Rice’s fantasy value on the rise … for now

(Mark Duncan / Associated Press)

Ravens RB Ray Rice rushed for 454 yards with a 4.2 yards-per-carry average in 2008, his rookie season. (Mark Duncan / Associated Press)

Fantasy footballers need to remember the name of RB Ray Rice when it comes time to draft.

Rice has been running with the first-team offense and is currently ahead of Willis McGahee on the Ravens’ depth chart. McGahee had been limited in workouts because of an arthroscopic procedure on his knee, but he’s getting closer to 100 percent.

“I don’t feel anything in my knee,” McGahee told the Baltimore Sun. “It was just getting it stronger and ready to break long runs and make great blocks.”

McGahee also said he doesn’t expect to pass Rice anytime soon.

“It wouldn’t be right,” McGahee said. “I don’t mind. Work is work. That’s either with the first, second or third.”

While this backfield battle is far from over, Rice has impressed Ravens coach John Harbaugh and is making his case for more carries. With Le’Ron McClain moving back to a traditional fullback role, it’s possible that Rice, a second-year pro from Rutgers, could open next season as a starter.

I still don’t trust any one running back in Baltimore as more than a flex starter, but Rice is someone to watch.

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