The fantasy world is still in shock.
Running back Trent Richardson, who many Browns fans were dreaming of becoming the next Jim Brown, is now a member of the Indianapolis Colts after an insanely surprising trade. From a long term perspective, I absolutely love this move for Richardson’s fantasy value. He’ll be joining one of the great young quarterbacks in football, as well as an overall roster that continues to get better each year. However, will Richardson provide fantasy owners with value for Week 3?
That’s one of the bigger questions fantasy owners need to answer for this week. Head coach Chuck Pagano stated that Richardson will carry the ball as much as he can handle, and the team didn’t bring him in to be the waterboy. That statement sounds appealing to fantasy owners, but should they feel comfortable placing Richardson into their starting lineup this week?
In my opinion, it all depends, really. If you are lacking at the running back position, you probably won’t have a choice but to roll with your number one overall pick. That’s something people tend to forget at times. You more than likely invested the first pick of your draft in this guy, and unless you somehow have better options at the position, Richardson may have to be in your lineup. However, I do think there’s some risk with Richardson this week, as I have him ranked as my 20th back this week. While it may not seem like a very big deal, he first joined the team on Thursday, so he’ll have to learn the playbook, the offense, the system. Also, while Pagano stated that they are going to use Richardson as much as possible, don’t overlook the presence of veteran Ahmad Bradshaw. In an offense that likes to throw the football, Bradshaw is a very vital piece, as he is arguably the best pass-blocking running back in football. He could see his fair share of third-down work in this contest. Oh yeah, what about the contest? The Colts will face one of the toughest defenses in football in the San Francisco 49ers. While this unit did just get owned by Marshawn Lynch, I consider him a bit of an outlier because he always performs well against them. At Candlestick, Richardson could struggle to get going, and with a bit of an unknown workload, it may be difficult to trust him as anything more than a low-end RB2. Proceed with caution for this week, at least.
However, for the rest of the season, he has top-five upside in this new offense.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.