The NFL is not known for having big mid-season trades like MLB or the NBA. However, that all changed when Adam Schefter broke the news on a blockbuster trade between the Indianapolis Colts and Cleveland Browns late Wednesday afternoon.
The Colts needed to make a move for a running back. They lost Vick Ballard for the season and they can’t rely on Ahmad Bradshaw all year. This trade has a lot of impact on the fantasy football universe. Richardson will be the clear-cut back for Indianapolis, making Bradshaw droppable in all leagues. Andrew Luck now has a legitimate running back to offset the air attack.
In 15 games in his rookie season, Richardson had 267 carries for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was in a position similar to Adrian Peterson — on a team with a pedestrian quarterback and no star receivers. Now he goes to a team with an All-Pro quarterback, Hall of Fame wide receiver in Reggie Wayne and an up-and-comer in T.Y. Hilton.
This is good news long term for Richardson owners. He’s on a much better team with more scoring opportunities. He won’t be facing eight men in the box as the passing game is a threat for the Colts. Richardson will remain a top-tier running back throughout the season.
On the other hand, the Browns took one step forward and two steps back. qQuarterback Brandon Weeden will miss Week 3 with a thumb injury, which led to Brian Hoyer being named as the starter. Richardson could have helped Hoyer as a security blanket and the main option for the offense. Tight end Jordan Cameron is still a must-own player. Greg Little and Josh Gordon‘s value, or whatever’s left of it, drops significantly.
There are rumors that the Browns are interested in free agent running back Willis McGahee to replace Richardson. McGahee rushed 416 times for 1,930 yards and eight touchdowns in 25 games with the Denver Broncos. If he does sign with the Browns, he becomes a must-add immediately. The veteran will undoubtedly be the no. 1 option for the Browns’ offense and has top-20 potential for fantasy football owners.