Bernard Pierce Fantasy News

Broncos taking it easy with Wes Welker

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:40am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

According to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com, Broncos HC John Fox was careful not to describe WR Wes Welker’s concussion as “mild.”

“I can’t give a level. It’s just a concussion,” Fox said. “I don’t think there’s part concussion, half concussion. Either you’re concussed or you’re not, the way I understand it.”

While it might seem like a small distinction, it’s actually quite important (even as John Harbaugh was describing Bernard Pierce as having a mild concussion). Getting coaches to accept the seriousness of head injuries is a huge step, as for too long, there was a “rub some dirt on it,” element to the business.

Fantasy Impact:
But since this is Welker’s third concussion in 10 months, the Broncos have no choice but to take it seriously. Fox added that Welker was in good spirits and didn't sense Welker was hinting about retiring. However, just the fact it was even a topic of conversation is a pretty scary thing - fantasy football aside. From a fantasy perspective, owners should make sure they back themselves up with an extra WR in case Welker misses time. We think Cody Latimer has a better upside than Andre Caldwell going forward, but both could contribute in various packages. Emmanuel Sanders could end up moving to the slot.

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Bernard Pierce says he's 'fine'

Monday, August 25, 2014, 9:50am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Ravens running back Bernard Pierce made an early exit from Saturday night’s game against the Redskins after taking a blow to the head from Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, but it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be out of the lineup for a long time.

Pierce tweeted on Sunday that he’s “fine” after undergoing evaluation for a concussion after the hit. It’s not clear whether or not Pierce was officially diagnosed with a concussion, which would mean he has to progress through the league’s protocol before returning to action, but he has two weeks before the start of the regular season to get cleared if that was the doctor’s finding.

Fantasy Impact:
He's been diagnosed with a mild concussion. If Pierce were to miss time, and with Ray Rice suspended, the Ravens would have to turn to Justin Forsett and Lorenzo Taliaferro at running back. We'll have to see if Pierce is officially diagnosed with a concussion in terms of him having to follow protocol.

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce undergoing concussion protocol

Saturday, August 23, 2014, 8:39pm

Aaron Wilson, Twitter - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce undergoing concussion protocol.

Fantasy Impact:
Uh-oh. Depending on the severity of Pierce's concussion, he may not be cleared by Week 1, which means Lorenzo Taliaferro would get the start. Ray Rice's suspension doesn't end until Week 3. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 17, 2014, 12:14pm

BaltimoreRavens.com - [Full Article]

The Ravens got a preview Saturday night of what could happen in the first two weeks of the regular season. With starting running back Ray Rice suspended for the first two weeks, Bernard Pierce will be the lead dog. In the second preseason game in Dallas, Pierce showed that he can handle the load.

Pierce ran seven times for 55 yards, including a long 30-yard rumble. He looked decisive and powerful in the Ravens’ new zone run scheme and consistently picked up good yardage before breaking loose.

“[I’m preparing] exactly the same way,” Pierce said.

“The mentality that I was coached in in college and this level is next man up. If something bad were to happen, you have to be ready. If you’re not ready, the next guy’s going to be ready. It has to be done.”

Fantasy Impact:
Pierce had a strong rookie season but than struggled last year when everyone expected a big step forward. That was at least partly due to injuries. Pierce feels strong this year, and while he'll be the Ravens RB1 for two weeks, it's two pretty touch matchups before Rice gets back in Week 3. We rank Pierce 39th, meaning he could have some deeper league value. It's obviously important to see how the Ravens use him as well.

Ray Rice injures shoulder, X-rays negative

Saturday, August 16, 2014, 9:06pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Ray Rice didn't start but finally got in early in the second quarter and he immediately reeled off an 18-yard run. However, after just two carries, he went back to the sideline to have X-rays taken on his shoulder.

The X-rays were negative but Rice wasn’t expected to return to the game.

Fantasy Impact:
Bernard Pierce got the start, one would assume because he'll start Weeks 1 and 2 while Rice is suspended. We'll have to wait to see more about Rice's shoulder but it's at least a good sign the X-rays were negative. There was no need to put Rice back in the game at that point.

Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:07pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

There's no skill-position battle for the Ravens right now, but there could be one by the middle of September. That's when running back Ray Rice comes off his two-game suspension. The one-cut style of backup Bernard Pierce seems to be a more natural fit to Gary Kubiak stretch running scheme. If Pierce has a fast start, the Ravens may have a decision to make by Week 3.

Fantasy Impact:
The coaches make it sound like Rice will return to a starter's role after his suspension, and we're not so sure that Pierce will be able to change their minds in two games against the Bengals and Steelers.

Kubiak: Ray Rice to 'bounce right back in there' after suspension

Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:16am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

The Ravens are approaching the time when they’ll need to focus on getting backup running back Bernard Pierce the bulk of the workload in advance of starter Ray Rice’s two-game suspension.

“That’s coach’s call,” offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said. “John has talked about that, but we’re still early in camp. I’m sure it’s something John will address as we get to next week. Obviously, there comes a point where somebody else is probably going to have to work as a starter as we move forward.

“But you still have to get Ray ready to play because come Week Three, he’s going to bounce right back in there. It’s a tough dynamic, and coach will work us through it. He’ll tell us what he wants us to do.”

Fantasy Impact:
This makes it sound as if Rice is slated to be the starter upon his return from suspension, which is a concern in the fantasy community. At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. GM Ozzie Newsome said he expects Rice to return to Pro Bowl form, but HC John Harbaugh said after the season that the team could take more of a committee approach at running back, which would limit Rice's upside. Still, assuming his offseason legal issues don't impact his availability, he is a bounceback candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Saturday, August 9, 2014, 5:16pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Only a scaled-down version of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's playbook was revealed Thursday night, but the Ravens' overhauled offense got positive reviews.

