Since OTA’s last spring, it looked like Willis McGahee was primed to move on in free agency this off-season. The reason being that Ray Rice was the new lead back taking over with the first team, and it didn’t seem like McGahee was all that troubled about the demotion.
Early in the 2009 season, McGahee’s value moved up some because he posted seven touchdowns in the first five weeks of the season. Even though Rice was clearly the teams starting tailback, McGahee ran hard when given an opportunity and was obviously not having a problem taking away key touchdowns from Rice.
By the regular seasons’ end, McGahee only totaled just over 500 rushing yards (5.0 yard per carry average) for the year, but he did have a ridiculous 14 (12 rushing/ two receiving) total touchdowns.
This solid performance spilled over into the post season, where McGahee rushed the football twenty times and scored another touchdown to help beat the New England Patriots.
Staying At Home
Now, recent reports are indicating that the Ravens may, in fact, keep McGahee on their team after all. Truth be told, the Ravens still have McGahee under contract for this up coming season at $3.6 million.
With a contract already in place, and the teams’ commitment to keeping their veteran around, it is almost a guarantee that we will see McGahee suit up in Baltimore.
Fantasy Football Outlook for McGahee and Rice
With McGahee ready to steal touchdowns away from Rice this season, look for Rice’s stock to drop a bit in non PPR fantasy leagues. At this time, I would still have Rice as my No. 4 overall runner on draft day, but quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees should be drafted before him.
Until Rice can shake off a goal line vulture like McGahee on his team, his fantasy value will always be held back.
As for McGahee’s value, he makes for a nice late round stash away. I don’t anticipate him producing another 14 touchdowns, but he would be a nice fantasy starter if Rice goes down for awhile. He would also make for a good bye week fill in on fantasy rosters as well.
NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com