RB – Eddie Lacy, James Starks
Week 1 Statistics:
Lacy – 14 carries, 61 rushing yards, 1 catches, 17 receiving yards; 7.80 fantasy points
Starks – 4 carries, 7 rushing yards, 1 catches, 6 yards; 1.30 fantasy points
After a supremely lackluster year filled with questions about his weight, inconsistent play, and even running afoul with curfews, Lacy had exactly the kind of offseason he needed. He trained with the creator of P90X, got himself slimmed down, and then did some decent work in the preseason, giving hope that for the first time in his career he might start off a season strong.
So far, nothing doing in that regard: in his first game of the year, Lacy only managed 61 yards on the ground and a single 17-yard catch.
Some credit should go to the Jacksonville defense — and some blame must go to lackluster run blocking by his line as well — but whatever goodwill he gained since last season ended is already sitting on a shaky foundation.
That does not bode well this week, with the Vikings coming in having manhandled a Tennessee team that is built to do exactly one thing (i.e.: run the ball). Minnesota held the so-called “exotic smashmouth” style of the Titans to just 64 yards on the ground (2.9 yards per carry).
Something working in his favor however: Lacy has actually had a lot of success against Minnesota in his career. In five of his six career games against the Vikings, Lacy has rushed for at least 94 yards (four 100+ yard games); he’s also scored seven TDs on them (including two 2+ TD games).
It is worth noting though that none of these games have been during his cold starts to the season (the earliest he’s played them is Week 5), but maybe with an early matchup against them he can find a way to bust out within the season’s first month for once.
When weighing his success vs the Vikings against his failures to start a season well, I’m more inclined to lean towards him needing to prove his motor is fully revved before I’m comfortable getting behind him; hopefully he proves me wrong.
As for Starks, if Lacy isn’t playing well he could be looked to more. For now, I don’t expect much from him as the Packers hold out hope that Lacy finds a rhythm.