Fantasy Impact: Eddie Lacy goes to the Seahawks
After a long break in big-name free agent news, Eddie Lacy has come to an agreement with the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal worth $5.55 million, with $3 million in guaranteed money. It wasn’t a marriage that most would have suspected, but could this revive his fantasy value?
Most assume that going to play behind the Seahawks offensive line is a downgrade from anyone else’s, but that’s not quite true in Lacy’s case. Not many people realize that the Packers offensive line produced the least amount of room for their running backs last year. As a team, the Packers running backs averaged just 1.00 yards before contact, which was the worst in the NFL. The Seahawks were not great, but their 1.37 yards before contact is much more appealing.
Lacy has been among the league leaders in yards after contact ever since he came into the league, and it was no different in 2016 before going down with his season-ending injury. He was averaging 3.4 yards after contact, but wasn’t viewed as a success because he hadn’t scored any touchdowns at that point. With the Seahawks, he’s going to get more goal line work than he’s ever had in his career.
Over the last two seasons, the Seahawks running backs have combined for 113 red zone carries during the regular season, which is among the highest in the league. While Lacy only played 20 games the last two seasons with the Packers, he totaled just 31 red zone carries in that time, scoring on three of them. It’s safe to say that he’ll be seeing more work inside the 20 with the Seahawks.
The question becomes, how are the Seahawks going to divide carries among their running backs? Not only does Lacy do a lot of similar things that Thomas Rawls does, but most were expecting a second-year breakout from C.J. Prosise. You don’t sign a running back for more than $5 million in today’s NFL without the intent on using them, so it’s natural to wonder what Rawls’ role is going forward. He was an undrafted free agent acquisition by the Seahawks, and one who has had serious trouble staying healthy.
On top of Rawls’ injury concerns, head coach Pete Carroll commented on Prosise saying, “I can’t tell you that I’m not concerned about C.J. He had trouble through the offseason, was unavailable to us throughout, and there was a groin and a hammy and a wrist and then the scapula thing he had. He has to show it.” None of what he said screams confidence in Prosise. It’s also being said that the Seahawks aren’t done addressing the position and that Jamaal Charles is going to come in for a visit on Wednesday.
With the increased attention on their run game, you have to wonder if Carroll decided that the team was headed in the wrong direction. After all, this was a team whose running backs totaled 498 touches in 2012. That number has dipped ever since, going down every single year, to 456 touches in 2013, 442 touches in 2014, 427 in 2015, and then just 385 in 2016.
If Carroll goes back to the run-heavy approach that helped this team win a Super Bowl, there is no doubt that both Lacy and Prosise can be fantasy assets. Unfortunately, this leaves Rawls in no-man’s land, and the potential target for a RB-needy team. If Charles comes in to visit and signs with them, that would severely impact all parties involved, and one that would make me avoid all of them until we get more clarity on how they intent to use them. At this point, Lacy should be looked at as an RB2 with upside if they commit to him as the feature back.