Rice could become a sleeper in Baltimore

Ray Rice could emerge as a fantasy sleeper this season. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

Ray Rice could emerge as a fantasy sleeper this season. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

A recent report from the Baltimore Sun suggested that the Ravens want to use Le’Ron McClain as more of a traditional fullback next season.

That means McClain, who saw tailback work in 2008, could become the new Mike Alstott. He’ll obviously be utilized as a blocker, see short-yardage carries and could steal touchdown chances near the goal line.

But if we use the Alstott comparison to McClain, who would be his partner in crime, ala Warrick Dunn in Tampa Bay?

Well, it could be Ray Rice.

With Willis McGahee recovering from ankle surgery, Rice saw first-team snaps in the team’s recent minicamp. The Rutgers product is the most versatile back in purple and black, possessing skills as both a runner and receiver out of the backfield.

Rice has also worked on his blocking skills this offseason, so he could be in line for an increased role in 2009.

While it’s hard to envision a scenario where Rice has a true breakout season in this three-headed backfield monster, he is certainly someone that fantasy leaguers need to watch in the weeks and months to come.

If McGahee has setbacks or continues to deal with injuries, Rice could be worth as much as a middle-round pick in drafts.

Have a burning question for Michael Fabiano on anything fantasy football related? Leave it in our comments section below or send it to AskFabiano@nfl.com, and the best questions will be answered throughout the season right here on NFL.com!

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