Assessing the Ravens Backfield
Ray Rice is finished and nobody should be shedding any tears for him. As fantasy GMs, we move on and assess the new Ravens backfield. Here’s what we have.
Bernard Pierce - He has the most value but he’s proven to be less than durable and he was given a quick hook after his first NFL fumble, which seemed a bit odd. It makes me wonder if the Gary Kubiak believes in him. Still, Pierce is a very good fit for Kubiak's zone blocking scheme and has plenty of upside when healthy.
Justin Forsett - Forsett has an edge in that he’s played in the Kubiak offense before and knows it well. He’s a proven back who has gotten it done in spurts throughout his career. He’s also a very un-special talent and he won’t produce significant numbers over 16 weeks. At least, it’s against the odds.
Lorenzo Taliaferro - He’s certainly a possible answer at some point and he should now be owned in most large formats. The rookie from Coastal Carolina is a big back who can run with power. His Combine agility was not that easy to spot on film, but the Ravens obviously saw something in him.
So, how do we go about rostering or not rostering these guys?
I’d say that Pierce and Forsett are both worthy of rostering in 10-team leagues and above. Forsett is worth more in PPR and Pierce has the edge in standard. Taliaferro is worthy of an add in deep 12-team formats for upside’s sake. He’s a stash.
All that said, this is one ugly backfield. I’d avoid investing aggressively in any of them. Forsett will be the big waiver wire add this week because Pierce was already rostered in most leagues. If I could only have one of them, I'd still want Pierce. And, beware, LaMichael James was just released by the 49ers. He could end up in Baltimore and we'd be reshuffling the deck yet again. The Ravens release of their fourth back, Fitzgerald Toussaint, is likely a precursor to another move.