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Fantasy football: Lions WR Jones has staying power

Marvin Jones caught six passes for 205 yards Sunday against the Packers. | Mike Roemer/AP

Just the Bears’ luck. They’re 0-3 and beat up on defense, and now they get to face the Lions and their red-hot receiver.

It’s not Calvin Johnson anymore. He traded in his cleats for dancing shoes. Marvin Jones is now the apple of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s eye, and he’ll come to Soldier Field as the yardage leader and top scorer among wide receivers.

Jones has been fantasy-relevant before. In 2013 with the Bengals, he had 10 touchdown catches. But playing in A.J. Green’s shadow, Jones’ career high in yards was 816 last season. He already has half that this season (408).

After posting 205 yards on six catches Sunday, Jones is on pace for 2,176 yards. Clearly, that’s unsustainable, and it might have you thinking about selling him high. But what is sustainable is his role in the offense. Jones has taken the No. 1 spot from incumbent Golden Tate, who has fallen to fifth on the team in receiving yards after trailing only Johnson last season. You’ll want to keep Jones around.

He’ll see plenty of action in an offense with a middling running game that’s reliant on the pass. The Lions threw the fourth-most passes last season and have thrown the seventh-most this season. And they’re not shy about throwing long. Stafford ranks fourth in the league with an average of 8.2 yards per pass, and Jones caught touchdown passes of 73 and 35 yards Sunday.

Plus, with a defense that ranks 21st in yards allowed, the Lions figure to be in many high-scoring games. They got into a shootout with the Colts in Week 1 (39-35 win) and had to play catch-up against the Packers in Week 3 (34-27 loss).

All this adds up to a big year for Jones, a sure-handed receiver who can excel running any route. He is a must-start, and he has a good matchup this week against a Bears defense with a poor pass rush and a suspect secondary.

Beyond the box score

Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has had an erratic start to the season, but what will keep him relevant is his rushing ability. In new coordinator Anthony Lynn’s first game, Taylor ran nine times for 76 yards and a touchdown. In Weeks 1-2, he ran seven times for 36 yards. If this keeps up, Taylor can compensate for a bad day passing.

Raiders running back Latavius Murray has a touchdown run in three consecutive games, but don’t let that inflate his value. Here’s the team’s distribution of carries in the last two games combined: Murray 18, DeAndre Washington 13, Jalen Richard 12. Murray is a low-end RB2 at best.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffreyA22.

Email: jagrest@suntimes.com

WEEK 4 OUTLOOK

Byes: Eagles, Packers.

STOCK REPORT

RISING

Chargers TE Hunter Henry: He played every snap in place of Antonio Gates (hamstring), who figures to miss more time.

Buccaneers WR Adam Humphries: If the Bucs continue to lead the league in passes, he should continue to rack up the yardage. He passed Vincent Jackson in targets.

FALLING

Eagles RB Ryan Matthews: He was limited to eight snaps because of an ankle injury, but after the team’s bye this week, he’ll be limited by a timeshare.

Cardinals WR Michael Floyd: He’s off to a slow start and dealing with the aftereffects of a concussion.

MATCHUPS

STUDS

Redskins QB Kirk Cousins: He’s four yards short of having three consecutive 300-yard games. The Browns are 22 yards short of allowing three consecutive 300-yard passers.

Browns RB Isaiah Crowell: The Redskins have allowed two touchdown runs to running backs in each game. The Browns just have to get him near the goal line.

DUDS

Jets WR Brandon Marshall: He’s battling injuries and poor quarterback play. Now he gets the Seahawks, who have allowed the fewest points to wide receivers.

Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon: He’s the lead back in place of Adrian Peterson, but he has a tough task against the Giants, who have allowed the third-fewest points to running backs.