Packers rusher Eddie Lacy is putting together an excellent rookie season, and was just named the NFC’s Offensive Rookie of the Month for October based on his strong play. Still, despite a month where he touched the ball 108 times (including 33 in Week 7 against the Vikings) Lacy is barely inside the RB-top-20 on the season – so, what makes him the best RB play on the board this week?
There are a number of factors, and that volume is perhaps the most significant. Last week, with those 33 touches, Lacy finished as fantasy’s 5th running back, a week after ranking 7th at the position. There is no reason to assume that his 27 touch per game average from October will change dramatically as the calendar turns so the first year star is as likely as anyone to come in around 25 opportunities this week.
He’ll do so against a Bears defense that is allowing the 6th most fantasy points per game to opposing rushers and is looking soft in the middle with the loss of Lance Briggs adding to the issues on an already limited defensive front. While Lacy is coming off a month month in which he has been held under 100 total yards just once (with 97) Chicago has seen rushers score more than 20 points against them in each of their last four games. Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Brandon Jacobs and Roy Helu Jr. have all accomplished the feat with each of them scoring a touchdown and the three most recent scoring two or more. None of those players led the position in scoring but their respective 2, 3, 4, 2 finishes among the top RBs of the week tell the story about just how generous the Chicago defense has been to opposing rushers.
Lacy is rounding into one of the league’s more consistent backs and he’s operating in an offense that is doing plenty of scoring as a result of the running back position as opposed to in spite of it. Since week five, his 98.8 rushing yards per game leads the NFL and with touchdowns in each of his last two games the rookie is developing a scoring touch. Other backs inside the top 5 all have plenty of upside but they don’t come into the week with the blend of talent, workload and matchup that Lacy does. Week 9 represents the perfect storm for Lacy to proclaim his arrival in the RB elite.
Unless we see a marked turn around in play from a Bears run defense that ranks 2nd worst in the league according to Pro Football Focus grades and the 8th most rushing yards in the NFL expect Lacy to have his way with Chicago en route to the week’s top RB line.