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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Fantasy hint: Packers rookie RBs

By Kevin Seifert


Much of this ESPN Fantasy Roundtable on rookie running backs focuses on how -- and with what frequency -- the Green Bay Packers will use tailback Eddie Lacy, especially near the goal line.

The general consensus: The Packers have too many skill players for any one running back to produce a dominating season from a fantasy perspective. They also have a history of leaning on the passing game, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers on foot, near the goal line. The question is if the arrival of Lacy, or even fellow rookie Johnathan Franklin, will change that approach.

Here is the information that fantasy players must consider when it comes to this issue. First, the Packers managed a total of 32 rushing touchdowns over the past three seasons, nine of which came from Rodgers, ranking them No. 20 in the NFL over that span. In goal-to-go situations in the same time period, the Packers have attempted 76 running plays -- No. 23 overall in the league -- and scored 22 touchdowns. Of that total, Rodgers has 20 of the attempts and five of the touchdowns.

In essence, that means over a period of extended success the Packers have relied less on their running game near the goal line than about two-thirds of the NFL. The hope of many is that the arrival of Lacy will balance that figure, rather than be burdened by it, but it's important to know the baseline before making any projections.

(Statistics courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information.)