Rashee Rice Dynasty Value: Take Advantage of the Buy-Low Window After a Rocky Offseason

Dynasty managers should be scrambling to get their hands on Rashee Rice.

Off-the-field issues have surrounded Rashee Rice this offseason, but there’s strong optimism for the Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver’s future in dynasty fantasy football. As a rookie last season, Rice developed a unique and immediate connection with Patrick Mahomes that hasn’t been seen in a while.

Rashee Rice played a vital role in the Chiefs’ journey to their second Super Bowl win in two seasons. While Travis Kelce is typically Mahomes’ first look, Rice proved himself a top option in the Chiefs’ high-powered, Super Bowl-winning offense.

Despite the off-the-field concerns, Rice’s dynasty value has depreciated significantly, even though he’s only 24 years old. However, confidence remains high in his potential to make a strong comeback.

If he succeeds, Rashee Rice will again be a crucial component of Kansas City’s offense, and he will emerge as one of the best buy-low wide receivers in dynasty fantasy football before the 2024 NFL season begins.

RASHEE RICE’S ELITE FANTASY AND PLAYER PROFILE

Rice possesses elite short-area movement and agility, showcased by his 95th-percentile burst score, which allows him to effortlessly separate from defenders. In 2023, Rice ranked third amongst all wide receivers in target separation and 16th in route win rate. Because Rice gets open, he is targeted at a high rate, as he was 12th in target rate (27.4 percent) in 2023.

Rice is a natural-born playmaker with exceptional hands. Last season, he had the second-best drop rate in the NFL. Being one of Mahomes’ most consistent targets is no easy task, but Mahomes averaged a quarterback rating of 123.7 per target thrown to Rice last season, the fifth-best rating per target amongst all wide receivers in 2023. There is real chemistry between the great Patrick Mahomes and his new, dynamic young wide-out.

Why is Rice a playmaker? Only CeeDee Lamb and Amon-Ra St. Brown had more yards after the catch than Rashee Rice (654) this past season. Even more impressive is that nearly 70% of Rice’s total receiving yards came after the catch.

Rashee Rice is a game-changer with the ball in his hands. He has firmly positioned himself in an elite tier of wide receivers regarding yards after the catch. This is evident on film, too. The footage below (from his third-career NFL game) shows how advanced Rice is this early in his career.

FOOTBALL INSIGHTS ANALYSIS

Comparing rookies to one another, especially with how solid this past class was, is a great way to determine which players might be bound for consistent success at the NFL level. Below, you will find that only Puka Nacua had more overall yards per route run than Rashee Rice amongst all 2023 rookie wide-outs last season.

When you look at the last few draft classes, Rice’s performance stands out again. He had more overall yards per route run last season than Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, who I also highly value.

Including all pass-catchers in 2023, Rice was 10th in yards per route run. In 11 personnel, only Puka Nacua had more yards per route run amongst last year’s rookie wide receivers.

It’s interesting to see how certain wide receivers perform with and without motion. Rice posted more yards per route run with no motion than Puka Nacua – plus, only D.J. Moore, Amon-Ra St. Brown, A.J. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, Nico Collins, and Justin Jefferson surpassed him in this metric. Rice also had bizarrely similar yards per route run with and without motion as St. Brown did over the last two seasons.

RASHEE RICE’S ROOKIE SEASON FANTASY BREAKOUT

Rice emerged as a break-out talent for the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 against the Las Vegas Raiders, where he put up eight receptions for 107 receiving yards and a long 39-yard receiving score. Rice then proceeded to go on a tear soon afterward.

From Week 12 to 17, Rice racked up 518 receiving yards on 43 receptions and three receiving touchdowns. It doesn’t look like much, but during that stretch, Rice averaged 86.3 receiving yards and 7.2 receptions per game, which was good for a full-season pace of about 122 receptions and 1,467 receiving yards.

That Week 12 break-out is significant because Rashee Rice officially established himself as a key player in the offense. From Week 12 on, Rice saw 56 targets, compared to Kelce’s 40 targets during the same period.

Also, within that duration, Rice led all Kansas City Chiefs pass-catchers in targets per route run (0.26) and target share (27%). Andy Reid constantly looked for ways to utilize his new weapon in the Mahomes-led offense and get Rice involved.

Another key metric that sticks out is Rashee Rice’s yards per route run compared to Kelce’s from Week 12 and beyond. When the Chiefs offense faced four pass rushers and zone defense, Kelce averaged 2.03 yards per route run and Rice averaged 3.22 yards per route run.

RASHEE RICE’S ELITE FANTASY COMPANY

In recent memory, few wide receivers ran 200-plus routes with a 25 percent-plus target rate and 2.25-plus yards per route run as a rookie. As a Kansas City Chiefs fan, it’s certainly encouraging to see Tyreek Hill on this list, not to mention Odell Beckham Jr., which puts Rice in elite company.

Rice played a large part in Andy Reid’s red-zone plan as merely a rookie, which may be overlooked. Rice was 7th in both red zone targets and fantasy points per target amongst all wide receivers in 2023.

Just eight players recorded more first downs per route run than Rice did in 2023, a list including the usual elites. Last season, Rice had more first downs per route run than Ja’Marr Chase, Chris Olave, DK Metcalf, Tank Dell, Davante Adams, Mike Evans, Michael Pittman Jr., Stefon Diggs, and Christian Kirk.

Of course, besides the off-the-field concerns with Rice, the big question mark here is that the Chiefs signed Marquise Brown from the Cardinals and used a first-round pick on stand-out speedster Xavier Worthy. However, it may be important to note that wide receivers Justin Watson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling (signed with the Buffalo Bills), Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney, and Mecole Hardman received a combined 192 targets last season.

Assuming most, if not all, of the latter group of players are gradually phased out of Kansas City’s offense this upcoming season, that leaves many targets available for Worthy and Brown. Worthy and Brown’s arrival benefits not only Patrick Mahomes himself but also the Chiefs’ offense, which now has a legitimate threat at all four pass-catching positions.

SUMMARY: RASHEE RICE DYNASTY VALUE AND OUTLOOK

I’m also a huge fan of Xavier Worthy and can not wait to see the Rice-Worthy duo for years to come. As he has in the past, I do believe Patrick Mahomes can support more than one wide receiver.

Rice’s dynasty value sits around other wide receivers such as Cooper Kupp, Mike Evans, and Terry McLaurin. For the sake of dynasty (age differential) and future production, I’m selecting Rashee Rice over those players.

The community is low on Rice because of the worry that he’ll be suspended. If suspended, I would not write him off for the remainder of his career, as that presumably only impacts his redraft stock. I have seen Rice sold for as low as a late second-round rookie pick—which I consider a steal.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Related Posts