Posted: Thursday October 4, 2012 1:40PM ; Updated: Thursday October 4, 2012 1:40PM
Michael Beller
Michael Beller>INSIDE FANTASY FOOTBALL

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

Story Highlights

James Jones has 16 catches, 191 yards and 3 TDs while subbing for Greg Jennings

Andre Roberts has emerged as perhaps the Cards' second-best option on offense

Doug Martin has seen production decline each week and is losing goal-line carries

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James Jones
With Greg Jennings hampered by injuries this season, veteran receiver James Jones has proved a reliable option for Aaron Rodgers.
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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.

Upgrades

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.

New Faces

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.

Downgrades

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.

Week 5 Flex Rankings

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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