Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) rushes with the football during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
RB – Eddie Lacy, James Starks
Lacy – 13 carries, 27 rushing yards, 1 catches, 8 yards; 3.50 fantasy points
Starks – 5 carries, 17 rushing yards, 3 catches, 29 yards; 4.60 fantasy points
The running game was atrocious last weekend, there’s no getting around that fact. Combined, we saw 18 carries by Eddie Lacy and James Starks, amassing only 44 yards between them.
Utterly pathetic. A complete shock too, considering how well this aspect has tended to be in the past couple years and that running the ball appeared to be the best option against the dominant pass-rush options the Rams fielded.
I obviously underestimated their abilities in this aspect — much of which can be attributed to the way Washington nullified those very same rushers earlier this season by running it down their throat. It was never about a perceived lack of ability by them however; I had the utmost faith in the abilities of these Packers to run the ball when they wanted and needed to (I must admit too though that part of it was another underestimation, this time of the Rams ability to step up against better competition; two weeks in a row of stepping up seemed a tall task, but they proved up to it on the defensive side of things).
This week, there isn’t that same reason to worry. The front of the Chargers is much less potent; their defensive line ranks 24th or worse in many of Football Outsiders’ defensive line statistics versus the run, and are currently 30th in rush defense DVOA. They have guys that the coaches like for their particular scheme, but it is not a powerful unit by any means.
Because of that, I expect there to be a good deal more success for the running game this week.
I’m not expecting any huge output however. Lacy has yet to have a 100-yard performance this year, and ranks only 18th in both DVOA and DYAR* among running backs. Starks in his lesser role ranks 28th in each. They are still good; they just haven’t managed to produce at the rates we expect as of yet.
A return to the level we saw before the Rams game isn’t out of the question; in fact, that is what I expect here.
There will be enough opportunity for these guys to do make something happen — especially Lacy, since he should see most of the carries as the starter.
Week 6 Prediction:
Lacy – 75 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD; 16.00 fantasy points
Starks – 35 rushing yards, 15 receiving yards; 5.00 fantasy points
Verdict: Get Him Going (Lacy); Backup Plan (Starks)
*DYAR is explained best here