Try Some Black Rice: An Analysis of Ray Rice

Despite my lack of ability to think of a good pun that has to do with rice, I love Ray Rice. If you didn't know who Ray Rice was before this week, I'm sure all you Bears fans got a good dose of him yesterday when Rice and the Ravens destroyed the Chicago Bears yesterday while Rice averaged 5.4 YPC.

Rice has also been a fantasy stud this year. He's been the 4th best RB this year- which is impressive considering his ADP was around 104 coming into the year. However, that low ranking was because nobody really knew how many carries Rice would get, especially considering the RB carousel between him, Willis McGahee, and L'Ron McClain. Coming into this year I actually like McClain the most because he did the most out of all three RBs last year with the carries he got. But this year, Rice has proven himself to be not only the best back on his team, but one of the best backs in the league. And now that Baltimore is smart and giving him the vast vast majority of the carries, he should be a force to reckon with next year.

For starters, Ray Rice should absolutely be the #1 pick for PPC fantasy leagues next year. He ranks first among all RBs in receiving yards (669) and receptions (73). In fact, Rice is t-14th for most receptions in the league. Flacco also looks to Rice for about 19% of his throws. Add to that that McClain and McGahee have gotten about 9% of Flacco's attempts, the amount of targets that Rice will get next year should be even higher. Rice is also 3rd in DYAR (total value) and 2nd DVOA (efficiency per play) among pass catching RBs. Ray Rice is an integral part of the passing game in Baltimore which will only help boost his fantasy numbers and makes him a bigger threat in real life.

But not only can Rice catch, but as any good RB can do- he can run the ball. Very well. Rice is currently 6th among all RBs in rushing yards. Ahead of guys like Cedric Benson, DeAngelo Williams, and Ryan Grant. Ray ranks 3rd among all RBs in YPC (minimum 100 rushing attempt) behind Chris Williams and Jamaal Charles (who has gotten 60 less carries than Rice). Rice is also 3rd in DYAR (total value) among RBs (behind Steven Jackson and Chris Johnson) and 2nd in DVOA (efficiency per play) among all RBs (behind only Chris Johnson). And unlike guys like Pierre Thomas who are great but don't get enough carries to be valuable in fantasy, after about five games into this season, it looks like Rice will get the usual starter 15-20 carries a game next year like he has done this year.

Baltimore also has a great rushing offensive line ranking 5th this year in run blocking (up from 11th in 2008 and 28th in 2007).

Unlike the better pass catching RBs in the league like Steve Slaton and Matt Forte and unlike the great Adrian Peterson, Rice does not cough up the ball. This year, Rice only has one rushing fumble and one receiving fumble. That's a fumble per every 141.5 times Rice touches the ball. If Rice gets about 25 touches a game. That means it's only about one fumble per every 6 games or so.

Best of all, Rice is young. Rice is actually younger than The 'Bright' One being only 22 years old and born in January of '87. Rice was one of many great RBs that came out of the 2008 draft. And even with guys like Rashard Mendenhall, Darren McFadden, Jamaal Charles, Jonathan Stewart, Kevin Jones, and Matt Forte, Rice is probably the second best back to come out of that draft behind Chris Johnson (geez I've said "behind Chris Johnson" a lot in this post. If I didn't already rave about Johnson before, I feel like I should do a post on him).

Doing a rough ADP for next year, I would put Rice as the #5 best player overall behind Chris Johnson, AD, MJD, and Michael Turner. He is in the position that Matt Forte was in last year, except Rice will actually be worth taking in the first round and will actually do something for your fantasy team. And unlike Baltimore, he won't be available in the second round. And if he is next year, your league is dumb.


The 'Bright' One said...

That was a nice burn on me...3 months doesnt even count. Kenny Brit is like 20 yrs old. Maybe yr just fuming that i'm in fantasy finals and your not.

Remember when you made fun of me for drafting ray rice in the 3rd round in some draft? I do. And i think he should be the 3rd ranked RB next year behind williams and MJD. AP has shown that he cant catch the ball and fumbles like crazy and plays in a pass happy offense

Sexy Rexy said...

It really wasn't meant to be a burn at all. Rashard Mendenhall is the exact same age as me. Every single candidate for ROY from now on will be younger than all of us. I just said that prove a point that mofo is really really good and he's so young that he should only get better

Even with AD in this "pass happy offense" and fumbling problems still has more fantasy points than Rice. Addai and Edge in Indy in the crazy "pass happy Indy offense" still were great real life and fantasy backs. I was thinking I might draft Rice over Turner but I can't draft him over AD.

Drafting Rice in the 3rd round still would have been dumb. 1) you couldn't tell me before the season that Rice would get this many carries 2) Even if you knew that Rice would be THIS good, you still should have drafted him two rounds later b/c NOBODY valued Rice THAT high

Remember also when you got autodrafted Chris Johnson and hated that pick so you traded him away?

Again, I truly meant to be objective and don't really think anyone should get offended by that comment, but yes, I am fuming from my fantasy loses.

The 'Bright' One said...

When have i ever been offended with anything? Unless you disrespect my sports skillz, it's almost impossible. Did i mention i've become the best shooter at uic this semester. I've beat everyone. I recall one sunday night, we did a 3-point contest type thing and i hit 22-25. There was also that time i hit 5 straight half court shots. I should start video taping myself

I dont think i autopicked Johnson, i just said i dont want a RB who only touches the ball 15 times per game. I was wrong, mainly because Jeff Fischer realized that "fatboy" lendale white was only stealing Johnson's touches.

Sexy Rexy said...

Well you drafted Chris Johnson as the first pick of the second round and you autopicked your team because you were at your grandma's house or something- hence you autodrafted Chris Johnson. And then traded him to Cubsfan

And the same reason you didn't like Chris Johnson (which was kind of dumb to begin with) was the same reason I didn't like Rice- Wasn't sure the back would get enough carries to be effective

The 'Bright' One said...

hey, i did pre-rank my players. It just so happens my pre-rank were exactly identical with yahoo's default rankings, all 500 players. Amazing

I'm gonna miss not having austin miles on my team next year cause i'm not drafting him in the 3rd round

Sexy Rexy said...

its amazing how many great RB and WR you could have gotten in later rounds or in FA and how little QBs were available this year

and i absolutely would spend my 3rd pick on Miles Austin