The Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice is the seventh-ranked running back in this year’s fantasy draft standings. With an average draft position (ADP) of seven, that makes Rice a sure-fire first-round pick in nearly every fantasy draft.
Rice has been a fantasy auto-start for the past four years. He’s had at least 1,000 yards rushing every year since 2009, and he’s added at least 60 catches per year, too. Rice is possibly the most valuable running back in PPR leagues, as the Ravens make it a point to throw the ball to him often.
Baltimore traded receiver Anquan Boldin in the offseason and lost tight end Dennis Pitta for the next extended period of time with a dislocated right hip. This can only boost Rice’s value, as he is assured plenty of touches in every facet of the offense.
During the team’s Super Bowl winning campaign in 2012, Rice had 1,143 yards rushing for nine touchdowns. He added 61 catches for 478 yards and a receiving touchdown.
On top of Rice’s massive production the last four years, it’s important to note that he missed three games during that span.
So, Rice will be the focal point of the Ravens’ offense this year. He has put up fantastic numbers for the vast majority of his career and has been incredibly durable. After elite options such as Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles are off the board in your draft, Rice is a no-brainer No. 1 back in any format.