James Starks – The last time I can remember James Starks being a relevant name drop was when my buddy Nano and I went down to this girl’s party in Newton, MA in 2010. While we ran the ‘ruit table, some herb was chatting about the University at Buffalo football program, pretty obscure, unless of course you’re the girlfriend of the logo designer for this site. Naturally, I knew saying “James Starks what up” to the kid, would provide him with an instant football orgasm. Sure enough, he talked about how much of a beast Starks was while at Buffalo. That year, while playing in relief of Packers starter Ryan Grant, Starks capped his rookie season with a Super Bowl ring and set the Packers rookie record for most rushing yards in a post-season game with 123. Three years later and Starks seems to be all the rage this week on the waiver wire.
After relieving concussed Eddie Lacy this week, Starks became the first Packers RB to rush for over 100 yards in a game since Oct. 10th, 2010. With the Packers bye week approaching in week 4, it looks like Lacy will sit out this week as Starks is primed to get the start in Cincinnati. While Lacy’s status remains hazy, look for the Packers to trend towards more of a time-share when both backs are in the lineup, to minimize the hits on their rookie.
The Bottom Heist: If Starks continues to perform, he will sculpt his own permanent role within the Packers offense, making him at the very worst, a top handcuff in a high-powered offense.
Jacquizz Rodgers – Much like Starks, and is often the case for off-the-radar fantasy backs, Rodgers’ value is contingent upon an injury to the Falcons starter, Steven Jackson. However, contrary to the situation in the Green Bay backfield, ‘Quizz has more than enough time to play himself into a role. For the last few years now, the pass-heavy Falcons have looked for Rodgers to be a dynamic threat in the pass game, coming out of the backfield. Not doing himself any favors with the opportunities he has been given, Rodgers maintains the shiftiness that many offensive coordinators covet from their scat back. For PPR and/or leagues that count return yards, Rodgers is a legitimate flex play for the interim. While the numbers haven’t been there in the early-going, the touches are firmly laid out in the on-deck circle.
The Bottom Heist: With S-Jax a candidate to return after ATL’s Week 6 bye, Rodgers has more than enough time to prove to the Falcons coaching staff that he deserves a role in the offense. He’s worth a look in 12+ team leagues.