Fantasy impact of the Sidney Rice news

In case you haven’t heard, Sidney Rice will be out until midseason after undergoing hip surgery. Obviously, this is a big loss for the Vikings, but what about the fantasy implications?

Let’s start with Rice himself. He’s going to miss the first half of the season and that assumes his recovery goes to plan. Rice is no more than a late-round pick. Stash him on your roster if you have the space and hope that he makes it back for the stretch run.

This news theoretically bumps up Harvin’s stock a bit, but with his migraine issues, there’s no guarantee he’s going to play 16 games either. He’s been going 6.10 over the last week, and while I’d rather have Santana Moss at this point, Harvin is not a bad pick in the 6th or the 7th. But don’t draft him unless you have a high tolerance for week-to-week uncertainty. That’s just how it’s going to be with Harvin, at least for this year.

Bernard Berrian seemingly gets the biggest bump of all the Viking players, and a 29 years old, he has plenty of football left to play. But Berrian is not Rice, so don’t expect anything more than fantasy WR3-type numbers. He’s currently going in the 14th, but I’d start to think about him in the 10th. And remember, he could be pushed back to the bench midseason if Rice comes back.

I’d also bump up Visanthe Shiancoe a bit more. I already liked him as a mid- to late-round sleeper after he posted TE5-type numbers over the last half of the ’09 season. Favre loves to throw to his tight end, especially around the goal line, and with Rice out, he’ll lean on Shiancoe even more.

As for Favre himself, this will probably hurt his numbers. He has a tendency to throw the ball up for grabs, and Rice excelled at using his length and leaping ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air. I’d expect fewer yards, fewer TDs and more picks. That’s just the nature of the beast.

The last guy to consider is Adrian Peterson. With Rice out, the defense will be able to crowd the box a bit more, but he’ll likely get more carries with the Vikings taking a more conservative approach offensively. His ypc will probably dip a bit, but more carries could offset this. I would still draft him in the top 4.

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