by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (3/2/14) When it comes to running backs -- as Senior Fantasy Writer Dave Richard preaches – it’s all about touches. That's why it's exciting to think about James Starks in 2014.
The Packers would love him back, but they'll get outbid by needier teams. Potential landing spots include the Giants, Browns and Titans, assuming Chris Johnson is released. New York makes sense as Starks hails from Niagara Falls, played college ball at Buffalo and is familiar with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo from their time in Green Bay.
Even in a timeshare, Starks would draw far more than the 89 carries he had last year.
Starks averaged a career-high 5.5 yards per carry and ranked seventh with 0.46 Fantasy points per opportunity -- the number of points per carries and pass routes run, per Pro Football Focus. He forced 22 missed tackles on 99 touches, the fourth-best rate among RBs with fewer than 100 touches.
Starks turns 28 this month but has little tread on his tires. He showed a burst last season that reminded us of the back who ran for 415 yards in Green Bay's four-game run to the Super Bowl title.
“James Starks is definitely someone I look at as a starter and the ability to run as many times in a football game as needed,” coach Mike McCarthy said after Starks totaled 168 yards from scrimmage Week 2 vs. Washington.
Report: Packers interested in bringing back James Starks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (1/21/14) It appears the Packers are interested in re-signing impending free agent James Starks, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. However, Green Bay could easily be outbid for Starks, who at age 27 is coming off his best season.
Starks averaged 5.5 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns on 99 touches. If the Packers retain him, Starks would again find himself in a crowded backfield with Eddie Lacy, DuJuan Harris and Johnathan Franklin.
James Starks could be ideal fit for Giants
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com (1/18/14) Former Packers featured back James Starks could be a natural fit with the Giants, the Newark Star Ledger has speculated.
Starks played for new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and will be available in free agency. He lost his starting spot to rookie Eddy Lacy, but continued to perform well when given the opportunity. He rushed for 493 yards on 89 carries for a 5.5 yards-per-carry average. He is also a New York State native.
Packers, James Starks expected to part ways
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (1/7/14) Running back James Starks, who had some big moments in 2013, isn't expected to return to the Packers in 2014, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Starks "is going to get a good offer somewhere, and the Packers aren't going to be able to match it," the paper said, adding Starks "ran like a brute when he did get the ball."
Starks ran for 493 yards and a touchdown, averaging a career-high 5.5 yards per carry, and caught 10 passes for 89 yards and a score despite missing three games with a knee injury. He declined to speculate on free agency, saying, "I'll leave that to my agent. That's out of my control."
Green Bay could move forward with Eddie Lacy, DuJuan Harris and Johnathan Franklin.
James Starks 'fresh and anxious when he gets in there'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (12/31/13) Despite playing in the shadow of rookie Eddie Lacy, Packers running back James Starks is a key cog in the offense. Coordinator Tom Clements believes the running game is at its best when Lacy and Starks form a 1-2 punch, especially with Lacy battling a bum ankle, reports the team's website.
“When he’s gotten his opportunities, he’s been very productive,” Clements said of Starks. “He’s run very hard. He’s fresh and anxious when he gets in there, and he’s done an outstanding job.”
The duo combined for 282 yards and three touchdowns over the last two games. In Week 17 at Chicago, Starks ran 11 times for 88 yards, including a season-long 41-yarder. Look for Starks to get significant touches again Sunday vs. San Francisco.
James Starks made the Packers' final roster and should participate minimally in games this year. He's had opportunities to play a significant role in the offense before but injuries and slow running have kept him from being a Fantasy factor. Now the Packers have all but cemented his future by drafting Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. We wouldn't draft Starks outside of with a very, very late pick. (Updated 8/31/13)