Roto Arcade

Revisiting the Packers backfield, after quiet trade deadline

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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No, James Starks is probably not the answer, but you never know (Getty)

If there was one team I thought might make a play for a backfield upgrade at the deadline, it was Green Bay. The Packers currently rank No. 26 in the league in both rushing yards (90.1 YPG) and yards per carry (3.7), and they're dead-last in rushing touchdowns (2). Alex Green has been a multi-game disappointment as the team's featured back, averaging just 2.4 yards on his last 64 carries, dating back to Week 6.

Green Bay running backs, collectively, rank No. 31 in the NFL in terms of fantasy scoring. Only the Arizona backfield has been worse.

"We need to improve," says Mike McCarthy. "The run game has not been good enough."

"We've got to run the ball better," says Aaron Rodgers.

To that end, we might just see James Starks more involved in the ground game this week, even if Green remains the starter. This from the Green Bay Press Gazette...

James Starks is expected to get his share of touches at halfback this week because of Green's struggles. The Packers had planned to play Starks more last week against Jacksonville, but his role became more limited because the stomach flu caused him to miss key game-plan work in practice Thursday and Friday.

At his best, Starks hasn't been much more than a league-average running back in the past, so I'm not trying to give you a hard sell here. Just know that he'll likely pick up a few additional touches, running behind a sketchy O-line. I've added him in two leagues, though without much enthusiasm.

The fact that Green Bay didn't make a deadline play for backfield help may tell us something positive about Cedric Benson, who remains sidelined with a foot (Lisfranc) injury. Here's an update on Ced, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel...

[Benson] said he expects to get out of his walking boot by next week, and his progress has been on, if not a little ahead, of schedule.

"My strength is coming back, the pain is subsiding so things are coming along good," Benson said. "It's one of those deals where you can't do much. But now, I'm at the point when I can start to do rehab."

You'll recall that Benson received the IR/designated-to-return tag after checking out in Week 5, so he's not eligible to return until the fantasy playoffs. He's merely a name to perhaps stash, if you're involved in a league with deep benches. The Packers have a home date with Tennessee in Week 16, when most fantasy titles are settled, so there's a decent chance that some Green Bay back will prove useful at a key moment. The Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy points to running backs on a per-game basis thus far, giving up 1,435 total yards and 10 touchdowns through eight games.

But that's two months away, an eternity. Most of us are still worried about qualifying for the fantasy playoffs; we're not setting our Week 16 lineups just yet. For now, Green Bay's backfield remains a low-yield mess, tied to a high-yield offense.

At last, we've reached the part where you get to say "LOL at Starks!!! I'll stick with Foster & Beast Mode, thx!" Do what you need to do, commenters.

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