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Eddie Lacy in 2013: 284 carries 1,178 yards, 11 rushing TDs.
35 receptions, 257 yards, 0 TDs
Totals: 1,435 yards and 11 TDs
After the Packers bye week in Week 4, Lacy put on a show. From week 5 through week 9, he rushed for 545 yards and 3 TDs. He didn’t rush over 100 yards each game, but that’s an average of 109 yards per game, and about .60 TDs a game, as he didn’t score a TD in 2 of those 5 games. Why is Week 9 so important? That’s when Aaron Rodgers went down with the broken collar bone.
From Week 10 through Week 16 (assuming majority of leagues playoffs are 14-16 in some fashion), he ran for 516 yards (74 yds/game) and 6 TDs (almost 1 TD/Game). Not that week 17 matter for fantasy, but just in case it does, he had 66 yards and 1 TD.
What happens when you put it all together? From week 5 through week 16, Lacy rushed for 1,061 yards, and 9 TDs, getting less than 20 carries only 3 times during that span, where he scored less than 9 points in each of those games. The remaining 9 games, he scored 10 points or better.
For 5 weeks prior to Rodgers getting hurt, Lacy ran the ball no less than 22 times, he was THE “bell cow” RB for the Packers, so don’t buy into the “because Rodgers was hurt, his load was increased” excuse. The Packers decided to do that well before that injury happened.
Lacy is in probably in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and only behind the Broncos and the Saints. I hear the argument “Packers are a passing team, not a running team.” Please see Knowshon Moreno and the 2013 Denver Broncos. Can I compare the Packers to the Denver Broncos? Why not? Rodgers is arguably one of the best QBs in the league, with weapons like Nelson and Cobb, and emerging stars in Lacy and Boykin. The Broncos have a much better offensive line, but if Moreno can put up those kind of numbers with Manning, imagine what a full season for Rodgers AND Lacy may produce.
This offense is set up for tons of success this season, the only thing really holding them back, would be their offensive line that often plays like chicken wire. Packers camp has talked about running more offensive plays, and having Lacy more involved in the passing game this year, and you can’t ignore that. Lacy will most certainly improve on his numbers from last year, and has the potential to give AP a run for his money as the top fantasy RB in 2014.
My projections for Lacy: 1,250 Yards Rushing, 11 TDs, 350 yds Rec, 2 TDs
LeSean McCoy in 2013: 314 carries, 1,607 yards rushing, 9 rushing TDs
52 receptions, 539 yards, 2 TDs
Totals: 2,146 yards, 11 TDs
Those numbers for McCoy above are exactly why most people, including myself, often feel he should be the #1 RB of the board in any fantasy draft this year. Far and away one of the most explosive RBs in the NFL right now, and being a dual threat RB, running and catching, he has every right to be labeled as the #1 fantasy player.
It’s absolutely hard to argue against it, but I’m going to try.
In 2012, a certain RB burst on the scene and shot up the draft boards. Finished the season with 319 carries, almost 1500 yards rushing with 11 TDs and 49 receptions, 472 receiving yards and 1 TD. Can you guess the RB?
Doug Martin is the answer. Why in the world would I bring up Doug Martin when I’m comparing Lacy and McCoy? I’ve heard one big argument that people put down Martin, all his points came from a just a handful of games. Why not use the same argument for McCoy?
In week 1 McCoy had 31 carries for 181 yards. Week 2 he rushed for 53 yards, but caught 5 passes for 114 yards (only 100 yard rec game). Week 14 he had 29 carries for an unreal 217 yards while scoring 2 TDs. That accounts for about 82 of his 273 points (non ppr) last year. Now answer this, what is the difference between what Martin did in 2012 and what McCoy did last year? Now before jumping down my throat, I feel that McCoy is far and away the more talented back between him and Martin, but wanted to put what McCoy did into some perspective.
There were 6 games last year McCoy rushed for 55 yards or less, and scored 9 points or less in 4 of those games.
Eddie Lacy had 4, all season. He scored no less than 10 points in all other games. Side note, 1 of those 4 games he left the game after 1 carry because of a concussion.
During the offseason, Chip Kelly went out and got him a used, but still dangerous toy in Darren Sproles. To think that McCoy is going to get 52 receptions again this year to me is unrealistic. The Eagles didn’t pay Sproles to sit the bench and just back up McCoy. He also traded for Kenjon Barner, another Sproles like RB, that MIGHT compete for some receptions. Do I think that Sproles will cut into his carries, no. But I do think there will be a larger drop in the number of receptions he gets this year.
Another factor for concern is Nick Foles. He’s entering his 3rd year in the NFL, and his second as a starter. Guy had an amazing year after coming off the bench. But there is still a lot of unknown with him, and he’s not a “proven” QB..yet. Not to mention he lost DeSean Jackson this off season, leaving him with Maclin and Cooper as his familiar WRs. Could this be the year he proves he’s the real deal, even with less assets? Quite possibly, but on paper, to me it’s not promising, and that will surely hurt McCoy’s numbers.
Chip Kelly brought in a fast paced offense that defenses just had issues planning for and defending. To think that defenses this year won’t be ready for that is a bit ignorant. It didn’t take long for the rest of the league to catch on to Cam Newton and RG3 read option offense, and I believe it’s safe to say the same for Chip Kelly’s fast paced O.
Finally, where does McCoy go from here? How does he possibly improve on last years numbers? There are just too many factors that would point in a drop from last year’s totals. Even Peterson regressed the year after he ran for 2,000 yards. Just for situational awareness, AP broke 2K with 348 carries, Chip Kelly’s offense isn’t built for that. He’s still a top 5 RB, just not ahead of AP or Lacy.
My projections for McCoy: 1,075 yds rushing, 8 TDs, 375 yds Rec, 3 TDs
Some food for thought info on both guys:
Eddie Lacy toughest games for 2014:
@ Sea, vs CAR, vs NE, @ TB
Playoff run (week 14-16):
@ Buf, @ TB, vs DET
LeSean McCoy toughest games for 2014:
vs Jax, @ SF, vs STL, @ ARZ, vs CAR,
vs SEA, @ Dal, @ Was
My Top 5 RBs:
AP, Lacy, McCoy, Forte, Charles
Love to hear your questions or comments!