Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice found himself in this spot last week. I donned the "Bench" mark on him when he squared up against Seattle Seahawk's tough run defense and received tremendous flack over the call.
In fact, staunch Bleacher Report commentator Durrell Cotton equated me with a Sith Lord, attempting to poison young minds of inexperienced fantasy football managers everywhere. After the dust settled in Seattle, I went from being "insane" to receiving reluctant props on the call.
This week, surely I'll be held by the thinnest of threads over the fantasy cliff for urging you to bench Rice. But folks, listen to reason.
If you didn't like what you saw out of Rice in Seattle, you're going to hate what you see this week when he runs into the brick wall called the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals defense is giving up a mere 86.8 yards per game to running backs. Only the San Francisco 49ers give up fewer yards.
The Bengals held the new and improved Fred Jackson to 66 yards on 17 carries. And Frank Gore got the same amount of carries (17) against Cincinnati and dashed for a whopping 42 yards. All things called Maurice Jones-Drew was held to 85 yards, as well.
In the majority of Rice's games this season (five out of nine), he's averaged 3.5 yards per carry or less. That's mediocre. Expect a same mediocre stat line from him on Sunday, unless, of course, you expect Rice to throw another touchdown to tight end Ed Dickson again.
Guys to start over Rice: Kendall Hunter (SF), James Starks (GB), Reggie Bush (Mia)