Running back Ray Rice is arguably the most dynamic back in the NFL. While he may not put up the stats of Arian Foster or Adrian Peterson, he is debatably the next best running back to choose.
Ever since gaining the starting job on the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, Rice has had over 1,000 yards rushing as well as over 60 receptions in each season. However, many fantasy owners were frustrated (mainly me) with the way Rice was used as he had his fewest amount of carries since 2009 last year. The idea was to conserve Rice for the post season and to give fellow running back Bernard Pierce more touches. The unfortunate truth is that this trend will continue due to Pierce’s success last season. Pierce averaged about five-yards per carry on 108 carries and impressed the Ravens coaching staff. While the success of the backs is surely something fans of the Ravens love, it is a huge red flag for fantasy owners.
The news about losing carries is surely discouraging for Rice owners and has greatly affected his draft stock. In Yahoo! Fantasy leagues, Rice’s average draft position has dropped to ninth overall behind the likes of C.J. Spiller, Jamal Charles, Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin.
If you ask me, getting Rice at ninth overall is an absolute steal and he should be getting a little bit more love in drafts than he is thus far. Even if he continues to lose touches, he will still put up great fantasy stats, especially in PPR leagues. Look for Rice to have another typical 1,000-yard and 60-plus catch season, despite the decrease in carries.
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