James Starks: What Fantasy Owners Should Expect from Packers RB vs. Texans
With starting running back Cedric Benson out for at least eight weeks and perhaps the rest of the season with a Lisfranc injury (foot) according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Rob Demovsky reports that the Packers' coaching staff will likely go with Starks at RB in Week 6:
The Packers will consider going with the more experienced James Starks, their starter through the playoff run to Super Bowl XLV who appears set to return from the turf toe injury that has kept him out since the preseason opener.
Though Starks is sure to see some action at Reliant Stadium this Sunday night, there are a number of factors that will prevent him from piecing together an outstanding performance.
Will James Starks carry the ball more or less than 10 times vs. Houston?
With Starks coming back from a turf toe injury, I wouldn't expect him to carry the ball 20 plus times or even enough to make a significant impact.
Not only is his health a concern, but the Pack has only run the ball 111 times through five games.
Last season, Starks only averaged 10 rushes per game for Green Bay. He split most of his carries with Ryan Grant in 2011 and could very well wind up doing the same with second-year back Alex Green this weekend.
Assuming that J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin and the dominant Texans' defensive line will be bearing down on Aaron Rodgers in the pocket in Week 6, look for Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Tom Clements to try to get Starks involved in a variety of ways in order to minimize the Texans' pass rush and get the most out of their RB.
Expect that Green Bay will run several screen plays, delayed handoffs and draw plays to keep Houston guessing and to take some pressure off the Packers' struggling offensive line.
Still, the Packers' offense is built around reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the passing game. Green Bay is dropping back to throw more than 63 percent of the time on offense this year, which has led to 21 sacks allowed in five games.
Only the Arizona Cardinals have allowed more this season.
The point is that in the end, James Starks will be another underachieving Packers running back. He's only rushed for 100 yards once in 21 career appearances for Green Bay including the playoffs. That game came in the team's NFC Wild Card win at Philadelphia in January 2011.
I'm projecting a quiet day at the office for Starks in his first regular-season appearance of 2012. He'll be lucky to get 10 carries for 40 yards on Sunday night.
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