As I have written it, so it shall be. As I prognosticated yesterday, we now know Ray Rice is all set to spend plenty of time lined up as a receiver this year. I’m gonna take some credit for calling this one, mostly because as a sports writer(especially in the offseason) I make a lot of predictions. Most of them are wrong. When I get it right I celebrate a bit. Ok, Im done tooting my own horn, back to the story at hand.
Rice, according to ESPNs Chris Mortenson, is expected to line up at WR and TE “in some packages”. According to Chris(and almost in my exact words from yesterday) This shouldn’t be considered a position switch, just a wrinkle in the Ravens offense.
Awesome. Ive been saying for years that RIce is a matchup nightmare when he lines up as a slot receiver. Go back to opening day in 2010. Ray Rice ate the Steelers alive splitting out wide. When Rice lines up that way, it forces opponents to either put a safety on him, sacrificing their flexibility to blitz or disguise coverage, or gamble by putting a linebacker on him. There is not a single linebacker in the NFL that could consistently win a battle in the open field with Ray Rice. period.
Cam Cameron was to traditional to try and create mismatches like this, Jim Caldwell is a different animal all together. Caldwell wont hesitate to stray from conventional sets to create mismatches. Ray Rice could be one of the best chess pieces in the league this year. I seriously beleive this could be the year Rice reaches his goal of 1000 rushing and 1000 recieving yards in the same season. From a fantasy perspective, if you are in a PPR league, you should consider Rice to be a top 2 lock and maybe even top Peterson for the top spot(in non PPR i would rate him like 5th or 6th).