| Running Back, Baltimore Ravens
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|Draft: 2008 Round 2 (24)
Ht: 5’8” Wt: 212 DOB: 1987-01-22 Age: 27
|Finally freed from the shackles of sharing red zone touches with a productive veteran (first Willis McGahee and then Ricky Williams), Rice put together his finest fantasy season with 2,068 all purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, good enough to finish as the top ranked fantasy running back. With Williams relegated to essentially a pure backup role, Rice eclipsed 2,000 yards for the second time in three seasons, reaching career highs in rushing yards (1,364), rushing touchdowns (12), receiving yards (704) and receiving touchdowns (three). At 25 years of age, Rice has plenty of solid years ahead of him and figures to approach the 367 touches he had last season given the lack of a proven backup. The only negatives with Rice are his contract situation (he has refused to sign his franchise tender) and his huge workload over the past three seasons where he has averaged 357 touches per year and has played in two playoff games each season. Given the lack of explosiveness in the Ravens offense, Rice lacks the upside of Arian Foster or LeSean McCoy but is the least risky of the three given the huge amount of yardage he has accumulated over the last three years (5,891 total yards).
| Rice's shoulder injury not considered serious -- Sun Aug 17 7:00 am --|
|Cornerback Jimmy Smith bruised his chest on the opening series, and running back Ray Rice injured his shoulder.
X-rays to both Smith's chest and Rice's shoulder were negative. Neither returned to the game.
"It shouldn't be anything too serious," coach John Harbaugh said of Rice's injury (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Rice didn't start in the contest but left after the second series with a bruised shoulder. It appears he will be fine. Rice will miss the first two contests due to his suspension and is currently sporting an ADP of RB24 being taken in the early fifth round of standard scoring 12-team leagues.
|Pierce has been best back in Ravens' camp -- Thu Aug 7 3:05 pm --|
Expects to be featured through first two weeks
|Bernard Pierce has been the best running back in camp. He played in a similar running scheme in college, and he has had the best transition to Kubiak's stretch, zone-blocking runs.
FF Today's Take: With Ray Rice sitting out two weeks due to suspension, Pierce is going to have a grand opportunity to make some noise. At worst, he should be able to be the Ben Tate to Rice's Arian Foster in new OC Gary Kubiak's backfield. However, if he shows well against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in Weeks 1 and 2, he has a realistic shot at overtaking Rice for lead-back duties. As a result, Pierce is a high-upside RB4.
|Ray Rice to be suspended two games -- Thu Jul 24 10:15 am --|
NFL yet to confirm suspension
|NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a two-game suspension to Ray Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed. The league has not officially announced the suspension.
FF Today's Take: Rice will miss games against division foes Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Bernard Pierce (shoulder) will likely replace Rice in the starting lineup the first two weeks of the season. It appears that being a first-time offender helped Rice keep his suspension to a minimum. Rice's ADP of RB28, round six, should begin to rise slightly on this news.
|Ravens rookie RB Taliaferro arrested -- Tue May 27 2:50 pm --|
Charged with two misdemeanors after taxicab incident
|Baltimore Ravens fourth-round draft pick Lorenzo Taliaferro was arrested early Saturday morning. According to the Williamsburg Police Department, officer J.A. Wagner observed a group get into a cab and said he heard yelling and cursing among the group. Taliaferro reportedly left the scene after breaking a window, but was located about a block away. He was charged with being drunk in public and destruction of property, both misdemeanors. (Virginia Gazette)|
FF Today's Take: Given Ray Rice's incident involving his then-fiancee in a casino earlier this offseason (and likely multiple-game suspension), Bernard Pierce's recovery from shoulder surgery and Taliaferro's arrest, the Ravens are hurting at running back at the moment. At this rate, Baltimore may be forced both Justin Forsett and Cierre Wood, neither of whom should make the team under normal circumstances.
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