Can Green Bay Packers James Starks Be a Fantasy Football Stud?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJune 17, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 15:  James Starks #44 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball against the New York Giants during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

After helping to lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory, running back James Starks entered last year with some promise.

Unfortunately injuries and Ryan Grant’s return led to just 133 carries by Starks.

Starks had one fewer carry than Grant but finished with 19 more yards and 0.1 more yards per carry. Grant had one more touchdown than Starks, but James had three more explosive 20-plus-yard plays. It continued to be a mixed bag in the passing game as Starks caught more passes (29 to 19), but Grant had more yards (268 to 216) and a touchdown.

Starks is just 26 though and has less wear on his tires (162 career carries). Grant, who is still looking for a new home in 2012, will turn 30 in December and has 924 career carries. Like it or not, it’s Starks' turn to play the lead role.

Obviously the Packers are a pass-oriented offense, so I will temper my expectations, but they should continue to have one of the most explosive offenses in the league. Without any serious competition for carries, Starks could be a solid RB3 and possibly even a borderline RB2.

I don’t see a high-touchdown output from Starks. When they get near the goal line, it’s Aaron Rodgers time. Still if Starks can pile up the yards and break the occasional long one, he could put up solid numbers.

Given his current Mock Draft Central ADP of 104, he could prove to be a very nice value pick for fantasy owners.

Don’t go too crazy for him, but when you’re looking for RB depth, keep Starks in mind.

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