Green Bay Packers running back James Starks had a breakout game last week against the Washington Redskins, but he is a risky option for fantasy owners given the uncertainty surrounding his role in the team's offense.
With Eddie Lacy dealing with a concussion, nobody knows how many carries Starks will receive moving forward. He was named the starter for Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
If he continues to play well, Starks could take over the starting job even when Lacy returns.
There's no getting around it. Starks was great against the Washington Redskins after he replaced Lacy. The veteran ran for 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries as Green Bay cruised past Washington. It was the first time in 44 regular-season games that the Packers had a running back top 100 yards in a game.
His performance was impressive, but take a look at who he was going up against. Washington ranks last in the NFL in run defense, and it's not even close. The Redskins have allowed an average of nearly 30 rushing yards more per game than the next closest team, and they have allowed 34 more rushing yards than the Kansas City Chiefs, who have played one more game than Washington.
Starks was popular on the waiver wire this week. He was added in more than 78 percent of ESPN leagues since his huge game.
However, his next opponent won't allow him to do much on the ground. The Bengals rank sixth in run defense, so Aaron Rodgers will be expected to throw the ball in order to win.
Is James Starks worth a start in fantasy leagues in Week 3?
Rodgers doesn't usually get his running backs involved near the end zone. Green Bay tied for 25th last season with nine rushing touchdowns, and Rodgers ran for two of those scores. He also threw for 39 touchdowns last season, so he usually finds a way to score through the air. Rodgers' scoring will limit Starks' fantasy points.
After this week, the running back situation will be interesting. Green Bay has a bye week after facing off against the Bengals, so giving Starks the nod this week allows Lacy to have two full weeks to recover. Depending on how Starks does this week, he may be out of the lineup after the bye.
It's not a favorable matchup for the running back this week, and the Packers may not get the opportunity to feed him the ball enough to make an impact on fantasy football teams.
Starks may be able to record a few points for fantasy teams this week, but his uncertain role in the team's offense makes him a big risk for owners.
*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com