2014 Fantasy Football Handcuff: RB James Starks
The Green Bay Packers head into the 2014 NFL campaign with an offense that looks to be incredibly dynamic once again led by Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy. With such a stellar passing game, opposing defenses will undoubtedly struggle to find an adequate game plan to stop Rodgers, so they might concede the run to put more players in coverage. This will lead to a heavy amount of touchdown possibilities not only for Lacy, but also for his backup James Starks, who is a must have handcuff option in 2014 fantasy football.
Lacy will get the heavy workload, but Starks should easily see over 100 carries himself if he stays healthy. During the 2013 season, he was given 89 carries in just 13 games and accumulated 493 yards, good for a stellar 5.5 yards per carry average. Starks finished with three rushing TDs, and one passing in ten receptions for 89 yards. If he’s given 120 carries, as I anticipate, he will easily accumulate over 600 yards and likely score a total of six touchdowns minimum.
These are adequate statistics for a flex spot, or backup option during a week when one of your feature backs has a bye, especially considering he is not being drafted in almost any format, including even the deepest of re-draft leagues. Starks will also be a great DFS option, as he will be close to, or at minimum price on many host sites.
Those who take Lacy in the first round should be mandated to acquire Starks as his handcuff, but if you can avoid getting him in the draft, and instead obtain his services on the waiver wire, he will obliterate value that much more. He’s worth monitoring for those who do not draft Lacy, but need to find some adequate depth for their injury prone starters as an insurance policy, especially in deep settings.