Dynasty League Football

Uncategorized

Player Spotlight: Sidney Rice

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series of articles from some of the most established, respected members of the DLF forum. These articles may not always reflect the opinions the DLF staff, but they will always be high quality & thought provoking, and are intended to provide a platform for sharing the insights and opinions from some of the best ffb minds around. Enjoy! – DLF Staff

Sidney Rice could face a decision which will alter the outcome of his career.  His contract with the Vikings has expired, and if the team doesn’t slap him with the franchise tag, Rice will entertain other suitors.  Only 24, Rice has shown he has the ability to be a top tier WR.  He has drawn many comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald over his first four seasons.  Let’s take a look at the real world and fantasy outlook for Sidney.

First and foremost is the Viking’s decision concerning the franchise tag.  The team is also looking to lock up Chad Greenway.  Rumors floated that Greenway would receive the franchise tag while Sidney would see the transition tag.  That was quickly squandered, however, as the transition tag is limited to players with at least six years of experience.  So which player the team franchises will be the first determination for Rice’s future.  If Greenway gets the nod, does Sidney play elsewhere in 2011?

In the realm of fantasy, most owners of the South Carolina product are enthused by this idea.  The Vikings are lacking a key piece to the offense, one which is vital to a WR’s success.  With Brett Favre’s retirement (and yes, I do believe it’s the end), the Purple People Eaters look to fill the void left at quarterback.  Tavaris Jackson’s hopes of being the future QB in Minnesota left with Brad Childress.  Joe Webb showcased his talents against Philadelphia in week 16, but the following week he looked very raw against Chicago.  The Vikings hold the 12th pick in the draft, so they could look to bring in a rookie.  These options aren’t too enticing when considering Rice’s projections for next season.  The other option for Minnesota would be to bring in a QB such as Young, McNabb, or Kolb.  Young offers a dynamic to the position where Donovan and Kolb have experience in the west coast offense.

All of this, of course, is a moot point if Rice can’t stay on the field.  Injuries have plagued Sidney’s career thus far.  Knee injuries cost him games in both of his first two seasons.  He then injured his hip in the NFC Championship game in 2010.  He hoped he would recover without surgery, but ultimately it was unavoidable.  Delaying the surgery cost him and the Vikings dearly.  Favre was without his best weapon through the first 9 games of the season.  The offense fell apart in his absence and Rice drastically hurt his value moving into a crucial time in his career. This may keep Rice from pulling a top ten salary, as teams may be reluctant to pay up for someone who hasn’t proven he can stay on the field.

His skill set is obvious as displayed in the 2009 season.  Some will attribute his production to Favre and his best season statistically since the turn of the century.  It’s only fair to assume that Favre’s tremendous year was made possible, in large, to Rice.  Sidney’s ability to go up and get the ball made life much easier on the aging QB.  Many times Brett would throw the ball up and let Sidney utilize his hands and his size advantage over his defenders.

Rice will be productive no matter who throws him the ball, but to produce at a WR1 level, he’ll need an experienced QB.  If he stays in Minnesota and the team does not bring in a veteran passer, you can still expect Rice to be a solid WR2 (assuming he can stay on the field).  Again, the best case scenario for Rice owners will be for him to find new employment.  Although it’s pure speculation on my part, St. Louis would be a nice landing spot.  Pairing the likes of Bradford and Sidney would go a long ways for both players for years to come.  The next move is on you, Minnesota…

Latest posts by joebidwell (see all)
25 Comments
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Boobam
11 years ago

Possible trade offer in my PPR IDP league, just wondering your thoughts or am I over paying. Currently I have at the WR spots,

Kenny Britt
Pierre Garcon
Santana Moss
Malcom Floyd
Jerome Simpson
Lee Evans
Mario Manningham
Andre Roberts
Emmanuel Sanders

Regardless I am in need of some help…

I give:
Joesph Addai
Donald Brown
Santana Moss

I get:
Jeremy Maclin
Sidney Rice
Curtis Lofton

THOUGH

Boobam
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

Thoughts…not though

skip
Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

Zero chance you get that done. Outside possibility if you take out one of Maclin or Rice.

Reply to  Boobam
11 years ago

i’d say if it is offered, take it. trades like this have to be looked at as usability……you are getting 2 potential starters for a bag of magic beans?

Team Canada
11 years ago

do it boobam! ur getting a low #1 in maclin and a #2 in rice for moss who is 30 and 2 colts rb and we all know how much the colts pass

Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

If this was offered to you, you definately need to take that trade. This is a VERY lopsided trade in favor of the Rice/Maclin side.

