As you rigorously prepare and research leading into each season and week of DFS, different factors are always going to change the landscape. “Next Man Up” is a series that examines players who are now being propelled into a starting role (thus creating a larger opportunity for that player), whether it be via injury, suspension or simply a change to the depth chart.
The Green Bay backfield is in the middle of some very unwelcome changes.
The trouble started when James Starks went down with a knee injury in Week 5. The backup underwent surgery on Sunday and is expected to miss at least a month. But have no fear, Eddie Lacy is here … as the only available RB playing on an injured ankle.
Lacy toughed it out on Sunday against the Cowboys, gaining 65 yards on 17 carries, but was unable to finish the game. Reports have since surfaced that Lacy is suffering from a serious injury that’s going to cost him significant time.
That leaves … well, nothing on the Packers’ roster to turn to.
With both rushers down for the count, here are three potential “Next Men Up” that will be forced into action for Green Bay over the next month. Keep in mind, these guys have to play the Bears on Thursday night this week … not exactly an ideal turnaround.
Yup, Montgomery is a WR. But with no available RB on Sunday, it was No. 88 stepping into the backfield to finish out the game after Lacy went down. He actually finished with 10 catches for 98 yards and three carries for another six yards — with 8-of-12 targets coming on plays he was lined up in the backfield.
With the other two RB options we’ll review soon both joining the Packers’ roster on Tuesday, Montgomery is the only player with RB skills that will actually have more than two days with the team under his belt when GB plays its next game. Given his solid game last Sunday, Montgomery might be the most trusted “RB” on the roster come Thursday.
For the short-term, Montgomery feels like a low-floor/high-upside FLEX play, primarily for TNF. If he plays well, look for him to stay more involved.
Editor’s Note: Knile Davis will not accrue DraftKings fantasy points Week 7 against the Bears.
Green Bay traded for Davis from the Chiefs on Tuesday as desperation started setting in. Obviously, in the short-term it’s tough to expect much from Davis on Thursday night. However, it does sound like he’ll at least be in the mix — likely playing behind Montgomery. I’m not going to make myself look stupid and guess how many touches he gets, but let’s just call it less than Montgomery.
In the long-term, the hope is Davis can have a major role until the Packers start to get some healthy bodies back in uniform. Ideally he’ll assume the starting role in Week 8 until Lacy or Starks return to the field.
During his 3+ seasons in KC, Davis had 775 rushing yards (3.3 YPC) and 11 touchdowns. He also tacked on 31 receptions for 260 yards and another score. Despite some disappointment, Davis has flashed signs he can play (318 yards/3 TD in a three game span Jamaal Charles was injured in 2014), but got buried behind a now healthy Charles and up and coming Spencer Ware this season.
Green Bay is hoping a change of scenery can bring back that 2014 version of Davis.
Jackson is a rookie practice squad player and figures to be the clear-cut third option in the pecking order. However, you’d think the Packers need to have two actual running backs on the active roster, so it’s not unlikely Jackson will be in the mix for a couple touches. In the NFL you never know what that can mean, so just be aware of Jackson’s name.
For questions or comments don’t hesitate to reach out to me on Twitter @julianedlow
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.