RB – Don Jackson, Aaron Ripkowski
Week 8 Statistics:
Jackson – 4 carries, 10 rushing yards; 1.00 fantasy points
Ripkowski – 6 carries, 34 rushing yards, 1 catch, -1 receiving yards; 3.30 fantasy points
While this hasn’t been a productive spot on the roster lately (against Atlanta, Rodgers himself led the team in rushing with under half the rushing opportunities his backs combined for), it is worth discussing for at least a few reasons.
I’ll start with the roster move this past week. Knile Davis — who Green Bay only acquired a couple weeks before — was unceremoniously cut (and then got even more unceremoniously cut by the Jets right after signing), leaving this spot even more barren of options. The good news is he wasn’t producing in his limited snaps though, so the team doesn’t lose anything despite the lack of depth.
Left behind him for carries and snaps now is actually more wide receivers than running backs. We’ve seen both Montgomery and Cobb line up in the backfield this year when healthy, but without them both we saw Davante Adams running routes from the backfield instead of pure runners getting the call. With Cobb and Montgomery back, I would expect both to take over those Adams-back looks, but it is a distinct possibility now to see Davante put there again in an effort to use more of the team’s wide receiver depth to Green Bay’s advantage.
These two probably will see some snaps in more conventional looks here and there, but until the Packers prove they want to use these guys more you should stay far away.
The only minor caveat I would give to this sentiment is that Ripkowski has shown great power and effort behind the few opportunities he’s gotten, and he could vulture a short-yardage TD at some point. Green Bay currently has just two rushing TDs on the year — both by Rodgers — and trends like that rarely continue for a full year.
If your RB spot is looking desolate and can’t find anything else on the scrap heap– especially in a deep league — Ripkowski may be the kind of last-ditch emergency effort who gives you a TD in a game where his offense should be moving the ball at will.