If you play fantasy football, the beginning of the playoffs starts this week. And if you have Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers as one of your running backs, you probably are in a bit of a quandary as to what to do with the former Alabama Crimson Tide star.
Before last week’s game versus the Detroit Lions, Lacy was coming off two straight games where he rushed for over 100 yards.
But things changed before the game against the Lions. Why? It was learned that Lacy, along with fellow running back Alonzo Harris, had missed curfew on Wednesday night in Detroit.
That led to a demotion for Lacy in terms of being the starting running back for the Packers against the Lions last Thursday night, while Harris received the ultimate punishment by the Packers, the pink slip.
Lacy also had limited playing time in the game, as he had just 19 snaps against the Lions. No. 27 managed only 4 yards rushing on five carries and also caught one pass for minus-3 yards.
Overall, the 2015 season has been a disappointment for Lacy, as he’s only rushed for 517 yards (4.1 average) and two touchdowns. Lacy also has 16 receptions for 129 and another score.
Lacy has also fumbled four times and lost two of those fumbles.
There are a few reasons why the current season has been a down one for No. 27. Lacy has battled through an ankle and groin injuries, plus came into training camp too heavy this year in terms of his weight.
Right now, Lacy is on a pace for a little less than 700 yards rushing this season. That is a far cry from how he performed in his rookie season of 2013 and also last year.
In 2013, Lacy rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also had 35 catches for 257 yards. Those numbers led to Lacy being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowl berth.
In 2014, Lacy had another very nice season. He rushed for 1,139 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus had 42 receptions for 427 yards and four more scores.
As the weather got colder in Green Bay in 2013 and 2014, Lacy seemed to get better.
In the last two seasons in November and December, Lacy has averaged 746 yards and nine touchdowns in those two months and has had a 4.57 yards-per-carry average.
Lacy seemed to be doing the same thing this season, as he rushed for 100 yards against the Vikings and 105 yards against the Bears in two late November games.
The situation in Detroit ended that momentum.
Still, there are reasons to be optimistic about what Lacy will do in the last quarter of the 2015 season and more specifically what he will do this upcoming Sunday, when the Packers host the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field.
First, it appears that Lacy and head coach Mike McCarthy have put the circumstances of the curfew violation behind them. Lacy had an excellent practice on Tuesday, and McCarthy seemed very pleased with No. 27’s efforts, as he spoke with the media.
“I think Eddie’s been rejuvenated,” McCarthy said. “His work was good today. Checked in on him, just like I do with all of our players. I look for him to have a very good week of practice and look for him to be productive Sunday.”
McCarthy sees good things ahead for Lacy if he continues to work hard.
“If Eddie or any other player wants to jump up and grab that opportunity, it’s right in front of him,” McCarthy said.
Lacy talked to the media on Wednesday and he said that he and McCarthy had ironed out the situation with the curfew violation.
“We had a conversation internally and they know that whenever I’m out on the field I’m going to do exactly what I have to do,” Lacy said. “I’m not a guy that makes a lot of mistakes or bad things off the field either, so that’s something they know they don’t have to worry about.
“But at the same time, talking only does so much. It’s about action as well. So just proving that I could back up what we discussed and I’m trustworthy.”
Based on what Lacy has done in the past against the Cowboys, the Packers and No. 27 should feel optimistic.
In 2013, when the Packers stormed back to beat the Cowboys 37-36 in Dallas, Lacy rushed for 141 yards (6.71 average) and a touchdown. Lacy also caught four passes.
In a 2014 NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lambeau Field versus the Cowboys, Lacy rushed for 101 yards in the 26-21 victory by the Packers.
All the elements are setting up for Lacy to have a big game against the Cowboys.
What would I do if I had Lacy on my fantasy team this week? I would definitely start him.
Time will tell if I’m correct, but history says that I should be.