Entering his fourth season now in the NFL, Green Bay Packers star running back Eddie Lacy appears to be on track for a bounce back 2016 campaign. After rushing for a career low 758 yards on just 187 touches in 2015, Lacy will look to rebound and get himself back on track for this fall. It appears he’s already doing so, losing roughly 15-20 pounds from the end of last season.
In 2013 and 2014 combined, Lacy rushed for 2,317 yards, averaged nearly 4.4 yards per carry, scored a 24 total touchdowns. With a trimmed down belly, and the work that he’s put in with P90X trainer Tony Horton, common sense would tell us we’ll see a more agile, and quicker Lacy in 2016. Meaning he will regain status as an RB2 option for your fantasy team.
In Mike Clay’s ESPN Fantasy Rankings of running backs, Clay had Lacy at number 12 of 80 running backs listed. In a 12 team league, one could make a case for Lacy being an RB1 come Week 1 of the NFL season. But in an eight or ten player league, I don’t see it. While he’s due for a much better year in 2016, he’ll have to prove himself early on to show just how much he’s bettered himself this off-season. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy made it clear that there was no way Lacy could play at the 245+ he was last year.
Down 15 pounds, the slimmed down Lacy is still a north-south, bowling ball runner. But with that being said, let’s not forget what he did catching passes out of the backfield in his first two years. His 684 yards receiving in 2013 and 2014 was in the top ten for receiving yards from a running back in those two years. Since he’s ditched the gut, we should see more from Lacy catching passes this year too, boosting his fantasy value even more.
But where do you select Lacy for your draft? In a standard 10 team league, the third round is likely where Lacy should go. That may be a reach in some leagues, pending rules and other specifications, but any later than the fourth round should be considered a steal for Lacy, who in his first two years, was one of the most productive and sought after backs for fantasy owners. As of now, is he a top 10 back? No, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be this season.
Lacy was a first rounder in many fantasy drafts a year ago, that won’t be the case this season. While the Packers shied away from handing the ball off to him in 2015, look for Lacy to once again become the workhorse back again for the Packers. He carried the ball 38 fewer times in 2015 than he did in his rookie year. I’d expect a fresh Lacy for this season, who will get more carries than a year ago. From reports, it sounds like McCarthy is confident with Lacy, something that may not be able to be said last year.
As the season wore on last year, Lacy steadily actually improved. Plenty of fantasy owners will buy low when it comes to Lacy so look for him to be a mid round steal. This is a contract year for Lacy, he has something to prove, so a 1,0o0+ yard rushing season isn’t out of question. Expect a turnaround for Lacy in 2016.