It’s Week 14, we’re into the fantasy playoff season and you have an opportunity to sneak in a starting running back on the highest scoring team in the NFL. What a gift. Problem is: It’s Green Bay’s Ryan Grant and he will continue to be a non-factor against the Oakland Raiders in Week 14.
James Starks is out with an ankle injury and it how often could you slide an experienced starting running back that is owned in just 40 percent of Yahoo leagues into his place? Not very often, and it’s still not worth it with Grant.
The Packers have the fourth-ranked total offense (405.2 YPG) in the league and the top-ranked scoring offense (35.0 PPG), but their running game is non-existent.
Green Bay ranks 22nd in rushing attempts per game at 25.7, 29th in rushing yards per game at 96.5 and 16th in rushing touchdowns with 9 — eight of which have come from either goal line vulture John Kuhn (4), QB Aaron Rodgers (2), WR Randall Cobb (1) or defensive tackle B.J. Raji (1). James Starks is the only “feature” back to have scored this season and that came in Week 1.
Grant has 92 carries for 316 yards (3.4 YPC) and just 12 catches for 106 yards. He has no TDs either as a rusher or receiver. He got the chance to carry the load last week against a Giants team ranked 23rd against the run (127.0 YPG) but still could only manage 29 yards on 13 carries and one catch for 17 yards against the team that once traded him to Green Bay in 2007 for a future sixth-round pick.
Now the Packers get another shot at a team that’s bad against the run and below average against the pass.
Oakland is ranked 28th against the run this season, giving up 141.1 yards per game at 5.2 yards per carry and 12 touchdowns. The Raiders have the 17th-best pass defense at 231.9 yards per game with 21 TDs allowed to 14 interceptions.
So you would have to bank on a passing team to get up on Oakland and then drain the clock with the run game. But the Packers are outscoring opponents by 13.2 points per game already this season and not running the ball to grind out the game. Why start now?
Add in that rookie RB Brandon Saine is getting touches on top of Grant playing terrible this season and this is nothing more than a wasted opportunity to get a starting fantasy RB this late in the season who just won’t perform up to the standards to get you into the next round of the playoffs.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter