Now I know Ray Rice isn’t getting a lot of love in fantasy with word that he will be losing some carries to fellow running back Bernard Pierce, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Rice wont be giving you the numbers you expect from him. With the loss of top receiver Anquan Boldin and tight end Dennis Pitta, there are many questions to be answered with the Baltimore Ravens aerial attack. But if one thing is for certain, the Ravens will be relying on their running backs more than ever.
After letting fullback Vonta Leach walk and test free agency, they have now brought him back on a two-year deal, revealing how much they will be depending on a solid run game this season. Even if Pierce continues to play well and take snaps away from Rice, the Ravens still like to run the ball. The Ravens were 12th in the league in rush attempts last season and averaged 27.75 carries per game — a number that could easily increase should the passing game struggle. Even if the Ravens do get a pass game established, it is more than likely going to involve the sure-handed Rice. Aside from Rice’s rookie year, he is yet to have less than 60 receptions in a season and has had two seasons with 76 receptions or more.
Rice is a great back to have in standard formatted leagues, but those who own him in PPR get his true value as a fantasy running back. Because of the threat of losing carries to Pierce, his Average Draft Position has him going all the way to 10th overall thus far in fantasy drafts, which is a steal for whoever claims him that late. If Rice can put up the numbers we typically see from him, he will be a top=five fantasy running back next season. Keep in mind he did finish fourth overall in fantasy points for running backs.