James Starks rushed 7 times for 36 yards and one touchdown as the Packers dominated Carolina, putting up 21 points in the first quarter. The running back added 1 reception for 7 yards. Starks left the game early with an ankle injury and didn't return.
Fantasy Impact: Starks scored on a 13-yard run, his first touchdown of the season. The success of the Packers pass game early and solid offensive line play was opening holes for both him and Eddie Lacy all day as the pair combined for 99 yards on 19 carries. This is still a full-on timeshare with Lacy getting a slight edge in opportunities. Fantasy owners should monitor Starks injury situation, but not be alarmed as the Packers were up big and there was no need to force Starks back into the game.
During the Packers Week 6 win over the Miami Dolphins, RB James Starks rushed 8 times for 31 and added 2 catches for 11 yards. More interesting than the touches he got was when he got them with the Packers relying on him at the end of the game almost exclusively.
Fantasy Impact: James Starks has played second fiddle to Eddie Lacy this entire year, at times his usage and effectiveness makes him look like the more talented back. Starks is a naturally fluid runner and his style contrasts and compliments the down-hill, bruising style of his counterpart Lacy. The situation bears monitoring as Starks role could grow if Lacy remains ineffective, but the Packers have not hidden the fact that they want to keep both backs involved going forward.
In their Week 5 contest against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers split their backfield workload 50/50 with Eddie Lacy and James Starks each playing 27 snaps. The coaching staff thinks this contributed to their success against the Vikings by keeping both backs fresh through the game. (Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Fantasy Impact: Although Lacy was the more effective back, it looks like the Packers will try to maintain Starks' usage for this week's game against Miami Dolphins. On the one hand it makes sense, the temperature will be much higher and fatigue could set in earlier, but there's no doubt that Eddie Lacy was the more effective of the two in Week 5. Coach McCarthy has shown a propensity to keep the "hot hand" in the game, but it seems clear they want to keep both James Starks and Eddie Lacy involved early and often.
Starks had 12 carries for 46 yards with two receptions for two yards Thursday night.
Fantasy Impact: The encouraging news is that Lacy only had 13 carries, however, he took that for 105 yards. Starks got extra carries in garbage time to inflate his touches, albeit he did have some carries in the first half. Starks is the clear backup here, and should be rostered if you have Eddie Lacy. In any case, 12 carries is a nice improvement from zero.
"James Starks should touch the football every single game," McCarthy said Tuesday. "That will not happen again." (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Those handcuffing Lacy with Starks may have been concerned as he has netted 2 zero-touch ballgames in 4 games this season. McCarthy assured fans that Starks is still a part of the gameplan going forward. With Lacy running inefficiently, it is possible that Starks' weekly workload may increase to a future FLEX option, or more. He is not startable at this point, but Lacy owners may want to secure their first-round-investment.
James Starks finished the Packers Week 4 matchup with no carries or receptions.
Fantasy Impact: The Packers rushed the ball 17 times with Eddie Lacy. Though mostly fruitless, they stuck with the 2nd year back in an effort to find any kind of rhythm for a rushing attack that has struggled all year. It was surprising not see Starks as the uptempo offensive game plan seemed to play to his strengths. Fantasy owners should hold steady, as Starks is one Lacy injury away from taking over the lead spot in a Packers offensive attack that seems to be finding its stride.
Starks finished Sunday's contest with zero rushing attempts and no targets in the passing game. Simply put, he never touched the football.
Fantasy Impact: With Eddie Lacy returning from concussion just in time for Week 2, the Packers falling to a quick 21-3 deficit in the first half, all while facing the stout front seven of the New York Jets, the running game just never got going Sunday. Starks is not likely to see this little action again, and he is still the top handcuff for Eddie Lacy, but he will be wildly inconsistent as long as Lacy is healthy. He is not worth owning unless you have Lacy as your RB1.
Starks rushed for 37 yards on 7 attempts with 2 receptions for 11 yards. A 5.8 yards per carry average is exceptional, especially against Seattle who ranked 7th against the run last year.
Fantasy Impact: Eddie Lacy exited the game in the second half with a concussion. If he can't suit up next week Starks is a borderline RB1. Starks showed that he is set firmly ahead of DuJuan Harris who only came in on offense to spell Starks after Lacy left the game. Starks is the Lacy handcuff to own and could be starting week 2. He has shown he is an effective rusher in the past and proved it again Thursday night.
James Starks has been struggling with his third down duties. Currently, Starks is in a rotation with DuJuan Harris for the 2nd RB role in Green Bay. (Source: Rotoworld)
Fantasy Impact: This obviously hurts Starks' value as a late-round flier and convolutes the handcuff situation for Eddie Lacy. At this point it seems like that role belongs to DuJuan Harris, with Starks taking on a more limited role unless something happens to Lacy.
Packers running backs coach, Sam Gash, likes what he has seen of James Starks so far. "He's in midseason form. He runs as angry as he did last year. He runs with a purpose." (Source: Rob Demovsky of ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: With Lacy sitting out the first preseason game, Starks had the chance to start. He rushed for 49 yards on only 6 attempts, including a 20-yard touchdown run in a heavy rain storm. When Starks got the chance to carry the ball last season, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Lacy is still the running back in Green Bay that you want to target, but Starks will get plenty of opportunities if Lacy were to go down. If you plan on drafting Lacy, Starks is must-own handcuff.
Against the Titans on Saturday, Starks rushed six times for 49 yards and a touchdown. (Source: Bleacher Report)
Fantasy Impact: With Lacy sitting out the preseason opener, Starks got the start and looked as good as ever. He is locked-in as the no. 2 back in GB. After an effective year in 2013 spelling Lacy, he could be in line for a bigger role this season. The Packers are thinking long-term health with Lacy, the feature back for years to come. This means lightening his load when games are out of hand and playing it safe with injuries. This makes Starks a valuable handcuff for one of the leagues' elite playmakers. Lacy owners take heed.