We are all guilty of it; we love to watch quarterbacks sling the ball all over the field. From a fantasy perspective or just watching as a fan, it is fun to see the quarterback position being played at an elite level. But our obsession with the forward pass has resulted in many fantasy football owners overlooking the ball carriers on those offenses. Case in point: the Green Bay Packers.
We’ve seen Aaron Rodgers put up video game numbers over the last four seasons and he is back at it once again this season (on pace for 5,324 passing yards and a 105.5 QB Rating), but one thing is different this season: He has a highly touted prospect at running back in Eddie Lacy. Rodgers’ greatness has allowed the Packers to get strong production from their running backs in the past, and there is no denying that Lacy is more talented than any of those who have succeeded him in the Green Bay backfield.
2009 – Ryan Grant, who currently can’t find work even with a handful of teams in desperate need of a running back, rushed for 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns.
2010 – A running back committee led by Brandon Jackson (currently a free agent who couldn’t stick with the Cleveland Browns this offseason), totaled 1,225 yards and seven scores.
2011 – The duo of Grant and James Starks (a running back who the Packers have sat on the pine in favor of the more talented Lacy) led a handful of RBs to 1,295 yards and seven touchdowns.
2012 – Alex Green, who is currently buried behind three unproven running backs on the New York Jets roster, was the top rusher on a committee that totaled 1,314 yards and seven scores.
In other words, the Packers’ elite passing game creates holes for running backs, even if said running backs aren’t NFL level talents. Lacy has carried the rock 38 times for 150 yards and one touchdown this season. Those numbers aren’t overwhelming, but the schedule opens up after this week and the Packers seem committed to Lacy as their bell cow. He suffered a concussion in Week 3 but touched the ball 24 times last week, indicating that they trust his health and ability to produce.
As far as the schedule is concerned, after this week, eight of Green Bay’s final 11 games are against the porous defenses in the NFC North and NFC East. In contrast to running backs on other teams, no defense will ever identify the Green Bay ground game as their main concern, something that should allow Lacy to coast over 100 rushing yards and a score every other week.
So you’re buying Lacy for the rest of 2013, but who should consider swapping for him in a mid-season trade? From this point forward, I think Lacy will out produce any running back on the Arizona Cardinals or Cincinnati Bengals roster, DeMarco Murray, Frank Gore, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Steven Jackson (an injured 30-year old RB? No thanks).
Other trade questions? Tweet me @unSOPable23