James Starks has been taking the first team snaps in the early going and Packer’s HC McCarthy gave the injury prone young running back a strong vote of confidence. According to ESPN reports, McCarthy said during the team’s mini-camp this week that he believes Starks will “make a significant leap as a player” in 2012. Even McCarthy acknowledged that health is a concern when it comes to Starks however.
CBS believes that James Starks could be a steal on draft day as some owners will remember him as the unproductive 2011 RB. They like him as a sneaky RB#3 selection.
James Starks comes in at #82 on Christopher Harris’ top 200 fantasy prospects for 2012. He notes that even if Ryan Grant doesn’t return, the Packers don’t run enough to warrant a higher ranking.
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The Packers were 27th in the league in rushing yards and 26th in attempts in 2011 and there is no reason to think that the run game will be featured any more than that in 2012. Starks averaged 4.3 ypc on 133 carries in 2011 and he was effective and active as a receiver out of the backfield catching 29 passes for 216 yards.
We see Starks having much more value in PPR leagues. He’s not going to be a 300 carry back. The Packers ran the ball just 395 times last year and they have at least two other rushers; Alex Green and John Kuhn, who will compete for carries. John Kuhn is the main reason why James Starks is not going to get you many points via touchdowns. Starks had just one TD in 2011 while Kuhn pounded in 6 TDs on just 45 total touches.
Alex Smith is a concern because if he comes back completely healthy he may have more burst than Starks. Right now we look at Starks as a low-end RB#3.