Ray Rice, RB, N/A
2014 Outlook: Gamble (high risk)Last updated on Aug-18-2014 by Rob Warner
Coming off the worst season of his career, Rice's fantasy stock appears to be in free-fall. In 2013, Rice had 214 carries for just 660 yards (44 ypg) and four touchdowns. The offensive line didn't do him any favors as they ranked 24th in run blocking, according to ProFootballFocus. Rice remained a better PPR option as he topped 55 catches for the fifth-straight season (58 catches for 321 yards last season). From 2009 to 2012, Rice averaged 277 carries for 1,267 and 69 catches for 610 yards as one of the more productive backs in the league. Offseason reports suggest Rice looks lighter on his feet after shedding 20 pounds and is down to around 205 (weighed 200 pounds at the 2008 combine). The addition of offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak should help the Ravens' ground game after they produced a league-worst 3.1 yards per carry last season. In more than half of his NFL seasons as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Kubiak's rushing units have ranked in the Top 5 in rushing yards. Rice's current ADP (RB24, 68.34) places him as a low RB2 or flex. He could prove to be a risk worth taking, especially in PPR formats, provided he can put the lost 2013 season behind him.
Editor's note: Things are often never as great as we think they may be and never as bad. This outlook consolidates my opinion of Rice. It can't be understated how poor the Ravens' offensive line performed in 2013. A run-oriented team, which was once able to impose its will, was forced to pass more often despite their inability to fully replace the departed Anquan Boldin and an injured Dennis Pitta. So what does this have to do with Rice? As his teammates improve and the offense rediscovers its balance under Kubiak, Rice should rebound once he's back in the starting lineup. Unfortunately, his ADP offers little wiggle room for value, especially if Rice is forced to miss four games. Maybe after the suspension is announced, his draft position will fall and offer more value to fantasy owners.
UPDATE: Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season (much lighter punishment than most expected).
2014 Mock Draft Results
FFToolbox Mock Draft July 21
|4.11||2006 World Champion - I just have a feeling Rice is undervalued right now in fantasy. Pierce has not proved a lot and Rice seems motivated. I think any suspension will be short.|
FFToolbox Mock Draft July 14
July 14, 2014
|6.07||Gridiron Experts - @MikeRigz - Ray Rice is in everyone's bad books right now, likely facing a 4 game suspension. The month of September might be a complete right off for the 27 year old RB, but what happens when he returns? The veteran will rejoin a Gary Kubiak run-first offense in rhythm. He could be worth the investment.|
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