Just last week, the Fantasy Football Live host and Yahoo! Friends and Family League first-time participant recommended patience with the underutilized Cowboys running back.
"PPR owners should hang on to him," Schwartz said. "He's better than [Marion] Barber and will show it."
That only added to this week's surprise.
Quietly on Wednesday night, without an update to his trading block, without so much as a mass email or message-board post announcing his player's availability, Schwartz cut Jones in the 14-team expert PPR league. He cut him for Maurice Morris(notes).
The sudden finality of the action caught the league off-guard.
"I was definitely shocked to see Felix Jones dropped this early in the season," said Michael Blunda, ProFootballWeekly fantasy expert. "In such a deep league, I never expected a guy with so much potential to be kicked to the curb after three games. When I saw him hit waivers, I knew I needed to pounce."
Pounce he did. Blunda spent all $82 dollars of his remaining $100 free-agent acquisition budget to add Jones and upgrade his running back corps of Steven Jackson, Knowshon Moreno(notes), Fred Jackson(notes) and Kenneth Darby(notes).
The question must be asked: Should Schwartz have cut Jones without first shopping him around the league? The answer is no, probably not. Clearly, Jones still has value, as Blunda's bid – the highest in the league's two years with an auction format – proved.
But right or wrong, Schwartz had his reasons, and they start and end with the upcoming bye week.
Week 4 carries the first set of byes on the NFL schedule, and this one hits Schwartz's team especially hard. Jones, Miles Austin(notes), Dez Bryant(notes), Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) and the Minnesota defense are all on break.
Without those five players and only four bench spots, two of which are occupied by inactives Ben Roethlisberger(notes) and Vincent Jackson(notes) whom he is unwilling to cut, Schwartz could either throw in the towel for his Week 4 matchup or do something drastic.
Schwartz went for drastic. He believes he wasn't the only one.
"As for whomever paid 82 percent of his season's worth of dough for Felix [Blunda], what were you smoking?" Schwartz said in an email interview. "I'd recommend having spent that on a pair of binoculars instead, because he'll be watching our fantasy playoffs from the stands."
In response, Blunda admitted he may not receive value for Jones. He described his pricey purchase as a "huge" gamble for a player whose potential was "too good to pass up."
"With the way my team has performed thus far, I needed to take a major chance," Blunda said. "And there aren't many players I'd rather roll the dice on than Jones. Once Barber wears down or gets hurt, the dynamic back should finally fulfill his upside."
Teams start 0-3. It happens in real life. It happens in fantasy. And it's not always deserved.
Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Sports) and Matt Romig (Yahoo! Sports) rank seventh and eighth, respectively, out of the 14 teams in points scored, yet as the league's unlucky leaders in points scored against, find themselves still winless.
As for Behrens' team, it has Louis Murphy(notes). Enough said. Asked to discuss his team, Behrens took time away from rejecting my Murphy-centric trade requests to express his complacency with his current predicament.
"I'm willing to let this team wither and fade away. Apparently, Michael, you are not," Behrens said. "My lineup is plainly awful. It deserves to be 0-3. My problem is not strength of schedule, it's strength of team. My only goal for the remainder of the season is to not trade you Louis Murphy."
So far, so good.
Working the wire
This section tracks the expert league's weekly free-agency activity. The player pool defaults to waivers Sunday though Tuesday, after which owners bid on free agents using a $100 free-agent acquisition budget. Players who clear waivers can be added free of charge.
Synopsis: The muddled Patriots backfield is usually difficult to get a read on, but the picture seems to be becoming clearer. After leading the team in rushes in an ineffective Week 2, Green-Ellis paced New England last week with 16 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown against the Bills. With Kevin Faulk(notes) (knee) out for the season and Fred Taylor(notes) (toe) ruled out Monday night, all signs point to a breakout for the 25-year-old. His ownership level (39 percent) deserves to be doubled.
Synopsis: There were speculations in the preseason that a rookie free agent might emerge in Tampa Bay. Blount, not Kareem Huggins(notes), looks like he will. The former Oregon Duck is a hard-nosed runner who joined the Buccaneers late in camp after being cut by the Tennessee Titans. Blount is expected to see at least some action in goal-line sets, and if Carnell Williams(notes) doesn't find his stride, may be competing with Earnest Graham(notes) for a more featured role soon.
Other adds: Ryan Torain(notes) ($27), Brandon Lloyd(notes) ($25), Steve Slaton(notes) ($14), Chad Henne(notes) ($10), Jeremy Shockey(notes) ($5), John Kuhn(notes) ($5), Seattle defense ($3), Atlanta defense ($2), Sproles ($1), Davone Bess(notes), Tennessee defense, James Jones(notes), Kenneth Darby, Nate Washington(notes), Christopher Ivory(notes), Deion Branch(notes), Ladell Betts(notes), David Garrard(notes), Dan Carpenter(notes), Joshua Cribbs(notes).
Other drops: Devin Aromashodu(notes), Fred Taylor, Tashard Choice(notes), T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes), Anthony Dixon(notes), Washington defense, Julian Edelman(notes), Miami defense, Greg Camarillo(notes), Bernard Berrian(notes), Keilland Williams, Vince Young(notes), Steve Breaston(notes), Jerricho Cotchery(notes), Bernard Scott(notes), Leon Washington(notes), Matthew Stafford(notes), Sidney Rice(notes), Garrett Hartley(notes), Maurice Morris.
- Rick Schwartz
- Felix Jones