Fantasy Football 2013: Zac Stacy, Waiver Wire Darling Of The Year
Forget Stacy’s mom, Zac’s the one that’s got it going on.
If you have followed me all season long, you know that I love Zac Stacy more than a fat kid loves cake. More specifically, I love Stacy more than Brucey loved that cake from Matilda. Coming into the season, I had Stacy as one of my breakout rookies of the year. In a muddled backfield, I pegged Stacy as the one to emerge out of the group, providing fantasy owners with an Alfred Morris-type season. It hasn’t been quite as impressive as Morris’ rookie campaign, but it’s been pretty darn good.
The man crush is real, folks.
With the fantasy season coming to a close, I thought it would be a good time to recap the awesome rookie season Stacy provided for the Rams, as well as fantasy owners who picked him up. Of course, for me, it’s always a good time to write about Stacy. Plenty of players have emerged this season, providing fantasy owners with monster fantasy numbers from the waiver wire. Guys like Keenan Allen and Julius Thomas have been the bigger name guys, but to me, Stacy has been the waiver wire gem of the season.
In ESPN standard leagues, Stacy was selected 198th overall, the third-to-last pick. Those who drafted him were basically just looking for a lottery ticket. Well guess what?
He hit in a big way.
No player has outperformed their ADP like Stacy has this season. The rookie is currently the number 16 overall fantasy back, averaging about 11 standard points per game, and is averaging almost 13 PPR points per contest. Stacy has outperformed guys like Ray Rice, C.J. Spiller (sigh) and Steven Jackson this season, despite failing to receive a full workload right off the bat. Just check out where he was going in drafts during the summer, and consider how much of a steal he has been based off his production, compliments of FantasyCalculator.
Since taking over the Rams starting job in Week 5, Stacy has been very, very good for fantasy owners. In fact, during that span, he’s been an absolute must-start fantasy running back, averaging a robust 13.3 fantasy points per game. Below is a look at his fantasy production from a week-to-week basis since earning the starting role.
As you can seen, not only has Stacy been good, but he’s been consistent. He only posted two finishes that would declare him anything worse than an RB2, including five top-10 finishes. If those aren’t must-start numbers, I don’t know what are. Stacy has only posted four games on the season with fewer than 10 fantasy points, making for not only a safe weekly option, but one with a relatively high floor, as well. To put his success into perspective, LeSean McCoy, among others, only has four top-10 finishes during that same span. Stacy is as much of a must-start fantasy running back as essentially anyone in fantasy right now.
For any running back, volume is equally as important as talent for fantasy. I mean, look at a guy like BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Clearly isn’t the most talented back in the world, but because he gets enough work to matter, he is instantly fantasy relevant. Luckily for Stacy owners, he receives a ton of work and is very, very good. Since Week 5, Stacy has carried the football at least 25 times in four games, and has topped 15 carries all but three times. He’s been an absolute workhorse for the Rams, and it’s especially impressive considering he is a first-year player. In fact, Stacy, a rookie, actually leads the NFL with four games of at least 26 carries. And despite failing to consistently see the field until Week 5, Stacy is currently 13th in carries this year (202). Over the last 10 weeks, Stacy is averaging a very healthy 22.2 offensive touches per game. His 16.8 rushing attempts per game also rank 13th, ahead of guys like Ray Rice, DeMarco Murray and Maurice Jones-Drew. Anyone who is touching the ball as much as Stacy deserves to be started each and every week, no matter how difficult the matchup may be.
As we look ahead towards 2014, Stacy has to be a second-round draft pick. Head coach Jeff Fisher may be the only person that loves Stacy more than me (and maybe his mother), and with Isaiah Pead failing to live up to expectations, the Rams backfield should belong to Stacy going forward. He’s earned his keep, for sure.
I salute you, Zac Stacy.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.