Originally written July 11, 2013 on Football Nation:
If you have had Ray Rice on your fantasy team during any of the past four years, you have likely been pretty pleased with the results.He has averaged 1,877 yards and nearly 10 scores per year over that time span. While these numbers have fantasy drafters taking him as one of the first players selected, there are a few reasons why Rice should be avoided in the first round of standard drafts all together.Downward SpiralThe first of those reasons is a simple trend-line in his production. For the past three seasons he has gone from 308 carries, to 291, to only 257 carries last year.His saving grace has surely been the 60+ receptions he has had in each of those three years. After scoring 15 times in 2011, he was reduced to 10 touchdowns last year. In 2012 he racked up “only” 1,621 yards compared to an average of 1,963 yards for the previous three years.We will see later that the reduction in touches will continue and his yards per carry, which has also steadily dropped, will also be nega...
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