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RB James Starks - Green Bay Packers

6-2, 218Born: 2-25-1986College: BuffaloDrafted: Round 6

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Photo: Kim Klement, US Presswire

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Feb 4): is set to turn 30 later this month. While that is generally an age running backs see a decline, he has plenty of tread on the tires with just 555 carries in six NFL seasons. He might seek a chance at a No. 1 running back job elsewhere.

Week 21: bye week

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 vs MIN 28 8 24 0 3 3 18 0 0 4.2
18 at WAS 0 12 53 1 2 2 12 0 0 12.5
19 at ARI 39 7 23 0 4 4 4 0 0 2.7

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 19 vs ARI (7 / 23 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 4 / 0 rec)

In what could be his final game as a Packer, unrestricted free agent James Stakes saw a change-of-pace role behind Eddie Lacy, coming in to keep the lead back a breather and occasionally on passing downs (he caught all of his targets Saturday night). He struggled at times against a tough defense, but was able to break loose for a few decent gains.

2015 Week 17 vs MIN (8 / 24 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec)

Starks and Eddie Lacy split snaps on offense almost evenly but even if you add the percentage they were on the field together, it only comes out to 67 percent of offensive snaps. That's less than Davante Adams. The Packers abandoned the run early even though it was paying off and trailing by just a field goal. Starks looked OK in his carries, but suffered from the same difficulties Lacy did with regard to the offensive line and that lack of dedication to the run.

2015 Week 15 vs OAK (9 / 51 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)

After entering the game midway through the second quarter with Eddie Lacy struggling, Starks carried the ball twice (and caught his one pass), he proceeded to lose a fumble on a sweep to the left side of the line. He then was out of the game until the fourth quarter where he struggled against a surprisingly tough Oakland front line until he broke off a 25-yard run in the middle of the fourth quarter. On that run, Starks showed some nice vision to pick out a clear lane, then a good cut back to avoid defenders before turning back upfield and running for extra yards before delivering a finishing hit. It's worth noting that after his earlier fumble, Starks had both hands wrapped around the football on this run.

2015 Week 14 vs DAL (11 / 71 / 1 rush, 4 / 4 / 32 / 1 rec)

Both running backs had a huge day, with Starks averaging 6.5 yards per carry on his way to 100 all-purpose yards. Starks had a fantastic run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which put the Packers up by two touchdowns. On the play, Starks ran to the right of the center and then picked his way through a pair of blockers battling with defenders. Then he accelerated past two more Cowboys and outran the defense to the end zone. He also scored on a swing pass from the Cowboys 10-yard line. It seemed as if the Packers rotated Starks in regularly to give Lacy a breather but also help wear down the Dallas defense. We may see about the same amount of Starks going forward, but his production could be hit and miss as he likely won't get many more carries.

2015 Week 13 vs DET (9 / 15 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)

Starks got the start because Eddie Lacy missed curfew the night before and was demoted. He kicked things off with back-to-back 6-yard runs and shortly after had a 32-yard catch-and-run which was wiped out by facemask penalty by guard Josh Sitton. Starks would partially replicate it in the third quarter with a nice 25-yard gain off a short pass where he showed some good speed and power in breaking a tackle. Unfortunately, Starks was hampered by a huge deficit by halftime which limited his carries and a banged up offensive line which allowed the Lions to hit him behind the line of scrimmage and killed any gains he might have had. Starks also coughed up the ball on the three yard line in the third. On the carry, he ran off the right guard but when he was tackled, the ball came out and flew into the end zone. Luckily for Starks (and the Packers), Randall Cobb jumped on it in the end zone and scored.

2015 Week 12 vs CHI (7 / 39 / 0 rush, 5 / 4 / 41 / 0 rec)

Starks got more touches than he usually does when Eddie Lacy is around and putting up some yards, but a Lacy fumble in the second quarter put Lacy on the bench as head coach Mike McCarthy put the reigns in Starks' hands. Starks is a solid player who shows off some nice speed and good toughness when running and did a fair job as a receiver as well. Starks also saw a bunch of carries late in the fourth quarter as the Packers tried to mount a last-second scoring drive that ultimately came up a bit short.

2015 Week 11 vs MIN (8 / 14 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 30 / 0 rec)

Starks got the start but he didn't get a workload worthy of the title. Eddie Lacy looked very good as he got the majority of the carries and while Starks began the game with a nice run, he seemed to get slower and more hesitant as the game went on. Starks looks like he will be going back to the backup role unless Lacy gets hurt again.

