Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
One of the great things about being a fantasy football participant is the ability to craft and shape a roster that is all your own.
While 99.9 percent of fantasy owners will never actually get to run an NFL franchise, there are still around 16 weeks each year that teachers, accountants, librarians and such get to feel an artificial thrill of trading, cutting and adding players.
One trait as an owner that is hard to exercise is patience. Seeing as there are little financial ramifications for overhauling a roster each week (unless you have transaction fees), there is minimal risk in constantly adding and dropping players.
Of course, multiple and hasty transactions can always come back to haunt you.
It took four weeks, but it looks like we finally have some clarity with the Buffalo Bills running back situation. The three-headed monster of Marshawn Lynch, Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller is down to two after Lynch's recent trade to Seattle.
Lynch had gotten 30 carries in Weeks 2 and 3, leaving just 18 combined for Jackson and Spiller over that same period. Week 4 didn't favor any of the backs due to a tough matchup with the New York Jets as the trio combined for just nine carries.
With Lynch now out west, owners who gritted their teeth and held on to Jackson should start reaping the benefits as early as this Sunday versus Jacksonville. Sure, Spiller is likely to see an increase as well, but make no mistake that Jackson will be the No.1 in Buffalo for the foreseeable future; not to mention a two-way split in carries is much more useful than a three-partner dance.
The same can also be said for Lynch. The Bills were obviously showing him off over the last few weeks in an effort to trade the back and Lynch now finds himself in a situation with the Seahawks where he will be battling just one teammate (Justin Forsett) for carries instead of two.
Seattle didn't acquire Lynch just to bury him on the depth chart, so while his value might not go up right away he does get more long-term value.
Here are some other players you might not want to give up on so soon.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints - New Orleans doesn't look like the offensive juggernaut it has in the past as the squad is 15th in the NFL with an average of 19.8 points per game. Still, Drew Brees is under center and the Saints are throwing for 270.8 yards per game. Colston is the target other teams look to slow down, but Brees is great at spreading the ball around and that should open up the field for the former Hofstra star. Colston's zero touchdowns so far have been painful, but he isn't a guy you want to sell low on particularly with matchups against Arizona, Tampa Bay and Cleveland coming up.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars - Unlike Colston (RapidDraft ADP 30.2), Jones-Drew is a first-round pick (1.84 ADP) and his struggles this year have probably hurt owners even more. With David Garrard unable to get too much going through the air, Jones-Drew hasn't had a lot of room. However, the running back broke the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time in 2010 this past weekend and also found the end zone for the first two times. Early frustration may have led to some trades, but Jones-Drew is still a stud with great value.
Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers' offense has been disappointing across the board and owners who were hoping that Davis might come close to matching his 13 touchdowns from a season ago have been left spinning their wheels in the dirt. Davis hasn't had more than five catches in any of his last three games, but those who have held onto the tight end are hoping his second touchdown catch this past weekend is a sign of things to come. With the offensive coordinator switch in San Francisco, we expect some focus to shift back to Davis. His next three games are against Philadelphia, Oakland and Carolina and he should produce in each week.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions - Though another struggling early-round pick (14.8 ADP), owners weren't likely to find Johnson on the waiver wire. However, an early-season injury to QB Matthew Stafford elevated Shaun Hill on the depth chart and the latter had trouble getting the ball to Johnson in his first few starts. Fantasy gurus who decided to ride it out with Johnson rather than look to deal him were rewarded this past weekend with a six-catch, two-touchdown effort that upped his value again. As long as Hill can keep getting the ball close to Johnson, we will continue to put faith in his pass-catching ability.
Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams - Though selected first overall in the 2010 NFL draft, Bradford's name wasn't called much at preseason fantasy tables as evidenced with his 887.0 ADP. Still, Bradford was an attractive option in keeper and dynasty formats and it looks like the former Oklahoma product is starting to get comfortable. He is coming off a career-best 289-yard passing performance in a win over Seattle and has three touchdown passes in his last two games. Bradford will get a ton of valuable experience this year and could be a guy you want to hold onto for next year if you can afford the roster spot now. Upcoming matchups with Detroit (Week 5), Tampa Bay (Week 7) and Carolina (Week 8) also make him a sleeper waiver-wire fill in as well.