Fantasy NFL Over/Under: Will Lacy's slimmer frame resurrect career?

Green Bay's chunk of cheddar weighed owners down last season. (Getty)
Green Bay’s chunk of cheddar weighed owners down last season. (Getty)

Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future and you look like a genius. Don’t and you’re painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here’s a six-pack of players, off lousy seasons, who could soon hit the comeback trail.

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Fitter, trimmer Eddie Lacy, who reportedly shed several folds this offseason doing P90X, total yards this fall 1099.5.

Brandon –OVER. Are we really asking that much here? He was well over this mark his first two seasons, and, while Lacy looked out of shape last season, I’m giving the entire offense a pass as nobody looked good sans Jordy Nelson and behind that patchwork offensive line.

And, by the way, James Starks is a backup. We can safely leave him out of the conversation here.

Dalton – OVER. He averaged 1,500.5 yards over his first two seasons in the league and is still just 26 years old. Lacy remains in a dominant offensive system with little competition in the backfield, and I’m buying into the hype of him getting into shape.

Scott –OVER. That’s not a big hurdle for anyone to clear, even in the time of backfield timeshares. Lacy hears his biological clock ticking. Most importantly, Mike McCarthy hasn’t given up on him yet. And James Starks is not a threat to steal the full-time job; he’s just an understudy.

In one of the more noteworthy offseason moves, the Titans acquired disgruntled DeMarco Murray from Philadelphia. As a featured player in Mike Mularkey’s “exotic smashmouth” the RB’s final fantasy rank among rushers 17.5 (Under means he lands inside the top-17. Over means outside the top-17).

Brad – UNDER. Murray and Chip’s system were light beer and chocolate, a terrible pairing. Because he’s a more adept receiver/pass-blocker than Henry, I believe, if motivated, he’ll force a 70-30 timeshare in his favor later this summer. That happens, and he’ll be a 16-18 touch per game contributor. Even if the offensive line is again below average, Murray crashes the top-17 through volume alone. I’m happy to buy on the bear (62.0 ADP, RB27). A final output around 1,100-1,200 yards and 6-8 TDs is very attainable.

Scott – OVER. Last year’s awful showing leaves a mark, and Derrick Henry is likely to take a major share of the workload.

Dalton – OVER. He wasn’t any good last year (3.6 YPC) coming off a season in which he totaled 449 touches, and while you can say he didn’t fit the system, few running backs perform worse with Chip Kelly as their coach. I expect a full-blown committee in Tennessee, with about a 50/50 chance rookie Derrick Henry ends up the superior fantasy back.

C.J. Anderson, reduced to rubbish last year after myriad injuries limited him physically, average touches per game this year 17.9.

Scott – OVER. He’s the most talented back on the roster, by far, and I believe in a Gary Kubiak running game.

Dalton – OVER. The safest odds here are under, as injuries can always strike, and this is a season’s pace of 286.4 touches. But Anderson is the team’s clear best back, and Denver is going to rely heavily on the ground game with a dominant defense and a shaky quarterback situation.

Brandon – UNDER. I do expect Anderson to see a sharp uptick in workload this season, and I’ll be as bullish as anyone when it comes to the Broncos lead back, but only 10 running backs averaged (min. 12 games) over this number last season, which equates to 288 total touches over a 16-game span. I think Anderson clocks in somewhere between 260-280 total touches en route to a back-end RB1 type of ’16 campaign.

Andrew Luck, sidelined by a nasty lacerated kidney and overly dependent on garbage-time production pre-injury, total touchdowns (pass/rush) this season 33.5.

Dalton – OVER. It’s not an easy number to reach, but Luck averaged 32.7 touchdowns over his first three seasons in the league and is still just 27 years old. He’ll be asked to carry a team with a shaky defense and an offense with a lot of weapons to throw to with a lead running back who’s 33 years old.

Brad – OVER. Before a lacerated kidney derailed his season, many viewed Luck as a toxic fantasy asset. Though he didn’t exactly live up to the hype some dunderheads built and was largely ineffective until garbage time, he still finished QB7 in points per game. Given the weapons around him, the Colts’ likely exploitable defense and offensive line upgrades, matching 2014’s 43 combined scores isn’t crazy talk. And, no matter your view, one thing is for certain: Luck’s $140 million extension is a boon for the neckbeard oil industry.

Brandon – OVER. As bad as his seven games played were last season, he still was on pace to hit 34 total TDs. The season prior, he finished with 43 combined touchdowns. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think Luck bounces back nicely in ’16 with 35-plus total touchdowns.

Mike Evans, who despite his 6-foot-5 frame and gravity-defying hops scored an inexplicable three touchdowns in 2015, end-zone spikes in the follow up 8.5.

Brad – OVER, by a schnoz. My brother from another mother was an anomaly last year. Though he enticed 30.1 percent of Tampa’s targets (24 percent of red-zone looks) and missed only one game he, inconceivably, totaled three TDs. That’s like your overweight, smelly friend marrying a swimsuit model, impossible. He’s 6-foot-5 for crying out loud!

Because Winston will likely raise the bar in Year 2 and with Tampa sporting a vulnerable defense, Evans should again hog targets. Unless the injury imp snacks on an appendage … 9-10 TDs.

Brandon – OVER. Evans’ sophomore slide was inexplicable. How can someone targeted 145 times, who caught 74 passes, who possesses the size, leaping ability and overall athleticism of Evans end up with just three touchdowns? Jarvis Landry, Danny Amendola and Evans were the only wideouts with at least 60 catches to score as few as three times. Evans caught 12 touchdown passes as a rookie. I think that is more in line with what we should expect of someone with his total package. And I’m a believer in QB Jameis Winston. I think he will continue to grow into one of the better QBs in the league, so I have to believe the chemistry is due to improve in their second year working together. I’ll say Evans reaches the end zone 10 times in ’16.

Scott – OVER. Classic case of regression tying in with volume. And more experience from Jameis Winston, that’s a good thing, too.

The Packers offense was largely dreadful minus Jordy Nelson last year, including the minimal contributions Randall Cobb offered. With Jordy back in the mix, TDs this season 7.5.

Scott – OVER. Cobb needs to be a bass player in the Packers band, the tempo underfoot. With Nelson back, Cobb returns to his preferred role. Having a healthy shoulder won’t hurt, either.

Brad – UNDER. Only twice in his five-year career has Cobb surpassed the proposed number. Jordy’s return is sure to elevate the Packers’ offense from last year’s abysmal level, but Cobb won’t come close to the 12-TD high-water mark from 2014, especially if ‘Diet Mountain Dew’ (Lacy) regains his previous Pro Bowl form.

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