Welcome Razzball football readers to the offseason. I know some of you are going “what’s an offseason?” as your significant other rolls there eyes. Since there is no such thing as an “offseason”, I am here to fill that void for you. I am bringing you a series that’s going to take a look back at last year and beyond to help identify value and non-value players for next season. I don’t want to say it’s a “new” series as if you remember last year. I did a similar thing for Dase’s Digest with players such as Carson Palmer (nailed it!), Jonathan Stewart (nailed it!) and Teddy Bridgwater (did I mention how I really nailed it for Carson Palmer?). The difference with this offseason is that I have a full and thick beard… that and I’m not talking about 2015. So as I stroke my beard, it’s on to 2016 and the second player up is Eddie Lacy.
Let’s take a quick look at the final numbers for Lacy in 2015… He played in 15 games, while rushing for 758 yards, three rushing touchdowns and added 20 catches for 188 yards and two receiving touchdowns. These numbers placed Eddie in tie for the number 27 running back in standard ESPN scoring formats.
In his first two seasons (2013-14), Lacy was one of only five running backs to produce back to back seasons with at least 1324 total yards and score at a least 10 total touchdowns. The four other running backs were Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch and DeMarco Murray. In all fairness, Lacy actually never finished either of these seasons with less then 1396 total yards and 11 total touchdowns. These type of numbers provided fantasy football owners with two straight top six finishes among running backs in standard ESPN scoring. With the list of trust worthy first round running backs shrinking by the year. It appeared that drafters could feel confident with Lacy as there number one pick.
One of, if not the biggest reason I analyze a fantasy game log, is to identify trends. I’m doing this to hopefully better help me try and understand why a certain player had a breakout season (Doug Baldwin) (a post will be coming soon). On the other hand, it could be used to see if a player (Lacy) that had a major dive in the wrong direction for overall fantasy production, has any positive signs going into next year. When you look at the game log for Lacy. You have the first half of season (really bad). From weeks one through nine (eight games), he averaged 50 total yards and only .25 total touchdowns per game. These numbers, placed him as the 40th best running back with 43 total points (5.4 points per game). Just to clarify how bad it was for fantasy owners, he had four games with two or fewer fantasy points. In fact, he had a game in week nine vs the Carolina Panthers, that netted a negative one (five carries, for 10 yards and a lost fumble) for his fantasy contribution that week! I know it’s hard and a lot of damage has been caused by Lacy and that first half. I ask you to forget all that and let me try and mend a fence that many of you think is beyond repair. It starts in week 11 and goes all the way through the final playoff game (nine games), he gained 77.8 total yards and added .4 total touchdowns per game. During this stretch of games, he had five games of 10 or more fantasy points (only one in his first eight games). His best game was in week 14 vs the Dallas Cowboys, he gained 138 total yards and had one rushing touchdown. These numbers came out to 20 fantasy points and placed him in a three way tie for fourth among running backs. Over the final nine games, he gave fantasy owners 84 total points and an average of 9.3 points per game. That type of PPG put him right in line with the RB10 (Danny Woodhead).
A very discussed topic during this past season was the inability for Lacy to stay in shape. The Green Bay Packers are expecting him to lose 30 pounds. It’s something that all fantasy owners will want to monitor this offseason. We know that Lacy can produce top 10 numbers not in ideal playing shape. If he is truly committed and able to obtain this goal, he has a great chance to repeat the final nine games and then some for 2016!