According to baltimoresun.com, Ravens RB Ray Rice has “looked good” during training camp and has “looked like the Ray Rice of old.” Rice is suspended for the first two games of the 2014 NFL season.
SMITTY: I love Bernard Pierce, who gets two games to shine all by himself in Weeks 1 and 2, but Ray Rice certainly has a shot at regaining some of his previous form. He is only 27, only has 1,431 regular-season carries to his name, and only has one season with 300+ carries… no one on that Baltimore roster rushed well last season, so assuming last year’s disappointments on the ground in Baltimore were more due to the offensive line/team issues isn’t off-base. The tricky part with owning Rice is worrying about Pierce shinning in those first two games. You have to own both of these runners in 2014 if you want to play it safe, but the duo makes for a sneaky-good RB2.
According to Rand Getlin on Twitter, Ravens RB Ray Rice could see just a two-game suspension.
Update: The suspension has been confirmed as two games.
SMITTY: This is huge for Ray Rice owners, as he could still have a nice season with just two missed games. That said, Bernard Pierce is still a major threat for carries, especially given he gets two games to go nuts. The duo together is a very underrated RB2 in 2014 (and beyond). Looking for Week 1 Power Rankings?
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens RB Ray Rice “is much lighter on his feet, the result of not carrying as much weight.” Rice reportedly weighs 205 pounds right now, which is about 15-20 pounds lighter than his playing weight from last year.
SMITTY: Most everyone close to the Ravens is expecting Rice to get handed a 4-6 game suspension (if not longer) for his recent off-the-field issues. One thing I know for sure is that Bernard Pierce has the capability of turning heads. Neither back played well last season, which tells me that last year’s issues, for both backs, is on that offensive line/offense. That’s good news for Rice in some ways, and it really explains how he could have, out of nowhere, almost fallen off the face of the earth; however, Rice’s upcoming obstacle is likely going to be the stellar showcasing of Bernard Pierce (during Rice’s string of missed games). Check out our full-season projections for both runners.
According to baltimoresun.com’s Aaron Wilson, Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (shoulder surgery) is “making progress” and should be “full-go by training camp.”
SMITTY: He is doing some individual drills already, so we fully expect him to start Weeks 1-4 (maybe longer), as Ray Rice is expected to be handed at least a 4-6 game suspension due to his off-the-field situation. Pierce has all kinds of high-end RB2-type upside if getting starters carries. In fact, he can be better than that if ever fully given the starting gig. The crafty fantasy owner, redraft or dynasty, owns just Pierce. And, if you own Rice this year, in any format, you better go get Pierce (if it’s not already too late). Aside from Christine Michael, Pierce is one of the most important handcuffs entering 2014.
According to New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch, Ravens RB Ray Rice will be facing a “significant” suspension, possibly in the range of 4-6 games. Hubbuch added, “maybe even more.”
SMITTY: Fantasy worlds better get ready for our 2014 super sleeper Bernard Pierce. Sure, this backfield could turn into a committee-type situation come mid-season, but if Pierce gets 4-6 games, or more, to command that Ravens’ rushing attack, his elite skill set might make it near impossible for Rice to ever grab the starting gig back. It sounds like the NFL will be making a decision shortly — stay tuned, folks!
According to reports ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens RB Ray Rice “will get a chance to take back the starting job” upon his return from a likely suspension. “Harbaugh likes sticking with the hot hand, but Rice has earned the right to get first crack at the No. 1 job because of his track record.”
SMITTY: I think it’s important to note that no one can really predict what kind of workload either back will get this season, nor can we predict how long Rice’s likely suspension will be. All we know right now is that if you plan to own Ray Rice in 2014, you better have him handcuffed to Bernard Pierce, who quietly holds monster upside in my opinion. Check out our Draft Analyzer, which projects full-season stats for both running backs, and it does so based on YOUR exact league scoring: