Ravens RB Rice making waves in breakout season

Ravens Bengals Football

Ray Rice has posted 1,009 scrimmage yards and six touchdowns this season. (Thomas E. Witte / Associated Press)

When I listed Ravens RB Ray Rice as a sleeper on NFL.com back in the preseason, I never thought he’d turn into a top-five fantasy running back.

But that’s exactly what he’s become.

Through nine weeks, Rice ranks fourth in fantasy points at his position in standard leagues. If you’re rewarded points for receptions, he’s second behind only Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. That’s an impressive feat for someone with a 95.94 ADP (average draft position).

Based on the recent comments of coach John Harbaugh, Rice’s success isn’t about to end either.

Harbaugh told the Carroll County Times that he feels no need to put RB Willis McGahee into the game because Rice is thriving in a featured role.

“It’s pretty hard to take [Rice] off the field when he’s making the plays,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with Willis as much as it has to do with the way Ray’s playing.”

McGahee, who had zero carries in Week 9 and has a combined 10 rushing attempts in the last four games, is no more than a handcuff for owners who have Rice. He’s also no threat to steal goal-line carries, as he did in the first few weeks of the season.

RB Le’Ron McClain, the top fantasy back in Baltimore last season, has also seen his role diminish.

With games against the Browns, Colts, Packers, Lions and Bears on the schedule, Rice is certain to lead countless fantasy owners to a league championship.

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