Is ‘Slim’ Eddie Lacy Ready to Bounce Back?
The days of calling Eddie Lacy “Fat Ed” are all but over. During the offseason Lacy dedicated himself to his fitness, took up P90X, and lost 15-20 pounds. This is important because there is a history of running backs performing better the year after losing weight. Think Le’Veon Bell in his breakout 2014 season. Currently going 17th overall and as the RB8 in standard 12 team drafts (according to Fantasy Football Calculator), “Slim Ed” is ready to help win fantasy championships in 2016.
Too often in fantasy football analysis we only look at player’s ceilings. We say things like “this player could be a top five running back” or “he has more upside than anyone at his position”. But rarely do we talk about their floors. Perhaps this is what happened to Lacy in 2015. We were so obsessed with his impressive track record and the high-powered Packers offense we did not account for his floor.
While its possible Lacy’s floor is lower than what we saw last year, it is unlikely to be the case. In a season in which everything went wrong Lacy still finished as the RB27 in just 15 games. Those numbers include four games where he received five carries or less. Furthermore Lacy is one of the few situations in fantasy that handcuffing is advised. Handcuffing a running back is a safe play. It lowers overall team upside but when selecting an RB in the second round coming off the worst season of his career you want to play it safe. James Starks finished as the RB25 last year and would be a top 10 RB were Lacy to go down.
Lastly, those considering drafting Lacy will be glad to hear his ceiling remains intact. In 2014 Lacy rushed for 1,139 yards and nine touchdowns while also catching 42 passes for 427 yards and four touchdowns. So far Lacy looks much more like the 2014 version of himself. Through two preseason games this year he has rushed 13 times for 69 yards (5.3 YPC). Aiding Lacy in 2016 will be the return of a healthy Jordy Nelson. If Nelson comes back close to 100 percent the entire Packers offense will receive a boost and “Slim Ed” could conceivably finish as the number one running back in fantasy football.
Brendan Tuma is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Brendan, follow him @toomuchtuma.