TE Greg Olsen (Carolina)
Percent owned (ESPN): 16.5%
I was surprised to see the Olsen was owned in less than 25% of all leagues. Through 4 games, he has 20 catches for 256 yards and a score and has surpassed 5 fantasy points (standard) in 3 of 4 games, including 23 total in his last 2. You can do a lot worse with a low end TE1 or a bye week filler.
WR James Jones (Green Bay)
Percent owned (ESPN): 21.6%
Greg Jennings is hurt again. With the exception of that ugly week 2 game against Chicago, in which neither team was prepared for a Thursday Night game, Jones has had at least 5 fantasy points every week and he’s going to be a starting receiver on one of the league’s most explosive offenses as long as Jennings is out. On the year, he’s caught 16 passes for 191 yards and 3 scores.
RB Brandon Bolden (New England)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.3%
Bill Belichick can be inconsistent with his running backs, but Brandon Bolden looked awfully good last week, rushing for 137 yards and a score on 16 carries. Don’t start him yet or anything, but he’s worth a bench stash.
RB Jackie Battle (San Diego)
Percent owned (ESPN): 8.4%
Apparently Ryan Mathews’ is in Norv Turner’s doghouse because of fumble problems. Battle got the start and the goal line carries last week, rushing for 39 yards and a score on 15 carries and adding another 42 yards on 4 catches. Mathews is the much more talented back and it’s very possible Mathews will be back as the feature back next week, but Battle is worth a bench stash, especially for Mathews’ owners.
RB Bilal Powell (NY Jets)
Percent owned (ESPN): 5.2%
Bilal Powell didn’t do much against San Francisco, but what’s important is that Shonn Greene is continuing to struggle as the starter. If he keeps it up, eventually Powell will be given the chance to start. He’s worth a bench stash in deeper leagues and in regular leagues for Greene’s owners.
RB Ronnie Hillman (Denver)
Percent owned (ESPN): 0.4%
Some saw Hillman as someone who could be a fantasy factor this year if Willis McGahee, who is in his age 31 season, slips up. Hillman began the year as the 4th string back because John Fox hates rookies, but it appears he’s moved up to 2nd string and got 31 yards on 10 carries this past weekend. McGahee is still in his age 31 season and Hillman is still a much better fit for the offense because of his pass catching abilities, so don’t be surprised if he eventually starts to eat into the veteran’s playing time.