Even Green Bay Packers RB coach Alex Van Pelt admitted that Alex Green is optimally used as a tandem play.
The numbers back it up: His contests with 20-plus carries have been dismal this year (2.41 YPC on 64 C's in those G's), but in the four games in which Green has notched anywhere from 10-12 totes, he's been much more effective with 4.77 YPC on the 43 total from this window.
Starks raving bad
However, with James Starks (knee) out for Week 14 and potentially the rest of 2012, the shifty 24-year-old Hawaii alum will have to carry the backfield load against the Detroit Lions. Old new arrival Ryan Grant isn't up to speed. John Kuhn will continue to have random carries and his typical goal line vulture potential.
Don't scoff at this chance to use Green, even though he's ... I'll say inexperienced. (That pun would've been too easy.) Think about the matchups here. Two of his best efforts came against a pair of defenses that has struggled against quicker dashers: the Indianapolis Colts (Week 4, light workload, 41-yard run out of the inverted wishbone) and Minnesota Vikings (Week 13, 58 yards on 12 hand-offs).
Per game versus carriers in the last month, Detroit has allowed 1.25 scores to go with 121.8 yards on 23.3 attempts (that 5.2 average ranks second only, ironically, to Green Bay's 6.1 allowed), along with 6.0 catchevs and .33 receiving yards..
You're pointing to Adrian Peterson's typical brilliance in Week 10 and the Arian Foster rowdiness/Justin Forsett controversy? OK, let's remove those.
Last weekend, talented Vick Ballard wasn't used much but averaged 4.6 yards on his runs. The Pack didn't use Green in their Week 11 showdown with the Lions, and Starks looked like garbage. That helped skew the stats a bit more favorably.
Match Green's expectations for Sunday to Ballard's output, but he has a better chance of getting his number called often. Frequently putting two fullback types in front of the sophomore could give this weak O-line the extra push to open up more inside lanes for the fleet-footed but lightweight Green.
And though they can keep up with this aerial game, it wouldn't hurt to keep Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford standing idly on the sidelines as often as possible. Neutralizing Detroit's sometimes-dangerous pass rush and the run-stuffing by the scorching Nick Fairley will be a priority.
This might resemble the instances GB leaned on current Injured Reserve inhabitant Cedric Benson to minimize possessions for the Chicago Bears (Week 2, 20 for 81) and the New Orleans Saints (Week 4, 18 for 84).
This isn't the ideal Pack backfield, but for this week, they'll try to make it work, which makes Green, who is also a decent receiver, at least an intriguing flex play for the desperate. And with upcoming clashes with the Brian Urlacher-less Bears and the hapless Tennessee Titans, this cheese doesn't stink as badly as many will say.
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About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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