Ray Rice Will Restore His Fantasy Value Against the Bills in Week 4

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 27, 2013

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 5: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates his touchdown run in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos during the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 5, 2013 in Denver Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has not lived up to the spot he was drafted in your fantasy football league. Through three weeks, he has just 75 yards rushing and one touchdown.

He was likely one of the top-five running backs taken, and his numbers will make you consider trading or benching him—if you haven't already. If you do own him in fantasy football, you may want to hold off making a hasty decision.

Per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Rice practiced on Wednesday and plans to play against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. He missed the Week 3 tilt against the Houston Texans with a hip flexor injury. Aside from the fact that he is a major competitor who is probably motivated to perform after a slow start, the Bills don't have the strongest run defense in the NFL.

Through three weeks, Buffalo has allowed 155 yards per game on the ground. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed more. All but one featured back has rushed for more than 100 yards against the Bills.

The Carolina Panthers’ DeAngelo Williams didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark, but he was close with 85 yards on the ground. The New York Jets’ Bilal Powell ran for 149, and Shane Vereen had 101 on just 14 carries.

The Bills have managed to keep teams from getting rushing touchdowns, but that is simply a matter of play-calling in the red zone. There have been a few instances where teams have elected to throw the ball in the red zone against Buffalo rather than run it.

A few more rushing attempts near the goal line could produce a score or two for Rice on Sunday.

The Ravens' coaching staff knows that in order to keep the team improving, it must find a way to establish a consistent run game. Baltimore is currently ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing. The Ravens were 11th in the league in that category last season.

Teams like the Bills are custom made to allow a struggling rushing attack to gain confidence.

With a chip on his shoulder, a vulnerable defense in front of him and a coaching staff looking to get him off, Rice will produce his biggest statistical game of the season in Week 4.


Stats per Pro-Football Reference.


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