2015 Week 10 vs DET (15 / 42 / 0 rush, 7 / 6 / 54 / 0 rec)

While James Starks got the start in the place of a banged up Eddie Lacy, he didn't look all that much better. For most of the game, he was stymied at or behind the line of scrimmage. The offensive line struggled to open holes for him and unlike when Lacy is healthy, Starks can't easily create his own yards. On top of that, he has to deal with defenses who quite frankly don't respect Aaron Rodgers right now. That means they are more than happy to creep safeties into the box, leave extra linebackers near the line of scrimmage and just generally work hard to make a running back's day brutal. With so much attention to the front line though, Starks was actually more effective on screen passes, where he averaged nine yards a touch. It's where Starks did the most damage, but that was mostly relegated to the first quarter and the last drive when the Lions were busy imploding. Overall, Starks didn't do anything to steal the starting job from Lacy long term, and while he worked hard for the yards he got, when he broke free his lack of game-changing speed and elusiveness were apparent.

2015 Week 9 vs CAR (10 / 39 / 0 rush, 8 / 6 / 83 / 1 rec)

Between Eddie Lacy fumbling in the second quarter and leaving with a groin injury in the third quarter, Starks saw the field a lot. Starks had a bunch of room to run in, as the Panthers throttled back the defense for much of the second half and fell into a coverage mode to try and slow the eventual Aaron Rodgers comeback through the air. That's not to say he didn't run well--as always he shows some decent speed, can both make tacklers miss and bowl them over and catches the ball well. All of those things were present on his 29-yard catch and run touchdown in the fourth quarter. The play found quarterback Aaron Rodgers under pressure and dumping the ball off to a wide open Starks, who had blockers in front of him. After getting a few blocks, Starks found himself shrugging off a tackler at the ten, then diving for the end zone for the score.

2015 Week 8 vs DEN (5 / 9 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 9 / 0 rec)

Starks saw the bulk of his meager workload in the third quarter, but had the same struggles as Eddie Lacy with all the Broncos who were clogged around the line of scrimmage. Interestingly, Starks ran behind a fullback for at least three of his carries, unlike Lacy, who tends to run solo.

2015 Week 6 vs SD (10 / 112 / 1 rush, 2 / 1 / 5 / 1 rec)

After coming in to give a struggling and banged up Eddie Lacy a breather, James Starks took over, and to say he excelled is an understatement. Starks averaged over 11 yards a carry, handled most of the short yardage and red zone duties and overall looked very solid against a Chargers defense which had too much trouble shutting down the run. Starks found the end zone twice, once on a shovel pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers which Starks caught in stride, made a defender miss and dove into the end zone with. The ground touchdown happened a short time later, a 65-yard score. On the play, Starks seemed to be running inside, but once he go there the hole was closed. So Starks bounced outside where he could run towards the sideline and away from the few defenders in the area. Then he kicked on the jets and if he's not as fast as Eddie Lacy seems to be, he's fast enough. With a blocking assist from receiver Jeff Janis, Starks took it to the house. That was his biggest play although he almost came down with another touchdown late in the game as he ran a fade route, but was overthrown. Starks extended himself, but ultimately couldn't make the play.

2015 Week 5 vs STL (5 / 17 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)

Starks got his usual amount of snaps--about 25--and had as much trouble breaking free from the defense as Eddie Lacy did. He had a little more success receiving the ball, as that usually got him into space enough to build momentum before he had to deal with the defenders. Overall though, he struggled just like everyone else not named Aaron Rodgers in the run game.

2015 Week 4 vs SF (9 / 28 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)

With Eddie Lacy back in the lineup, if not quite 100 percent healthy, Starks saw his touches drop down quite a bit. He struggled at times to make too much headway against the Niners defense, especially when on an interior run. While he showed some of his characteristic strength and leg drive, he never seemed to get into a rhythm and that hampered his overall effectiveness. While he is likely to see carries every game, especially with Lacy banged up, unless Lacy goes down, Starks' impact is limited.

2015 Week 3 vs KC (17 / 32 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)

Starks led the team in carries as Eddie Lacy assumed a smaller workload for Monday Night's game. Starks carried the ball 17 times for 32 yards and caught one pass for nineteen yards. His lone reception was a key play on the Packers second touchdown drive, a short pass over the middle that Starks was able to extend for 19 yards and nearly more. Starks was visibly upset after this play as one more missed tackle likely would have netted some more yards or a shot at the end zone. He may continue to see some extra work if Lacy is not fully healed for next week, monitor injury reports as the week moves forward.

2015 Week 2 vs SEA (20 / 95 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 11 / 0 rec)

There's a clear difference in the offense when James Starks is in the backfield as opposed to when Eddie Lacy is there. Starks is a powerful back with OK speed and athleticism, but he lacks the top end skills Lacy has as well as the younger back's burst and overall speed. However, when Lacy left the game on the opening drive due to an ankle injury, Starks stepped in and played well. Starks did fumble the ball once--he had it stripped after a catch along the sideline--but aside from that, he played a very solid game.

2015 Week 1 vs CHI (2 / 2 / 0 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

As is almost always the case, Starks was rarely called upon to do anything save give Eddie Lacy a little break here and there. He is not a factor barring injuries.


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