I don’t care what your fantasy league says, sorry Fantasy God, right now Ravens running back Ray Rice is the best in the NFL at his position. As ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley reports, Rice has already beaten Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and Arian Foster head-to-head this season.
In week one, Rice earned 107 yards on the ground compared to Mendenhall’s 45 in the Ravens 35-7 beat down of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens stumbled in week two, falling 26-13 to the Titans as Rice only rushed for 43 yards compared to Chris Johnson’s 53 in 11 more attempts. Rice did however collect 53 receiving yards and reached the end zone, which CJ2K failed to do. His week three battle against Steven Jackson wasn’t even close. Rice carried the ball nine times for 81 yards, with a long of 53 yards and caught five passes for 83 yards. Jackson had just four rushes for 23 yards and zero receptions. The Jets don’t really have a good running back, so comparing Rice’s week 4 stats to Shonn Greene’s (10 attempts, 23 yards) or LaDanian Tomlinson (3 attempts, -3 yards) really wouldn’t be fair. He finished the day with 25 carries for 66 yards and touchdown and led the Ravens in receiving yards with 64 on just two catches. This of course brings us to Baltimore’s 29-14 win over Houston in which Rice doubled the 2010 rushing champion Arian Foster’s total (101 yards to 49 yards).
Since 2009, when Rice became a full-time starter, he has averaged a league-leading 122.1 yards from scrimmage. During that time, he’s produced an NFL-best 25 games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage — which is three more than anyone else in the league (Johnson and Adrian Peterson have 22).
Tonight’s matchup against Maurice Jones-Drew will likely finish the way the other five games have for Rice. It will be Baltimore’s elite back that finishes over another one of the league’s better RB’s.