Is Ray Rice Being Downgraded Too Far?


Ray Rice is coming off his worst season as a professional in 2013. On top of that he has created his own issues off the field and will serve a two game suspension. Upon returning to the Ravens lineup in week three fantasy football owners have to decide his value. According to fantasy football “experts” they have him downgraded in the bottom 20’s and lower 30’s for fantasy running backs.

That’s awfully low for a guy that still will receive over 200 carries and netted 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. Compared to his prior seasons in the NFL a drop in fantasy rankings was dictated. His production as a 1,000 yard back and 6-700 yards receiving fell too ultra lows.

Owners stayed patient with him for the majority of the season expecting a turn around at some point. With results unchanged in a sixteen game season it seems all fantasy pundits have wrote off Rice–in affect he has hit the running back wall.

At this low of value Rice could be considered a steal. Certainly as a back rated in the high 20’s to low 30’s he is considered a non-fantasy football starter in ten/twelve team leagues. This makes him an intriguing prospect in my eyes. Of course I did not own him in any of my leagues last year, therefore, I’m not a bitter buyer of Rice.

One back Rice could imitate in terms of fantasy football is Matt Forte. Forte, after an impressive rookie season faded back in years two and three. Most considered him a non-starter as year four came around. A new offense and personnel vastly changed Forte’s value.

Obviously the Ravens have been in a reconstructive phase offensively. Rice was their primary weapon for several years and teams were ready for that finally a season ago. That coupled with Joe Flacoo’s struggles with inadequate receiving weapons, left a team hindered offensively.

I’m not saying Ray Rice is going to surge back to a top five fantasy running back. I am saying that he can get himself back into the range of a top 20 back.


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