Three and out: Fantasy concern about Beanie Wells

Wells’ knee a concern: If you play fantasy football, you likely know all about Beanie Wells and his knee problems. In fact, he played much of last season — his best from a fantasy perspective — with knee issues. So when Wells told the Arizona Republic that his latest knee operation “was a little more complicated” than a simple scope, well, it raised a red flag. Wells also said he would be “ready when the time is right,” so I assume he won’t do much until the start of training camp. Barring any setbacks, Wells should be a viable No. 2 fantasy runner. But keep in mind that he will come with some risk. That’s why it’s a good idea to also target Ryan Williams, who is coming off a knee injury of his own but looks like the current favorite to back up Wells in 2012.

Starks a featured back: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that James Starks has taken all the first-team snaps in OTAs and appears to be the favorite for the lead backfield role in Green Bay. Normally, such a report would bring excitement in fantasy land. But in this case, it’s not as thrilling. Starks has failed to make a consistent impact in the stat sheets, due in part to leg injuries, and he’ll lose some work to Alex Green and Brandon Saine. Also, John Kuhn will be in the mix to vulture those ever-important touchdown oppoertunities. When you also consider that the Packers ran the ball in a mere 39 percent of their offensive snaps in 2011, well, it’s safe to say that Starks isn’t in a position to break out in 2012. Consider him a flex starter at best.

Freeman to rebound in ’12?: NFL Films’ Greg Cosell believes Josh Freeman, a fantasy bust last season, “has the tools to take that next step” at the NFL level. Cosell did suggest that the Buccaneers quarterback is a “work in progress,” though, so fantasy owners shouldn’t expect him to become a superstar overnight. What I do like about Freeman, though, is that he could turn into a nice draft bargain based on his poor 2011 totals. Not only does he have a favorable slate based on fantasy points, but Freeman also has a new offensive weapon in Vincent Jackson. Don’t be shy about grabbing him in the late rounds — you could end up with a gem.

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