Bernard Pierce Fantasy News

Saturday, September 13, 2014, 1:43pm

Baltimore Sun - [Full Article]

It's been a quiet two games for Ravens rookie running back Lorenzo Taliaferro since leading the NFL in preseason rushing yards.

With zero carries so far with one pass thrown in his direction for an incompletion against the Cincinnati Bengals, the fourth-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina says he's remaining patient and waiting his turn.

Taliaferro ranks third on the depth chart behind starting running back Bernard Pierce and backup Justin Forsett and has been active for each game, primarily operating on special teams. Pierce rushed for a game-high 96 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Forsett scored a touchdown against the Bengals as he gained 70 yards and had a 41-yard run against the Steelers.

"I don't know what my role is going to be," said Taliaferro who rushed for 243 yards and one touchdown on 65 carries during the preseason. "I just know I'm ready for whatever it is. I can't control any of that. All I can control is what I do when my number is called in that moment."

Fantasy Impact:

Taliaferro is a power runner with a fairly upright running style at 6-foot, 226 yards. Taliaferro was the Big South Offensive Player of the Year last season when he rushed for 1,729 yards and 27 touchdowns, the story says. One has to think his time is coming with Ray Rice now out of the picture. Pierce was much improved Thursday night against the Steelers but a lot of questions still remain with this Raven RB group.

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Saturday, September 13, 2014, 9:41am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The other effect missing RB Adrian Peterson has on the Vikings, of course, is how much attention he commands from defenses.

Six of his 21 carries came against eight-man fronts last week; only the Baltimore Ravens' Bernard Pierce had more carries against an eight-man front in Week 1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Vikings faked handoffs to Peterson on Cordarrelle Patterson's two jet sweeps last week, and without Peterson on the field, defenses can devote more attention to Patterson and possibly avoid committing an extra defender to the run.

The Vikings have still managed to average 4.57 yards per carry in games Peterson has missed since 2007, according to ESPN Stats & Information, but there's little doubt their offense will take on a different configuration Sunday.

Fantasy Impact:

RBs Matt Asiata and rookie Jerick McKinnon will get most of the rushes, but Patterson could see more touches in that capacity. The Pats have proven to be very good at taking away a player on offense they deem most dangerous, and that now becomes Patterson. But at the same time, the Vikings could try to get Patterson a few more touches as he's now their most explosive player. Patterson's fantasy value should go up a bit with Peterson out of the picture.

Ravens Beat: Justin Forsett 'favorite to start' Week 2

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 12:36pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Ravens beat writer Jamison Hensley:

As I touched upon Monday, the Ravens will likely go with a running back by committee approach because there is no established starter. The three tailbacks on the roster -- Justin Forsett, Bernard Pierce and Lorenzo Taliaferro -- have a combined nine NFL starts. That's a stark contrast to Rice's 80 career starts.

Forsett is the favorite to start Thursday night after he gained 70 yards on 11 carries in the season opener and played most of the snaps in the second half. Harbaugh explained that Forsett got the chance because Pierce fumbled in the second quarter, but Forsett's production kept Pierce on the sideline.

Pierce remains in the Ravens' plan at running back despite being benched for the entire second half Sunday, Harbaugh said. Of all of the Ravens' backs, Pierce figures to be the back who ends up with the most carries by the end of the season.

Fantasy Impact:

It's interesting that Hensley believes that Forsett is the favorite to start yet he also suggest that Pierce will get the most carries this year. Our money is on Pierce for the long haul, but he wasn't very good last year and didn't get off to an inspiring start in Week 1. Taliaferro is the wild card.

Ravens don't name a starting RB - yet

Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 10:48am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to name a starting running back after the team released Ray Rice on Monday.

Asked who would start Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Harbaugh said, "Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett -- they’ll both play a lot. Lorenzo Taliaferro will be a big part of it, too."

If you didn't pick up on it, Harbaugh named every tailback on the roster. As I wrote earlier, Forsett earned the right to start against the Steelers after gaining 70 yards on 11 carries in the season opener.

