, he had a breakout game against Miami. Like Hartline, with bye weeks coming up, you could do worse.

James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers/Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Both are intriguing. Jones especially so if Greg Jennings' groin keeps him out of action, and Williams has proven to be pretty solid opposite Vincent Jackson. And again, with the bye weeks here, you're going to need reinforcements.

Other notes of note

1) It looks like Rashard Mendenhall will be back for Pittsburgh for Week 5. Maybe you want to wait a week to see how he is, but then you'll want to play him.

2) Ryan Fitzpatrick is a sneaky-good fill-in QB during the bye weeks. With banged up RBs, the Bills will throw a ton.

3) Don't play any New York Jets this week against the Texans. Not that you were going to anyway, but it needed to be said.

4) Play all the WRs you can against the Miami Dolphins. They've been torched by Holmes and Roberts in the last two weeks.

5) Play all the offensive stars you can against the Buffalo Bills. They're allowing 270 yards per game through the air and 137 on the ground.

Jason Smith hosts NFL Fantasy Live on the NFL Network and writes fantasy and other pith for Talk to him on Twitter @howaboutafresca, and listen to his Fantasy Podcast with Michael Fabiano and Elliot Harrison every week on He only asks you never bring up when the Jets play poorly.