For about a minute, I was really excited about Eddie Lacy’s 2013 fantasy prospects. He joined the likes of Aaron Rodgers and company in a high-powered Green Bay Packers’ offense, and with little competition, appeared to be the featured back. Then, the team selected UCLA product Johnathan Franklin in the fourth round, driving the fantasy world mad due to the possibility of a committee situation. I think the combination of these two rookies will help the Packers’ backfield situation immensely, but could lead to a miss in fantasy land. With that being said, although Lacy was the higher draft pick, he may end up being a bust for fantasy owners in 2013.
Reports out of Green Bay are saying that Lacy has entered camp overweight. Head coach Mike McCarthy stated that his rookie back looks fine, but whether he is or isn’t doesn’t really matter to me. That’s not part of the reason I’m down on him this season. To put it simply, I’m just not sold on the Packers’ volume of rushes (or lack there of) this season. Last season, Alex Green led the team in attempts with 125. Also, the team scored just nine rushing touchdowns last year, two of which coming from Rodgers and one from fullback John Kuhn. At 5’11″, 230 lbs, Lacy is an ideal fit for a goal line back, but inside the five-yard line last season, Green Bay only ran the ball eight times. If that style of play changes and Green Bay decides to go run-heavy with their rookie back, Lacy could easily eclipse double-digit scores, but we aren’t even sure if he will enter the season as the team’s number one back. Also, having been a bruiser during his time at Alabama, Lacy has a ton of tread under those tires. This resulted in some injuries such as toe and hamstring issues. It actually turned other NFL teams away from selecting Lacy during this past April’s draft. Lacy says he is fine, but it is obviously still something to monitor.
Basically, until the Packers miraculously transform into the Houston Texans in terms of offensive playcalling, it will be difficult for me to be sold on a Green Bay running back. And let’s face it, folks. With Rodgers under center, that transformation will never, ever happen. Over the last three seasons, the “lead back” in Green Bay has never eclipsed 200 attempts. Inside the 20′s, Lacy will hardly be a factor, but like I said, the red zone (if Green Bay runs the ball) could be where he salvages his fantasy value. Still, when taking a shot on some of these rookie rushers, don’t look at Lacy first.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.