James Starks: Updated Fantasy Outlook & Analysis for Packers RB

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IOctober 17, 2012

Oct 14, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) runs the ball against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium. The Packers defeated the Texans 42-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy painted a dim fantasy picture for running back James Starks during his Monday afternoon press conference this week. 

McCarthy, when asked to talk about his opinion on starting running back Alex Green, had this to say on both Green and Starks, via the Packers official site:

I was very pleased with Alex Green. Alex Green will be our lead running back. I see the games as we move forward reflecting the game we just played. That will be our approach. We'll continue to get James [Starks] ready. And obviously John Kuhn factors in there.

McCarthy noted earlier in the press conference that Starks needed more time before he would even be in a position to contribute more regularly:

He [Starks] needs live action, that's for sure. Just to make sure his decision-making and his course is in line with our run blocking. We can do a better job there. That's just a reflection of James not having live opportunities.

Starks carried five times for 11 yards against the Houston Texans Sunday night, with the majority of his eight snaps coming in garbage time. 

Green, replacing Cedric Benson (Lisfranc injury) as the Packers starting running back, carried 22 times for 65 yards during Green Bay's 42-24 win. The week before, Green got 10 carries for 65 yards against the Indianapolis Colts

McCarthy was adamant that Green was past the team-imposed snap count and that he was capable of handling the full load at running back. Green tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during his rookie season, which first spawned the idea of an early-season snap count. 

Green is 100 percent healthy now.

Starks is still getting back there after suffering a toe injury during the Packers first preseason game of 2012.

Considering the factors working against Starks presently, it's probably safe to avoid him in any format or league size. 

While the Packers started trending towards a two-back system in 2011, with Ryan Grant and Starks splitting carries, it's obvious now that McCarthy is comfortable giving one running back the full load. 

Benson received over 85 percent of the Packers total rushes through the first five games. He carried 71 times for 248 yards and a touchdown. 

For the time being, that role will go to Green. Consider that Green received just three total carries while Benson was the lead back.

Starks is likely to get a few more touches than Green got as the backup, especially as he works his way back from the toe injury. But expecting Starks to become anything close to fantasy relevant while Green is still healthy is optimistic forecasting. 

At the very best, fantasy owners could stash Starks with hopes that Green regresses or suffers an injury. But if neither happens, Starks will be close to fantasy worthless.