Tag Archives: Baltimore Ravens

Fantasy Football: Ray Rice Edition

FANTASY FOOTBALL

The fallout from the Ray Rice controversy has fantasy football owners scrambling for his replacement provided they didn’t spend a high round pick on him.

Provided Rice isn’t banned from the league from his latest revelations surrounding his domestic transgression, he is currently teamless as the Baltimore Ravens promptly released him following the report from TMZ. Here are a few running backs who may help fill the void this week.

Justin Forsett – Baltimore Ravens

Let’s start with the obvious. Forsett was the most productive filling in for (then two-game suspended) Rice last week against the Cincinnati Bengals rushing for 70 yards in 11 carries with a touchdown. He also caught five balls for 14 yards. If he holds up against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday, expect him to be at least a decent regular second running back or flex choice.

Ahmad Bradshaw – Indianapolis Colts

The Colts’ investment in Trent Richardson has not bore as much fruit as he should as a first rounder. Since being traded from the Cleveland Browns in 2013, Richardson’s only produced 478 rushing yards in 163 carries and three touchdowns through 15 games. He also caught 31 balls for 296 yards and one touchdown.

Bradshaw, who was also brought in 2013, has 201 yards of rushing through 44 carries and two touchdowns through four games. He also caught 12 balls for 112 yards through the air. Bradshaw appears to have recovered from his injury. He’s worthy at least a look before a consideration as a flex option if he can recreate the success he had with the New York Giants. See how he does next week before starting him.

Terrance West – Cleveland Browns

West is a viable choice because he’s replacing the often-injured Ben Tate and he did produce 100 yards on 16 carries. West is likely going to see increased action against the New Orleans Saints in an effort to take the ball out of the hands quarterback Drew Brees. West could be a decent flex option in deeper leagues.

Bobby Rainey – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rainey is a proven back given his 2013 finish with the team with 532 rushing yards and five TDs through nine games. The running game’s lone highlight against the Carolina Panthers Sunday was fullback Jorvorskie Lane‘s 54-yard run, which you really shouldn’t expect that to happen again. As the coaching staff monitor’s Doug Martin‘s progress, you can expect to see a running back by committee to ease him back. Rainey’s worth a pick up at least as bench fodder provided the returning Jeff Tedford sticks to the running game against the St. Louis Rams. Like Bradshaw, wait to see what the Bucs do before starting him.

NFL’s Biggest Dissapointment in 2011

As originally posted here.

The most disappointing NFL player of 2011 and the current bane of many fantasy leagues is Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson.

While there are many noteworthy selections from the Eagles Michael Vick or Bucs Josh Freeman, Johnson’s selection is of particular interest because since his first round draft status in 2008, no. 24 overall, he has been a perennial Pro-Bowl selection his entire short career.

In his best year in 2009, Johnson became a first-team All-Pro selection. He also won the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, NFL Alumni Running Back of the Year, FedEx Ground Player of the Year and became NFL Rushing Champion running for 2,006 yards and totaled an NFL record 2,509 all-purpose yards in a single season.

Prior to the 2011 season, Johnson initially started to no-show summer training camp pending contract negotiations. Johnson felt he was underpaid given his current conditions being set to make $1.065 million in 2011. The Titans came to terms on Sept. 1 making Johnson, the highest paid running back with a four-year $53.5 million contract extension, including a $30 million guaranteed.

The holdout might have ended up costing Johnson the invaluable time to get acclimated to Titan head coach Mike Munchak and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer’s new system.

The Titans are currently in second place at 7-6 in the AFC South and in the hunt for a wildcard berth, which is more than what could be said about the team this time last year at 5-8 before finishing up at 6-10.

In Johnson’s first three years in the league, he averaged 1533 yards in 308 carries for 11 touchdowns per season. Fifteen weeks into this season, Johnson managed 875 yards rushing in about two-thirds the carries (217) and 4 touchdowns. He presence receiving from the backfield hasn’t changed much with 45 catches for 315, compared to earlier seasons, an average of 46 catches for 336 yards. He has yet to score a receiving touchdown this year.

Johnson’s production has been paltry this season only topping 100 rushing yards four times this season. His near 200-yard rushing performance (190 yards) came against a Buccaneer team riddled with injuries and quickly heading toward a downward spiral to the point where ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas is calling them the “fifth best team in Florida” behind the Dolphins, Jaguars and a pair of high school teams (I guess he doesn’t count college teams?). He failed to top 50 yards in rushing through six games, including matchups against the Jaguars, Broncos, Texans, Colts, Falcons and Saints. He also was not teasing 100 yards against the likes of the Ravens (53 yards on 24 carries), Steelers (51 yards on 14 carries), and Bengals (64 yards on 14 carries).

He only scored touchdowns against three teams this season–one against the Steelers and Panthers and two against the Bills.

Johnson still has a chance to break 1000 yards in his remaining three games, but it hardly justifies his current contract as “the top dog” of running backs. The Titans rank 30th in the league in rushing. If the Titans are going to make the playoffs, they are going to need a lot of help from other teams and a lot better production from Johnson.