The St. Louis Rams had a backfield of Isaiah Pead, Zac Stacy and Daryl Richardson in 2013. Two of these backs (Pead/Richardson) were rookies in 2012, and Stacy was a rookie this past season. Pead, in his rookie season, carried the football 10 times for 54 yards (5.4 YPC). Stacy was a 5th round pick from the University of Vanderbilt, and in his last two years of college, he had a stat line of 1,167 rushing yards (5.7 YPC) and 12 rushing touchdowns per season. And then there’s Richardson. In 2012, he rushed with the football 98 times for 475 yards (4.8 YPC) and was able to catch 24 passes for 163 yards. Digging a little bit deeper into that first year, I found a stretch of games from week 6-12 (five games) in which he carried the football 46 times for 281 yards (6.1 YPC) and also caught 11 passes for 81 yards. As fantasy owners, it was up to us to pick the player that we thought could bring the most fantasy production. Just for full disclosure, I picked Richardson. Hmmmm… there seems to be a growing trend in these intros of mine.
Let’s take a look into the game log for 2013…
Weeks 1-4 (two games):
1 carry for four yards in total over the first four games.
Weeks 5-17 (12 games):
80.75 rushing yards, 2.2 catches for 11.75 yards and 0.7 total touchdowns per game.
His final numbers in 14 games was 973 rushing yards, 26 catches for 141 yards and seven rushing touchdowns with one receiving touchdown. Those numbers placed him as the 17th best running back in standard (Non-PPR) scoring.
In the first four weeks, we got to see Stacy on the field for a total of eight snaps. The first game of the season was versus the San Francisco 49ers, and he had seven snaps, with his only carry (gained four yards) in his two games. Since I have nothing else to bring up for Stacy, I’m going to talk about Richardson and his first two games. In the first two weeks, he had a stat line of 88 total yards with five catches per game. The first game of the year (49ers), he had a total of 96 yards with five catches and earned nine fantasy points in standard (ESPN) scoring. Those numbers had him 17th among running backs for that week. I bring this up to say: at least I was right for two weeks. Blind squirrel, etc.
Starting in week seven, versus the Carolina Panthers, Zac Stacy had 87 total yards, with four catches and one receiving touchdown. That game started a run of five straight games with at least 12 fantasy points and four games in the top-10 for running backs in standard ESPN scoring. His best game during this stretch came in week nine versus the Tennessee Titans. In this game, he had had 127 rushing yards, six catches for 51 yards, and two rushing touchdowns. This performance earned him 29 points and a tie for first place among running backs in standard (ESPN) scoring. I do want to bring one more game to your attention, and that is week 15 versus the New Orleans Saints. In this game, he had a stat line of 143 total yards and one touchdown. With this performance, he earned 20 fantasy points and finished tied for sixth among running backs in standard (ESPN) scoring. In total, he had double digit fantasy points in seven of his final 10 games. Also, I can’t forget to spotlight his touchdown rate. In these final 10 games, he scored at least one rushing or a receiving touchdown in eight games. From a fantasy perspective, he was a fantasy force over the final 3/4 of the season.
When you take his final 12 games and use his numbers over a full season, he would have earned 214 fantasy points and finished as the number six running back in standard (ESPN) scoring. Plus the Rams head coach, Jeff Fisher said that he can see Stacy carrying the football 70% of the time. Only a handful of other running backs have his potential workload. I like Stacy as a solid RB1 option for 2014.