Rotoprofessor’s Sleeper Spotlight: Sidney Rice

Aug 23, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

Sidney Rice
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

One of the players who may benefit the most from the arrival of Brett Favre in Minnesota is third year receiver Sidney Rice.  The former second round draft pick has shown flashes of brilliance, but knee injuries in each of his first two seasons have derailed his opportunity for continued success.

He has appeared in 13 games in each of his first two years, only once amassing as many as 82 yards in a game.  In fact, last season his biggest game saw him log just 31 yards.

The selection of Percy Harvin in the first round this past season just muddies the waters even more.  It adds another weapon to a team that already has Bernard Berrian as it’s top receiver, Bobby Wade getting a significant opportunity and possibly the best running back in the game (Adrian Peterson) who requires the offense run through him almost exclusively (not to mention Vishante Shiancoe at tight end).

So, how exactly does Rice benefit from Favre’s arrival?

While Favre will do a lot of handing off of the football, he didn’t sign on with Minnesota to not get his chance to throw the ball downfield.  He’s going to look to make plays.  He’s going to continue to be the cowboy on the field that he has always been, taking chances when he puts the ball in the air hoping that the risk pays off in a big play or a big score.

We’ve seen it time and time again from Favre, and with it has come results.  While we are all quick to write him off, let’s not forgot that he steered the Jets to an 8-3 starts last season before the wheels completely fell off.  Both Jerricho Cotchery & Laverneous Coles had over 70 catches and 850 yards, showing he’s inclined to spread the ball around the field.

In 2007, his last season with the Packers, there were six receivers with at least 30 receptions.  Granted, that team also ignored the running game for the most part, but he’s not one to focus on one receiver and try to force-feed him the ball.  He’s going to spread it around and try to make things happen.

Does that mean that Rice is going to get the opportunity to get 60 catches for over 1,000 yards?  It’s doubtful, though not impossible.

He also has the potential to become a big-time target in the red zone, standing 6′4″.  He’s had 4 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons (of his 46 career receptions, 8 have gone for TD) and is by far the tallest receiver on the team (along with TE Vishante Shiancoe).  That potential is what is going to really help his value.

As for my prediction:

Receiving – 47 receptions, 675 yards, 7 TD

Those are not blow away numbers, nor are they ones that I would want on my active roster from week to week.  With Favre at the helm, however, he could fit in as a great bye week replacement with the potential for more.

What are your thoughts?  How good could Rice be?

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