The St. Louis Rams turned to Zac Stacy in their latest attempt to energize a dormant rushing attack. Although it's too soon to consider him the unchallenged starter moving forward, the rookie running back made a good impression during his Week 5 start.
Stacy, who the Rams drafted in the fifth round, rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries. Gaining more than five yards per carry was a welcome change for St. Louis, which has a backfield otherwise filled with backs averaging three yards per attempt or less.
Equally important for fantasy football owners is the fact head coach Jeff Fisher plans to stick with him heading into the team's Week 6 clash with the Houston Texans, according to the team's Twitter feed.
Even though Stacy didn't find the end zone against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he certainly warrants a more extended look. Daryl Richardson, Benny Cunningham and Isaiah Pead have struggled to gain any traction in the ground game.
In the fantasy world, starting running backs are like gold. Even those without a long-term guarantee of staying atop the depth chart possess immense short-term value. Stacy is no different as owners start looking toward Week 6.
The Rams are set to go up against a Texans defense that ranks 27th in the league against the run. The unit is giving up nearly 130 yards per game on the ground and allowed the San Francisco 49ers to average nearly five yards per carry in Week 5. The 49ers also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Those numbers, paired with Stacy's retention of the starting spot, makes him a solid No. 2 running back or flex option for the week. And a strong outing could lock down his role, which would be a bonus for fantasy owners who use a waiver claim on him.
Moving forward, it's important to realize the Rams backfield remains crowded. If Stacy doesn't live up to expectations this week—he should, but there's no guarantee—the Rams could look to shake things up again.
So pick Stacy up with the expectation of him being a short-term fantasy weapon and anything beyond that will be the icing on the cake. He definitely has the potential to become a weekly fantasy starter with a few more solid showings.
If he's available in your league, definitely place a claim. But if another owner already made a preemptive addition, don't overpay in a trade because there's not enough certainty in the St. Louis backfield quite yet.
Week 6 Projection: 20 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown