Rams have opening for a new lead RB; why not Stacy?
Looking for a potential fantasy football sleeper RB in 2013? There is no shortage of candidates, but a guy I wrote about before the NFL draft is a guy I am still very high on, and that's former Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy.
The St. Louis Rams selected Stacy late in round 5 and it's a great location for him in the NFL. After losing Steven Jackson in free agency the Rams have no proven bell cow RB on the roster. They do return the two RB's they selected in the 2012 draft, Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson, but both of these RB's are smaller guys who likely won't hold up carrying the football more than 10 times in a game. Pead (5'10", 197 lbs) was a disappointment as a second round selection and only had 10 rushing attempts all season. Richardson (5'10", 196 lbs) showed well as a part time player gaining 475 yards on 98 carries, but never had more than 7 carries in any game over the last half of the 2012 season. He only had over 10 carries twice the whole year. Add in that neither Pead nor Richardson scored a single touchdown and there is a definite need for a RB who can go between the tackles and get the tough yards.
Enter Stacy. At 5'8", 216 lbs, Stacy has a low center of gravity and rushed for over 2,300 yards and scored 24 rushing TD's in his last 2 college seasons. Vanderbilt wasn't blessed with a lot of talent and opponents usually made it a priority to stop Stacy from running on them. Stacy will bring some power to a Rams rushing attack their other top RB's don't have.
While Stacy isn't a great receiving RB, he is capable enough with 30 receptions the last 2 seasons combined. It's much more likely that the Rams will use Richardson or Pead as their 3rd down RB. But the primary rushing duties, that duty could fall to Stacy. Richardson is likeliest of the trio to get first crack at being the top RB in the rotation, but the lack of power he has as an inside runner is likely to mean he won't get most of the carries. Pead needs to put a disappointing 2012 behind him and prove he deserves carries in the preseason. But he too lacks the power to bang it inside.
I know that we still need to get thru OTA's and training camp before we get a clearer picture, but I think once we get into preseason the Rams are going to see they have a guy who can get them their tough yards rushing, and also be durable and reliable. Stacy isn't a big time RB with a high ceiling, but he has the makeup of being something neither Richardson nor Pead have: the primary RB in what is likely to be a RBBC and the Rams goal line RB. With improvements in their passing game, it's possible Stacy could score the annual 5-7 TD's Steven Jackson used to have.