Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice faces a suspension, expected to be in the range of two-to-six games, for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy in February. On top of that, Rice, 27, is coming off his worst season as a pro. Rice carried the ball 214 times in 2013, and finished with just 660 yards, his lowest total since his rookie season. Rice’s 3.3 yards per rush and 5.5 yards per reception (58 catches, 321 yards) were also career worsts.

With all those factors in play, should you consider taking Rice in your fantasy football draft this year? Scott Engel and Adam Ronis weighed in on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

Engel: Draft Rice

Any time a guy is going to miss four-to-six games at the beginning of the regular season, he’s just not in game condition like his teammates are. We’ve seen it many times in the past. I’m not saying it will happen, necessarily, but I say it’s a risk for happening. Guys missing games at the beginning of the year is just a conditioning risk, and to me, that also makes Ray Rice something of an injury concern. Not a major injury concern, but I have to keep it in mind. But then, there are the positives for Rice. I think it gives him more time to recover, whatever ailed him last year, and I think with all the negative attention surrounding him and how he performed last year, he’s gonna be highly motivated to perform very well when he gets on that field … Ray Rice, if I can get him as my RB3, I’m gonna go for it, and I’ll stash him. If Ray Rice is still on the board in, say, the fifth round, I’m gonna go for it.

Ronis: Avoid Rice

Right now, if I’m drafting, I’m not touching him. I’m gonna leave him for someone else … It’s easy to say, well, he’s in better shape now, the offensive line, you bring in Gary Kubiak. But there could be a chance that he could just be worn down. He had a lot of touches at Rutgers, a lot of touches over the last years, deep playoff runs. It’s not age with running backs, like we alluded to with Fred Jackson – he’s 33, hasn’t had a lot of touches … Go back to 2009: 254 carries, 78 receptions. 308 carries the next year, 63 receptions … Well over 300 every year, and that’s not including the playoffs, and the Ravens make deep playoff runs. So it’s possible, I’m not saying it is [definite], it’s possible that this guy’s body may be just worn down.

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