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In Shark Contrast – Eddie Lacy vs. Le’Veon Bell

HARTVIGSON – IN FAVOR OF EDDIE LACY

I need to preface this by stating that I am an owner of Le’Veon Bell, and therefore a strong proponent. Dynasty leaguers and Pittsburgh fans have hit the jackpot because this young man is on the fast track to becoming a Pro Bowler. In fact, 2013 has produced the most talented group of rookie running backs in recent memory with; Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Zac Stacy, Montee Ball and Christine Michael. Even Mike James looked like a horse until the football gods jumped up and fractured his ankle on Monday Night. But given the choice between Bell and Lacy, I’m riding the big man out of Alabama every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I’ll cut Jim off right now and address the Packers’ quarterback situation. As we all know, each of the past two weeks the proclaimed “starter” went down in the first series of the game. Jim will argue; “as the passing game suffers, so will the running game.” Thrust in third stringer Scott Tolzien. Did you know Tolzien had 17 fantasy points in week 10 (280/1/2)? So how does a player quietly go from the scout team to a top-14 fantasy QB? Answer; Mike McCarthy. Although Tolzien will never be mistaken for Rodgers, the coaching staff alone will generate enough offense to sustain drives and put points on the board (remember Matt Flynn).

During the preseason I was down on Lacy because Mike McCarthy has always run the RBBC. But unlike Bill Belichick or Sean Peyton, Green Bay has a poor track record of success. It’s obvious the Packers brass realized in order to keep defenses honest they must develop a strong “one-back” running game. Even before Rodgers injury, Lacy was getting the requisite 20 carries per game to be classified as a low RB1. Even more encouraging, since the departure of Rodgers, Lacy’s carries have remained constant.

Perhaps my strongest argument is Lacy’s fantasy postseason schedule. Down the home stretch he’ll face; Atl, @Dal and Pit. These are the 23rd, 31sth and 24th ranked rush defenses, respectively. Simply based on Green Bay’s playoff schedule, and the likely return of Aaron Rodgers, at the end of the season Lacy will edge out Le’Veon Bell by the narrowest of margins.

BUKOWSKI – REBUTTAL

There Eric goes again, attempting a preemptive strike by minimizing the loss of Aaron Rodgers. Sorry Eric, but the Packers are now 0-2 since Rodgers went down. That’s all fine and dandy that Tolzien had 17 fantasy points, but the Packers still lost. They’ve run the ball 46 times in those two losses.

The Packers have gone from first place to third in the division behind the Lions and Bears. It’s admirable that they’d like to run the ball more, but the bottom line is that they need to pass. It’s what they do best. While Eric is all excited about their schedule down the stretch he failed to mention that Atlanta’s pass defense is ranked 22nd and Dallas’ pass defense is a league worst 32nd ranked. So, in a must-win situation would you rather put the ball in the hands of rookie, Eddie Lacy, or in the hands of a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers? Apparently, Hartvigson prefers the rookie.

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