AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Kevin Jones is one of the biggest busts among first-round picks at this point, but he has the potential to be one of the key players for championship fantasy football teams. The Detroit Lions running back is averaging a paltry 2.9 yards per carry. However, three of his four games have come against some of the league’s top run defenses in Tampa Bay (1), Chicago (4) and Baltimore (9). Owners who have been patient with Jones will be rewarded in the second half of the season. Over the next 10 weeks, Jones faces seven defenses ranked in the bottom 30 percent of the NFL against the run, culminating with No. 28 New Orleans during the all-important Week 16 that is most leagues’ Super Bowl. Jones also will get a boost from the return of Cory Schlesinger, regarded as one of football’s best blocking fullbacks. Schlesinger, out all of season with a broken leg, is listed as questionable for this week’s game. This is the last week to acquire Jones cheaply. Get him before next week’s game against Cleveland, the No. 30 run defense. QUICK TIPS Time to hit up the Deuce McAllister owner with a trade offer if you have a running back to spare. McAllister’s injury might make the owner needy enough for a runner to give up a top-flight quarterback or receiver. Try something like Willie Parker and Reggie Wayne for Chad Johnson. Speaking of Parker, with Jerome Bettis back to vulture his touchdowns and Duce Staley around to take away carries, it’s time to sell, sell, sell. You should have dropped him while he was hot. Though it looks as though Antowain Smith will take over for McAllister with the Saints, stash Aaron Steckler or Jesse Chatman on your bench. It’s doubtful, but they could be key additions if they end up starting down the road. Tyson Thompson appears to be the backup to Julius Jones in Dallas, not Anthony Thomas. Thompson has looked speedy and purposeful in his running when spelling Jones this year. If Jones is unable to go this week, Thompson would be a good start in the flex position. Pick him up if he’s available. Alex Smith regressed in his first start for the 49ers, only once getting the ball out to a receiver. Brandon Lloyd must stay on your bench until Smith shows improvement. However, keep Lloyd on your roster in case Tim Rattay gets back his starting job. Don’t trust Kevan Barlow’s one-week appearance. The 49ers offensive line didn’t suddenly become good. Use this as an opportunity to get something for him if you can. Jon Gruden says Michael Clayton will receive more looks this week. That would make sense since the Tampa Bay receiver had just one ball thrown his way and went without a catch last game. Take a wait-and-see approach with Clayton. FANTASY ISLAND A look at the week ahead for fantasy football owners: Player to start: For all the patient owners, it’s finally time to dust off Cedric Benson. With Thomas Jones injured, Benson will get the bulk of the carries for Chicago this week. It couldn’t come at a better time with the Vikings, the worst defense in the NFL, coming to town. Minnesota allows 178 rushing yards per game. It’s time for the Bears to show why they invested a high first-round pick in Benson. Player to sit: Regardless of if the reinstated Ricky Williams takes carries away, Ronnie Brown isn’t worth a start against the stingy Tampa Bay defense that ranks No. 1 in the league against the run. Stay away from the Miami run game this week. Player to pick up: With Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster listed as questionable this week for Carolina, it’s not a bad idea to stash Nick Goings on your bench and see what happens. Goings had five 100-yard games when given a chance last year. Matthew Kredell, (818) 713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!