| Running Back, Free Agent
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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).
|Ravens terminate contract of Ray Rice -- Mon Sep 8 2:30 pm --|
NFL suspends him indefinitely after TMZ releases casino video
|The Baltimore Ravens terminated RB Ray Rice's contract on Monday, hours after TMZ released a video showing him punching his then-fiancee in the face in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Prior to Monday morning, the public had only had access to part of the casino video in which Rice was dragging his then-fiancee out of the elevator after the February incident. The new video really left the Ravens with no choice but to release the three-time Pro Bowler. From a football perspective, Baltimore will move forward with some combination of Bernard Pierce (benched in Week 1), Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro.
| 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.
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