Bernard Pierce's Long-Term Fantasy Value After Ray Rice's Injury

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 15, 2013

Dec 23, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Bernard Pierce (30) tackled by New York Giants cornerback Jayron Hosley (28) after a long fourth quarter gain at M&T Bank Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Midway through the Baltimore Ravens' Week 2 clash at home against the Cleveland Browns, star running back Ray Rice went down with an apparent hip injury, opening the door for backup Bernard Pierce to step into a more prominent role. 


UPDATE: Sunday, Sept. 15, at 4:56 p.m. ET, by Joseph Zucker

Bernard Pierce carried the ball 19 times for 57 yards and a touchdown in the Baltimore Ravens' 14-6 win over the Cleveland Browns. His five-yard run in the third quarter was the go-ahead score, putting the Ravens up, 7-6, a lead from which they wouldn't look back.

---End of update---


Now, with Rice's immediate and long-term health in doubt, Pierce has to be considered a hot commodity in every fantasy league, because if we've learned anything about John Harbaugh's offense, it's that it likes to move the ball on the ground.   

Earlier in the game, Pierce found the end zone for just his second career touchdown, but with 47 yards on the game already, there's reason to believe that this is only the beginning for the 23-year-old. 

He may not be as explosive as Rice, but Pierce, who managed 532 yards as a rookie in 2012, certainly has the potential to be a No. 1 fantasy back, and with this opportunity in hand, he'll do just that.