The Ravens liked Bernard Pierce so much coming out of Temple, they traded up in the 2012 draft to select him. He might have exceeded their early expectations for him in his rookie season. Pierce should have a larger role in 2013, but make no mistake, Ray Rice is still their best option out of the backfield.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was a top-five pick in most fantasy leagues last year and probably cracked the top three in a large percentage of those leagues. And he didn't disappoint with another rock-solid fantasy season.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. This week, we exchanged emails with Dan Ciarrocchi, a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association who writes about fantasy football for Pro Football Focus and the Redskins for Hogs Haven.
The Ravens unveiled plans today for a two-year, $35 million renovation project of M&T Bank Stadium, which will include additional high-definition video boards, improved concession stands and re-designed concourses.
Cullen Little, 12, of Guilford, may be the youngest football commentator on the airwaves today. The Calvert School sixth grader is a football junkie, knows more about the game than many adults, started a Fantasy Football League at 9 years old, and is in five leagues now.
After catching 18 passes in his first three games of 2012, in the process endearing himself to fantasy football aficionados, Dennis Pitta was shut out by the Cleveland Browns last Thursday. He played 57 snaps as the Ravens continued to line up the tight end all over the field, but he had zero catches on a season-low two targets. As a result, those finicky fantasy football folks have been bailing on Pitta, but there is no reason to think he won't continue to be a big part of this offense. As Pitta explained, his lack of production was simply the product of quarterback Joe Flacco taking what was given to him in that game.
A raft of new state laws take effect Monday. Children under 8-years-old will be required to sit in a booster seat or child seat until they reach a certain height, and morticians will have to follow stricter rules under legislation enacted by the General Assembly earlier this year.
We will all scrutinize about our fantasy lineups more than ever in the fantasy playoffs, and that has less to do with us wanting to win our league and more to do with us not wanting to end up losing because we benched the wrong player. The best advice: Always, always, always start your best players.
Grumpy Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Monday had to answer a few questions about the use of Ray Rice in Sunday's 22-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Based on the line of questioning from reporters, I'm guessing at least one of those guys has Rice, who had 27 rushing yards on a season-low five carries, on their fantasy team.
The Philadelphia Eagles haven't been the team we expected (I'm no longer using the 'D' word when talking about the Eagles, and you're welcome). They are 3-5 at the midway point of the season, and their margin for error is slim to make it into the playoffs.
The news that Peyton Manning will miss Week 1 with a neck injury -- and that his status going forward is unclear -- is good news for the Texans, Ravens, Patriots, Steelers and the other contenders in the AFC. It's bad news for fantasy football owners who were counting on Manning or other Colts to produce this year.
My apologies for interruptions in this week's blog schedule. I was actually doing real reporting for a change. (I know, crazy talk.) But I have still had time to stay on top of my many fantasy football leagues. I completed another draft last week, and I have three more between now and next Thursday's regular season kickoff.
I know you want to pick some of the guys in purple for your team -- heck, in my auction league, I somehow wound up with Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin and Billy Cundiff -- but the key is making sure you don't reach for them. Here's when you should draft each of your favorite Ravens.
Let's jump in the time machine and flash back in time to the early 2000s when Tom Cruise wasn't a known crazy person, "Freedom Fries" were an innovation in redneck culinary circles and men under the age of 40 wearing visors in public was considered to be socially acceptable. Thanks to Al Gore's Internet invention, fantasy football was starting to blow up -- and we were advised to select running backs with our first 13 or so picks.
Chances are a running back will be the first player to come off the board in your fantasy league unless one of your fellow owners has a serious crush on Michael Vick or is the father/mother/sibling/spouse of a current NFL player. Running backs no longer the first dozen players off the board in fantasy football -- and honestly, that makes things much more interesting -- but an elite back is still the way to go if you're picking first overall.
I'm pleased to announce that I will be bringing back my weekly fantasy football column this fall. Why am I so pleased? Because it gives me an excuse to tinker with my fantasy football teams when I'm on the clock.
The celebration of the NFL's four-month lockout ending turned into disbelief Monday when the Ravens cut four players, including their top two receivers of all time. Veterans Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Willis McGahee and Kelly Gregg were informed by the Ravens that they will be released from their contracts. ... The Ravens players who survived the roster cuts are ready to get back on the field Wednesday. ... Brooks Robinson is getting a statue. ... The second phase of building the Baltimore Grand Prix race course has begun. ... Ryan Lochte beat Michael Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle at the world championships early Tuesday morning.
The NFL players and owners are reportedly oh-so close to reaching a new collective bargaining agreement that will unlock the doors to stadiums and practice facilities so we can get back to football as we know it.