The St. Loius Rams continue to cause headaches for fantasy footballers, this time causing uncertainty and angst for Zac Stacy owners.
Rams GM Les Snead said earlier this week that he expects the offense to go with a “hot hand” approach, which implies that Stacy won’t be the workhorse back that owners thought they were drafting just a few weeks ago.
Stacy is still listed atop the Rams’ official depth chart, but an unimpressive preseason has left those who own shares of Stacy (myself included), a little concerned and uncertain of what to do with the player who on average went 27th overall. Will the backfield truly be a hot hand approach with Stacy losing carries to Benny Cunningham? Or were the Rams just trying to see what they had in Cunningham, and gave him more run in the preseason to see whether or not they would have to rely on rookie Tre Mason this season?
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My first thought when I heard about this development was this: why is Snead even the one making this type of statement? I respect what Snead has done as far as making the most of the RG3 trade two years ago, but his opinion should have very little to do with how Jeff Fisher is going to game plan on a weekly basis. Remember, Snead is the guy who passed up on multiple offers for Sam Bradford, whom he continues to think can be a franchise quarterback. Fisher has been around the block for quite sometime now, and his role as the head coach of the Rams is very secure. If Fisher was the one saying that he wanted to go with a hot hand approach, I’d be panicking as a Stacy owner. The fact that it was the GM who said it however, makes it not as bad as it seems.
If we look at Cunningham’s preseason play, the majority of his work came against the 2nd and 3rd team defenses. The one game that he did play with the starters, which was the third preseason game against the Browns, he posted decent numbers with five carries for 32 yards. Take away his longest run however (21 yards), and you’ve got a measly four carries for 11 yards. That type of production makes me question why St. Louis is trying to make it sound like Cunningham is going to take a big chunk of work from Stacy. A 2.75 YPC while playing with the first unit won’t cost Stacy his job.
The bottom line is this: I think this talk coming out of St. Louis is just that…talk. Whether it’s the coaches trying to fire up Stacy, Cunningham, or even the rookie Mason, Stacy should still be considered the top dog out of the three. While his leash may not be as long as we would’ve liked, the job is still Stacy’s to lose.
As a Stacy owner, hang tight and plug him into your Week 1 lineups. The Vikings were pretty poor against the run last season, as they gave up the 8th most fantasy points to running backs.
If you don’t own Stacy, consider throwing an offer to the owner just to see what their level of concern is. Times like these are when savvy owners can take advantage of the situation and build that championship winning fantasy roster.