Tim Fly
11 years ago

Maclin is good, but you have to relie on Vick to be a passing QB, big question mark in his career, Rice is a question mark, injuries, who will he playing for. Don’t know what your RBs look like, but you are giving up the Colts #1 RB next year (Brown) and Addai who is a free agent and going to another team. Your receivers are not too bad. Britt is a #1, Garcon is the #2 on the Colts next year(touchdownwise) and will take over from Wayne when he is done, ala Harrison, Floyd is free agent or will stay with Chargers as the #2 WR not bad, Manningham is the #2 scoring threat WR for the Giants and Evans is a free agent about to go to another team. If this is a dynasty team you have a very young potential team.

Reply to  Tim Fly
11 years ago

i think maclin is a great risk/reward. with andy reids help, vick is developing nicely into a passer. if you look at the end of the year stats, maclin actually started to come on quicker then did desean jackson. i know….i had jackson, and maclin seemed to be a favorite of vick? rice is a young and up comer. if he stays with minn. he and harvin can be great. if he goes freeagency, and vet qb could be huge as well. DO THE DEAL.

Chad
11 years ago

“He has drawn many comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald over his first four seasons.”
I would love to know who compares Rice to Larry Fitz?
Rice was a bum his first 2 years in the league until Farve came into town and made him.

NorthParkSasquatch
Reply to  Chad
11 years ago

I think you have it totally backwards there Chad. Rice made Favre…all the old man had to do was launch the ball in the air and Rice jumped over the defenders for the ball. Rice will be a wr to be reckin with if he can stay healthy and either get on a team with a qb (Rams?) or get a qb on the vikings (Young?).
The big if though is staying healthy. It takes many star wr 1 or 2 years to mature and get acclimated to the nfl so that doesn’t scare me, but the fact he’s been hurt 3 out of the 4 seasons he’s played in the nfl does scare me…

Chad
Reply to  NorthParkSasquatch
11 years ago

Rice made Farve? So I assume Javon Walker also made him, Robert Brooks and Cotchery made him too…
“either get on a team with a qb” he doesn’t need a QB all the QB has to do is “launch the ball up” and he can make a horrible QB look great like he did Favre.
Agreed that he is injury prone.

Joe Bidwell
Reply to  Chad
11 years ago

Rice didn’t make Favre, but he played a major role in Favre’s success. He never said Brett was a horrible QB, but he wouldn’t have had nearly the success he did had Rice not been on the field (as we saw last season).

Adam
11 years ago

I’m confused about some of the contradictions and statements you make in this article.

As Chad (above) points out – who is making these “many” comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald? What are these comparisons? Do they have the same zodiac sign? Do they both like Diet Dr. Pepper? They are certainly not comparables on the field to this point in their careers.

You acknowledge (and rightly so) that the Vikes are missing a key piece of the puzzle for a productive fantasy WR – a quality QB. You conclude by stating Rice “will be productive no matter who throws him the ball” and that if he stays in Minny (where there is currently no viable QB1 option) “you can still expect Rice to be a solid WR2”. What is your basis for these claims?

This article would have been more effective you your incorporated some stats to build your case rather than relying on subjective statements across the board.

Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

The comparisons to Fitz come from watching game film, not comparing stats. Stats don’t always tell the whole story. If you actually watch both players on the field, the skill set is very similar. They are not going to burn the defenders with speed, they are going to out-jump them and utilize their physicality to come down with the ball. They have very sticky hands. Their QB’s can throw the ball up and let their WR do the work and come away with it. So how are they NOT comparable on the field? They wear different colored jerseys? They have different shoe sizes? Look beyond the stats and you’ll see the similarities.
As far as Rice’s production if he stays with Minnesota you can look to, you guessed it, Fitz. Fitz ranked 19th amongst WR’s in my league last season with garbage QB’s (WR2 numbers). With TJack throwing the ball in week 13 Rice went for 5/102/2. Again, with TAVARIS JACKSON. If he stays healthy, he’ll be WR2 no matter who throws him the ball. If he gets a quality, veteran QB, he’ll be a WR1 in 12 team leagues.
If all you look at is the stats, you’ll miss the boat on many players.

Adam
Reply to  Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

You are ignoring the fact that Fitzgerald IS the offense in Arizona, while Rice is at best the second option behind Peterson and is sharing targets with Shiancoe and Harvin.

Jackson and Rice hooked up for two scores against one of the worst teams in the league at pressuring the QB and giving up TDs through the air in 2010.

Joe Bidwell
Reply to  Adam
11 years ago

The fact that Rice has guys like Harvin, Shiancoe and Peterson only helps his situation as defenses can’t single in on Sidney. I don’t see how this comes into play comparing the two WR’s anyhow.
The Bills were towards the bottom in pass TD’s allowed and sacks, however, they had the third best pass defense in league, averaging only 192 ypg. Defense aside, its still TJack.
This is all a moot point now anyways as the Vikes have officially used the franchise tag on Greenway, meaning Rice will most likely be on the market.

