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Eddie Lacy's Fantasy Value Will Increase in the Wake of DuJuan Harris Injury

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Eddie Lacy's Fantasy Value Will Increase in the Wake of DuJuan Harris Injury
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The Green Bay Packers prefer to let former NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers' arm do a majority of the work on offense. 

But that could change in 2013, as the reigning NFC North champions look to work second-round draft pick Eddie Lacy into the picture. The former Alabama stud running back is a powerful and bruising back who is sure to become a goal-line and short-yardage star this coming season.

Even ESPN Fantasy Football projects Lacy to rush for more than 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie. And with fellow running back DuJuan Harris set to land on injured reserve due to a knee injury, according to The Green Bay Press-Gazette's Mike Vandermause on Twitter, the door has opened even wider for Lacy to pick up opportunities in Green Bay's offense:

At first glance, Harris' 2012 production (34 carries, 157 yards and two touchdowns) appears irrelevant. But he came on late for the Packers last season, appearing in the team's final four regular-season games and averaging five yards per carry or better in two of those games.

Harris also successfully carried a majority of the rushing burden in the postseason for Green Bay against Minnesota and San Francisco.

Therefore, fantasy owners should look to draft Lacy this summer to add value in the later rounds or plan on picking up the 5'11", 230-pound rookie at some point down the road via a trade if you've already drafted.

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As a dominant ball-carrier (1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns at Alabama in 2012) in an offense that lacks any other notable names at running back, Lacy is sure to receive plenty of touches this season, at least enough to make him a fantasy difference-maker week in and week out.

Over/Under 1,000 yards rushing for Eddie Lacy in 2013?

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Lacy has also impressed during the preseason, rushing for 40 yards on eight carries against the St. Louis Rams and fighting through several arm tackles against the Seattle Seahawks in a game where Green Bay's offensive line struggled to generate a push.

With Harris out of the picture, Green Bay no longer has a shifty playmaker to feed the ball to. Alex Green and James Starks both have experience, but neither is averaging more than four yards per carry for their careers in Green Bay.

Meanwhile, Lacy is a bowling ball who can pick up yards between the tackles, move the chains and, more importantly for fantasy owners, reach the end zone in goal-line situations. 

He was likely going to be the Week 1 starter at running back regardless of Harris' health, but now Lacy appears to be a lock for the starting job, which increases his fantasy value big time heading into the regular season.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.  

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