With the St. Louis Rams' running game floundering through the first quarter of the season, don't be surprised to see rookie Zac Stacy carrying the ball in Week 5 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
But don't overreact and let a shiny new name or the Rams' favorable matchup this weekend fool you into adding the former Vanderbilt star to your roster right away. Though the Jaguars rank worst in the NFL against the run, allowing more than five yards per carry and 165 yards per game, there are other important factors at play that must be considered before deciding on Stacy.
First, St. Louis ranks dead last in rushing yards in 2013, averaging just 47.3 per game.
While Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham have all struggled to get anything going, a lot of the blame has to fall on the Rams' offensive line, which has been dominated at the point of attack to start the year.
In addition to the woeful offensive line play, Stacy has just one regular-season carry under his belt. That run went for four yards but certainly won't provide fantasy owners with any confidence.
Is Zac Stacy worth starting in a fantasy lineup in Week 5?
Keep in mind that not a single Rams running back has had a run of more than 11 yards this season.
But perhaps the biggest reason to avoid Stacy in Week 5 is the fact that he's not guaranteed to touch the ball enough times to make a significant impact for your fantasy team.
According to ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has pointed out that St. Louis will take a committee approach to the running back spot this weekend, meaning that guys like Richardson and Pead will still see touches. That will result in fewer opportunities for Stacy, per NFL.com fantasy football editor Michael Fabiano on Twitter:
Rams RB situation could be both Isaiah Pead and Zac Stacy sharing carries. No starter named. Dicey fantasy situation.— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 3, 2013
Even a workhorse back on a bad team would be worth starting. But unless Stacy scores St. Louis' first rushing touchdown of 2013 on his first carry, he's unlikely to see 20-30 attempts this weekend.
Sure, the rookie is an intriguing option, having rushed for 1,100-plus yards in each of his final two seasons at Vanderbilt, but his lack of touches and St. Louis' dreadful offensive line make him a risky start, even at home against the lowly Jags.
The best move would be to take a wait-and-see approach with Stacy, who is available in most leagues across the country. If he does explode or show potential against Jacksonville, owners can snag him up ahead of a somewhat favorable matchup with the Houston Texans (23rd-ranked rush defense) in Week 6.
And if you're feeling lucky and have room to spare, go ahead and stash him now in hopes of that happening.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.