Based on the limited sample of 10 plays during the Ravens' opening drive against the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Joe Flacco is upbeat about the potential of the offense.
Flacco orchestrated an 80-yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes and was capped by running back Bernard Pierce's pounding 2-yard touchdown run behind blocks from right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Bill Wagner.

"We ran the ball really well and protected really well," Flacco said Saturday before a joint practice with the 49ers at the Ravens' training complex. "There is a lot to build on. I think we built a good foundation there. I think each week from here on out, we have to keep showing that improvement and building off what we did.”

Fantasy Impact:
During that drive, Flacco completed 4 of 5 passes for 52 yards. He had a long completion of 17 yards to versatile fullback Kyle Juszczyk and connected with tight end Dennis Pitta on a 14-yard screen. Flacco also had a 12-yard throw to wide receiver Jacoby Jones and a 9-yard pass to new wide receiver Steve Smith.

Ravens want to increase use of the screen game

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 12:34pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

As the new offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, Gary Kubiak is envisioning shorter passes, quicker releases from his quarterbacks and a play that has been used infrequently in team history.

"I was telling John [Harbaugh] the other night: ‘You know, I think we’ve got a chance to be a pretty good screen team,'" Kubiak said. "Our guards not only are big and physical, but they can get out and run."

Fantasy Impact:
This could benefit Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, especially in PPR formats.

Ravens RB Ray Rice 'appeared quick and elusive' at camp

Wednesday, August 6, 2014, 10:22am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Ray Rice lost 20 pounds and has appeared quick and elusive during practice, running away from defenders one year after extra weight and injuries robbed him of his explosiveness.

Fantasy Impact:
We normally take positive training reports with a grain of salt, but this is the third or fourth beat reporter who has lauded Rice's weight loss and quickness. He'll serve a two-game suspension and have to deal with Bernard Pierce when he gets back, but he should settle into the RB1 job and be a good third running back for fantasy owners.

Harbaugh: Ray Rice in 'tremendous shape,' has 'really good burst'

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 3:33pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

The Baltimore Sun noted early in training camp that the 27-year-old "looked like the Rice of old" and "his cuts were excellent." Coach John Harbaugh confirmed as much after Monday's practice. "Ray has looked really good," Harbaugh said, via CSN Baltimore. "Comparisons to years in the past -- we'll find all that out during the season. But he's in tremendous shape. I've seen him make a good lateral cut. He's got really good burst, acceleration is there, vision is there. He's been very patient with the zone runs. Ray looks really good."

It's refreshing to hear Harbaugh praising the lateral jump cuts that were noticeably missing from Rice's repertoire last season. A healthier Bernard Pierce will open the season as the Ravens' early-down back as Rice serves his two-game suspension. All early-camp signs point to Rice resuming lead-back status as soon as he returns in late September.

Ian Rapoport confirmed that Rice "looks very different."

Fantasy Impact:
At just 26 years old, it was surprising to see Rice's production fall off the way it did, but he was dealing with hip and quad injuries throughout the season. He was also coming off of a Super Bowl run the previous year, which likely wore him down. He's a high-upside middle round pick and a bounce back candidate in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 3:05pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bernard Pierce has been the best running back in Ravens training camp. He played in a similar running scheme in college, and he has had the best transition to Gary Kubiak's stretch, zone-blocking runs.

Ray Rice appears to have regained his explosiveness after shedding 15 pounds.

Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:26am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

As expected, Ray Rice did not appeal his two-game suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy, meaning that the running back will be sidelined for the Ravens' Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and their Sept. 11 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rice also was fined three total game checks, which equates to $529,000, by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. The Ravens’ running back, who was accused of striking his now-wife, Janay, unconscious during an altercation in the elevator of an Atlantic City, N.J. casino in February, learned of the suspension Thursday, before the team’s first full-squad workout of training camp.

He had a three-day window to appeal the two-game ban, but that has now elapsed without action from Rice.

Fantasy Impact:

Rice can still participate in training camp and in the four preseason games. Bernard Pierce is expected to start the first two games, however, they are shaping up to be pretty tough matchups.

Report: Ray Rice suspended for two games

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 11:44am

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down a two-game suspension to Ray Rice for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, sources confirmed Thursday. The league has not officially announced the suspension.

Fantasy Impact:
The general consensus was that Rice would get a four-game ban, so this is good news for his fantasy value and bad news for Bernard Pierce who will have a tough time establishing himself as the RB1 in two division games against the Bengals and the Steelers.

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (shoulder) cleared for practice

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:27am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday that he will be able to practice with no restrictions at training camp after undergoing shoulder surgery in January.

The Ravens are preparing for a potential Ray Rice suspension with a committee attack including Pierce, Justin Forsett and rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro.

After a promising rookie season, Pierce turned in a disastrous 2013 campaign, hampered by shoulder, hamstring, toe and knee injuries behind a blocking scheme that failed to consistently open holes.

Now healthy, Pierce is optimistic about a bounce-back season in new coordinator Gary Kubiak's successful zone-blocking scheme.

Fantasy Impact:
Pierce figures to start if/when Ray Rice is suspended to start the season, and though unlikely, he could run away with the job. He was just as bad (2.9 YPC) as Rice was (3.1 YPC) last season, so both players are expected to bounce back in Gary Kubiak's offense.