Zac Stacy's return to practice this week is a huge weight off the collective shoulders of fantasy football owners across the nation. Those who are counting on the St. Louis Rams running back should feel excited, not worried, ahead of Week 9's matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
According to ESPN.com's Nick Wagoner, Stacy was a full participant at Thursday's practice after picking up an ankle injury in Week 8. He looked 100 percent healthy during his workouts and drills.
With the rookie back at full speed once again and coming off a career effort against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 8—when he rushed for 134 yards on 26 carries—owners can confidently lock Stacy into their starting running back slot in Week 9.
On top of his improved health, Stacy will be up against a vulnerable run defense this weekend.
The Rams will host the Tennessee Titans, who rank 24th in fewest rushing yards allowed this season. Teams are averaging slightly more than 117 yards per game on the ground against Tennessee in 2013, and opposing backs are averaging 4.2 yards per carry against the Titans over that time.
Tennessee has surrendered just six rushing touchdowns in seven games this season. While Stacy has yet to rush for a score since taking over full-time duty in Week 5, he has managed to develop into a productive fantasy option despite lacking a nose for the end zone.
Let's face it: His 4.6-yard-per-carry average is winning over fantasy owners this fall.
Bleacher Report's Chris Trapasso presents an intriguing stat that highlights Stacy's productivity thus far:
Although he caught plenty of attention following his monster performance on Monday Night Football, he is still surprisingly available in more than 40 percent of all ESPN Fantasy leagues heading into November. So owners in need of some reliable production at running back or the flex spot should check to see if he is available.
While Stacy is a phenomenal add heading into the home stretch and fantasy playoffs down the road, his lack of touchdowns and production in the red zone should make owners wary of trading for him.
But for those who have him on the roster already, it's time to sit back and reap the benefits. With Stacy staring down a favorable matchup on Sunday and his confidence growing each week, the running back's fantasy owners can put the worry aside and get excited about their lineups in Week 9.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.