One exhibition game has now been played, but although Hall of Fame weekend is a great celebration and it’s a yearly opportunity to indulge nostalgia and peer into the football history looking glass, the Hall of Fame Game itself barely meets the standards of exhibition play. Starters who have even a minor ailment quite rightly sit (see: Mike Wallace), and even the healthy ones play only a series, or don’t play at all (see: the entire Cowboys first team Sunday night).
But hey, that happened, and now it’s over with. Football is back, sort of, and in a few days the other 30 teams will begin their own preseason schedules, which means that any and all position battles which are even remotely serious haven’t truly reached the proving ground stage yet.
Alright, so having said all that, I’m just going to leave this here…
No surprise after his performance in the scrimmage but Eddie Lacy getting the first reps in every drill. Prob will be the starting RB
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 6, 2013
From the moment the Packers invested heavily in their backfield during the draft by selecting both Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin, the battle was on between the two. The rumors that Lacy was in fact the reincarnation of the Marshmellow Man were quickly debunked (cameras both add and subtract 20 pounds, apparently), and we then continued to go about the business of wondering which Aaron Rodgers-supported running back will lead the Packers backfield, and should therefore be firmly in our fantasy crosshairs.
Although Franklin will get his carries and likely be on the low end of a time share, continually the answer to that question has looked like Lacy, an assumption that’s been further affirmed again today by Demovsky’s observation. Against always almighty SEC defenses, Lacy had 1,511 all-purpose yards during his final season at Alabama (1,322 of which came on the ground) at a pace of 6.7 yards per touch. His detractors will remind you repeatedly that those yards came while he was running behind an offensive line which had two of its members drafted in the top 15 (Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker), but Lacy was still the guy hitting those holes hard, and exploding downfield with impressive speed for a large man (5’10″, 223 pounds).
If, as expected, Lacy gets the bulk of the work in the Packers backfield and is the goal-line back (which is vitally important), then his fake football price will rise steadily here in early August. But right now, woah boy, grab grandma’s nickels kids, because we got ourselves a good ol’ fashioned bargain.
Again, assuming Lacy stays atop the depth chart and is the goal-line back (a position that could easily produce double-digit touchdowns), then getting a running back with his production potential beyond the 50th overall pick is a pretty sweet buy. Right now at Fantasy Football Calculator he’s sitting at 52.6, and in ESPN leagues he’s even lower at 58.9.
As I’ve said repeatedly and I’ll keep saying it, um, repeatedly, there’s a reason why fantasy drafts should be held at the end of this month, or even early September. Those reasons are Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin. Injuries, they’re still the worst.
But for the braver souls among us who are drafting now, there are some bargains to be had. Stay stingy, my friends.