Alex Green: Packers RB Is Not Worth Fantasy Roster Spot

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 07:  Alex Green #20 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The revolving running-back door in Green Bay has been kind enough to stop on Alex Green. The second-year player will take over for the injured Cedric Benson, which means fantasy owners everywhere are waiting to see what he will do. 

While you could do a lot worse than adding Green to your fantasy team, there are reasons to be skeptical about what he will be able to do. 

First, Green has all of 14 carries in his career. He has run well when he has played, but again, we are talking about 14 carries. Unless it's a high pick, it's hard to judge any runner based on such a limited sample size. 

In addition, Green is coming back from a knee injury. In the NFL, knee injuries and running backs go hand-in-hand. It is concerning, though, to hear about a young player with such a significant knee problem. 

Running backs have to make cuts to the side and up the field in order to be successful, it is just part of the job. However, if there is an issue in the knee, runners are bound to be much more cautious and perhaps even change their style altogether. 

Furthermore, the Packers have an interesting platoon situation brewing with Benson out. Green could get the bulk of the carries, but James Starks is lurking somewhere in the background. 

Dan McQuade of Sports Illustrated speculates that the Packers could attempt to utilize the two-back system against the Houston Texans in Week 6. 

The Packers will probably end up employing a running back by committee. Houston's run defense is decent and neither guy is a great start this week, but the possibilities for a starting running back on the Packers is too good an opportunity to pass up. Go after Green first, then Starks as a second option.

Finally, as McQuade touched on, the matchup for the Packers this week is not one that favors them on the ground. 

The Packers are not a run-oriented team to begin with—they hand the ball off just 37 percent of the time—so the number of opportunities for anyone to rack up yards is very limited. 

In addition, the Texans only allow 86 yards per game on the ground.

There are a lot of reasons not to like Green, especially this weekend. 

Unless the Packers decide to change their offensive philosophy to incorporate more runs, Green is going to have to average at least five yards per carry to make any kind of difference on your fantasy team. 

The only reason Green is averaging 5.2 yards per carry right now is because he broke a 41-yard run in the fourth quarter of last week's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Don't get caught up in the allure of Green as a fantasy runner. He does have some upside, but the risk far outweighs the potential reward. Unless you are that desperate for a back, stick with what you have or explore trade options.