Since it's becoming more and more of a tradition to do NFL mock drafts months in advance of the real thing, is it ever too early to start projecting things for fantasy football? Of course not.
That's why ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry is here and recently posted an updated list of his top 200 fantasy football prospects for 2014.
The St. Louis Rams haven't had many players appearing near the top of any fantasy lists in recent seasons -- though running back Steven Jackson made the occasional foray into the top group of players. Early returns from Berry's rankings indicate there's one Rams who could reverse that trend when it comes time to pick your team in August or September: running back Zac Stacy.
Berry has Stacy ranked No. 11 overall and the No. 7 running back in his latest projection, a spot that would land him in the first round in most leagues and quite a jump from being the third or fourth back on his own team drafted a year ago (if he was even drafted at all).
But it's hard to argue with the logic in expecting solid fantasy production from Stacy in 2014. As a rookie, he finished with 973 rushing yards and eight touchdowns to go with 141 receiving yards. All of that came in 14 games but he didn't become any sort of factor until Week 5. Projected over a full 16-game season, those numbers would certainly place him among the game's most productive backs.
Adding to that projection, Rams coach Jeff Fisher has made it clear that Stacy is expected to get upwards of 70 percent of the carries in what likely will be a run-first offense in 2014. That puts Stacy in prime position to be a breakout fantasy star.
Of course, if you're considering using a first-round pick on him, there are some potential drawbacks. Stacy had a knack for racking up nagging injuries in 2013. None of those cost him full games but they did keep Stacy out for extended periods of time within games. Stacy's 3.9 yards per carry were relatively pedestrian and greatly hampered by late-season trips to face the tough defensive fronts of the NFC West.
Aside from a huge performance at home against Seattle, Stacy had 48 carries for 112 yards in those final three in-division games, an average of just 2.3 yards per attempt. Facing Arizona, San Francisco and Seattle six times a year figures to be a challenge and it's worth monitoring how the Rams continue to build the offensive line in the draft before you target Stacy early in your draft.
A roundup of Monday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we began the day with a look at the Rams' plan to let some of their young players "breathe" which is to say they're hoping they reach their potential in 2014. ... Next, I was joined by four of my colleagues in offering our personal takes on what the teams we cover should do in the top five of the draft. ... From there, we took a look at the Rams' inability to add a veteran presence in the secondary during free agency. ... We then looked at what little is left on the free-agent market amongst defensive backs. ... Finally, receiver Kenny Britt made up his mind and agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Rams, a decision we took a deeper look at to close the day.
The news from Adam Schefter on the Rams' signing Britt.
ESPN Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky breaks down why Tennessee parted ways with Britt.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas writes that the Rams don't appear likely to take a receiver early in the draft.
A great read from Peter King on themmqb.com on Jim Kelly's battle with cancer but also mention of the Rams and the draft.
Turf Show Times looks at the importance of the second round.