Tim Hightower and Ray Rice’s Fantasy Stocks are Booming
In case you’re a new reader to LBS, you may not know that LB fancies himself somewhat of a fantasy guru. What qualifies him as a fantasy guru? Well when you start your own website you get to call yourself anything you damn well please. On a serious note, LB has been playing fantasy sports since elementary school and he’s been winning leagues on a regular basis for the past 12 years.
The secret to success is simple: LB relies upon a deep understanding of the game of football, a network of trusted sources, and personal observations to provide expert advice that delivers on a consistent basis.
Through the first three weeks of the preseason season, some fantasy trends have become apparent. I don’t like to recommend players until I 100% believe in them. Now I’ll share two players I think will star on your fantasy squad this year: Tim Hightower and Ray Rice.
Hightower played the past three seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and is primed to be the feature back for the Washington Redskins. He’s rushed for 170 yards on 25 carries in the preseason, good for a 6.8ypc average. He’s displayed a strong ability to find the holes and he’s done it against two strong defenses in the Steelers and Ravens (even if it is the preseason). Hightower seems to fit in perfectly with the Shanahans’ zone-blocking scheme and should be good for well over 1,000 combined yards and at least eight touchdowns. He can be a difference-maker on your fantasy team — don’t let him slip past the fifth round.
Ray Rice is much more skilled than Hightower and that’s why he’s going in the first round of fantasy drafts. Based on how he’s looked in the preseason and a few other factors, Rice should finish as a top five overall player this year. Not only is Rice a talented runner who’s extremely elusive, but he’s also a favorite emergency outlet for Joe Flacco. He’ll get you at least 30 yards receiving per game, and he should be a lock for 100 total yards per week. His touchdowns were down last year and that’s the only thing that prevented him from being a supreme fantasy star. That all changes this year. Willis McGahee is gone and Rice will now receive the goal line carries. He punched one in against the Skins Thursday night and his TD total should double because of the new opportunities. Additionally, Rice won’t be splitting time in the backfield the way he used to. Instead, it will be up to him to take himself out of games. Can you ask for a better situation?
Your ability to select Rice will depend on your draft position, but if you’re able to lock up these two running backs and pair them with an elite quarterback and a few top-shelf wide receivers, it’s a recipe for a fantasy playoff appearance. Book it.