But, since no one in the backfield is an established starter, Harbaugh will likely go with the hot hand each game. The approach is probably a running-back-by-committee, so Harbaugh would be right in naming everyone a starter.

Fantasy Impact:

Pierce fumbled in Week 1 and promptly rode the bench allowing for a nice day for Forsett. But Forsett probably isn't viewed as a longterm answer and it's hard to believe the team wouldn't give Pierce another shot with Rice now out of the picture. This is shaping up to be a committee and even in a nice matchup against the Steelers, who were gashed at times but the Browns last week, you may just want to stay clear of this situation given all that's going on with the team on a short week.

Ravens cut RB Ray Rice

Monday, September 8, 2014, 2:30pm

Dan Wetzel on Twitter - [Full Article]

The Ravens have cut RB Ray Rice.

Fantasy Impact:

Wetzel was told that one factor was his version of what happened didn't match with video, which was released Sunday night, apparently showing Rice punching his then-fiance in an elevator. So, it appears that the outrage over the video has resulted in the release. The initial fantasy reaction is that this is now Bernard Pierce’s show, but the team didn’t show a whole lot of confidence in Pierce when they benched him after he lost a fumble against the Bengals. Still, that was an in-game situation and now that Rice is out of the picture, we have to expect that Pierce will be given every chance to carry the load. He looked good in camp and multiple sources have said that he’s a great fit for Gary Kubiak’s zone-blocking scheme. Justin Forsett should continue to have a big role, especially in the passing game, while rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro (who did not get a single touch in Week 1) will try to work his way into the mix.

NFL Beat: Ray Rice could get cut after video release

Monday, September 8, 2014, 12:37pm

Dan Wetzel on Twitter - [Full Article]

Texting with team officials around NFL, they predict Ravens will cut Ray Rice. "Have to." Not sure anyone would pick him up.

Fantasy Impact:

A video surfaced overnight of Rice apparently punching his then-fiance in a hotel elevator. Rice was suspended for two games for the incident and was scheduled to come back Week 3. For owners, this is obviously something to monitor. From a fantasy point, the Ravens RB situation is a mess right now after Bernard Pierce was benched for a fumble. Justin Forsett took over as the lead back and it remains to be seen who gets the start in a short week against the Steelers Thursday night in what now looks like a good matchup. Lorenzo Taliaferro could also be in the mix for carries as well.

Friday, September 5, 2014, 5:45pm

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (concussion, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 1. Pierce is ready to carry the load in a tough matchup against the Bengals with Ray Rice sidelined due to suspension. Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will serve as change-of-pace backs.

Ravens Beat: Look for RB Bernard Pierce to 'get a lot of touches' in Week 1

Friday, September 5, 2014, 12:39pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Bernard Pierce is completely recovered from a concussion suffered during the preseason and is ready to handle the Ravens' starting running back job for the next two weeks, a team official said. Pierce is perfectly suited for Gary Kubiak's one-cut system because he is big enough to run between the tackles and has the quickness to hit the holes. The one question mark is Pierce's vision, as he doesn't always hit the right lanes. The Ravens will look to establish the run early, even though the Bengals were one of the top run defenses in the league last year. Everything stems from setting up the run in Kubiak's offense, a team official noted. Look for Pierce to get a lot of touches.

Fantasy Impact:

With Ray Rice out, Pierce should be the workhorse for the Ravens in Week 1. The matchup against the Bengals is not favorable, however.

Thursday, September 4, 2014, 6:23pm

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (concussion) took full practice reps again Thursday. Pierce is ready to carry the load in a tough matchup against the Bengals with Ray Rice sidelined due to suspension. Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will serve as change-of-pace backs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 7:02pm

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce (concussion) practiced fully Wednesday. Pierce is ready to carry the load in a tough matchup against the Bengals with Ray Rice sidelined due to suspension. Lorenzo Taliaferro and Justin Forsett will serve as change-of-pace backs.

Broncos taking it easy with Wes Welker

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:40am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

According to Jeff Legwold of, 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.

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 - [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.