Adam
Reply to  Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

It was never very likely they would use the franchise tag on Rice, as WRs are among the least frequently tagged players anyways. What was the price this year, $9.5M or so?

I’ll leave it at this with the Bills – just because they allowed the third fewest passing yards per game does not make them “the third best pass defense in the league”. It does make them the team with the third fewest yards against per game, nothing more. The Bills had the second fewest pass attempts against, as their rush defense was a joke (among the worst, if not the worst in the league). When teams are in the lead and know they can run all over you why would they pass the ball?

As for Rice, we’ll just have to wait and see how that all works out.

Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

(Rotoworld) The Vikings have opted to not place the franchise tag on free agent Sidney Rice.
Analysis: The Vikes may be either banking on Rice being eligible for restricted free agency per the new CBA, or that they can sign him long term. If Rice hits unrestricted free agency, he could emerge as one of the top three or five highest paid receivers in the NFL. GM Rick Spielman is taking a big risk. Rice is still just 24 years old, and could fit in with any type of offense.

Joe Bidwell
11 years ago

The Bills were a much more competitive team this year then you are giving them credit for (although this is getting way off topic). 30-38 against NE, 34-37 against BAL, 10-13 against the Chiefs (one of the better running teams in the league), 19-22 against CHI, 49-31 against CIN, 16-19 against PIT (another top running team. There are several notable games in which simply running the ball to end a blow out doesn’t apply.

Ken
11 years ago

Made some fantastically athletic catches, only young guy making better looking catches was Britt. Can you imagine Britt as #1 on a passing team(Indy,Philly,GB).

Bills Fan
11 years ago

As a Rice(and previously Favre) owner, I have to say I tend to agree with the “Rice made Favre” assessment. Simply put: Favre was no where near as effective before or after Rice. Not knocking Favre, but outside of the Favre/Rice year, Favre’s numbers and effectiveness were pretty consistent: Up/down, hot/cold, Big Plays with mulitple TD games, mixed with crap days with multiple INT games. Favre’s 2009 was the anomoly not the norm. and there was only one real difference…. Rice. If you watched the games, you know that Rice made catches that 70% of the receivers would have let go or fingertipped and missed. equating to about 30% of Favre’s passes. (Too hard and too fast for most WRs, leaving Favre with his trademark frustration of “just missed that” ) Rice unfortunately paid physically for much of that as he was often (every game) forced to stech, twist back or layout to catch those balls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIffYzTbHjk half those should have been incomplete if Rice dient sacrifice the bod to catch them. That video is plenty o let you see that Rice Made Favre in 09.. Simply put, if Rice is Healthy.. He VERY MUCH resemble the best aspects of Fitz. Both catch anything close, and sacrifice the body to make the catch. And if you happen to be a big Favre licker, (thinking Favre is the end all be all), then all you need to do is look back and see all the praise Favre put on him.

That said the Javon Walker comparrison is a valid fear. Walker did have similar great talent but after a good year and a half it went to his head (or something) and when combined with injuries was never the same again.

The physical skills are so apparent its silly to argue. Rice is special even among NFL WRs..

Mental, Health, and Situation, are even more important though, and those all have me cautious with Rice. No reason to think there is a mental breakdown, but also no reason to be confident he wont. Physical and Situation are both sketchy at best. He’s a fantasy Boom/Bust potential. But not due to skill and talent. ANyone who questions those about him, simply dont understand what they are watching. Skill, Talent, Physicality put Rice in Elite territory. That just isnt up for debate.

Adam
11 years ago

Great stat! I didn’t even know these figures were made public.

“If you watched the games, you know that Rice made catches that 70% of the receivers would have let go or fingertipped and missed. equating to about 30% of Favre’s passes.”

Donkey
Reply to  Adam
11 years ago

As Joe said earlier, “Stats don’t always tell the whole story.” Some people accually watch the games, not rely on box scores and stats to determine players abilities.

Misfit74
11 years ago

That about sums it up, Joe. A lot of us are curious about his future and therefore he is a risky player to own or target in trade. We know he has top-10 ability to produce, but will his body and his QB allow that to happen? I’d have to bet the under in most cases, but his talent could shine through regardless of situation. If healthy I think he’ll produce similarly to how Calvin, Fitz, or Marshall did in 2010 with total scrubs for Quarterbacks. And while Rice isn’t in the same class as those three, he has similar potential.

Chris R.
11 years ago

I can’t believe people are really harping on this Larry Fitzgerald comparison. As a draft prospect that comparison was tossed around a ton. A comparison due to skillset has nothing to do with stats, or who is the #1 option for their team, or any of the other ridiculous reasons.

It’s just the same way some people compared AJ Green to Randy Moss and Julio to TO. Doesn’t mean they are that good, will be that good, but it doesn’t make the comparisons any less accurate. Rice was 20 years old coming out of South Carolina and his game was alot like Fitz played at Pitt, still is.

To Top