Seahawks WR Sidney Rice says he will play in week 1
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Seahawks WR Sidney Rice says he will play in week 1

The Seattle Seahawks' stable of wide receivers has been in a state of flux and a consistent subject of fantasy conversation lately. They added Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens. What does this mean for Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu and Doug Baldwin? Antonio Bryant made a cameo appearance in there somewhere.
Meanwhile, little has been said about Sidney Rice @sidneyrice, the man who is expected to be a starter, no matter what the team's depth chart looks like. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated's Peter King speculated that Rice wouldn't be able to start come week 1 due to dual shoulder surgery this offseason, and the matter of his three concussions in the past two years. But Rice was adament in a Wednesday radio interview that he would be ready to go Sept. 9 in Arizona.
"I'm playing in the Cardinal game," Rice said. "I don't know where [Peter King] got that from."
Rice is practicing with the team, but it's expected that he will be shielded from contact for the majority of the preseason.

Fantasy Analysis:

So let's assume that Rice does line up against the Cardinals. He'll probably have to do it with very little or zero playing time in exhibition games. He'll have limited time to build up a rapport with (most likely) Matt Flynn, and we're not even sure then if he'll be fully recovered from surgery.
Let's not overlook that Rice, outside of one glorious season with Brett Favre in 2009, hasn't been worth your time in fantasy. Take that year out, and his career highs look like this: 32 catches, 484 yards, four touchdowns. Of course injuries have had a huge effect on those low totals, but it speaks to fact that Rice just hasn't been able to stay on the field. He has missed a full season of games over the past two years.
According to FFToolbox, Rice's current average draft position is 104.51, making him a ninth-round pick in a 12-team league. That's not bad value for at all a guy who is expected to be a No. 1 WR this year. But do you trust him to stay healthy? Do you trust the Seahawks' QB situation? Those are some big concerns, and I don't think I want to burden myself with such uncertainty at that price. However, the payoff could be tremendous.

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