Things haven’t exactly gone according to plan for Trent Richardson and his fantasy owners this season. His numbers have been abysmal so far; he’s rushed 44 times for 140 yards (3.2 YPC) and one touchdown, and he hasn’t been a factor in the passing game, totaling just seven receptions for 51 yards.
However, despite the nauseating numbers, there’s reason to believe his upcoming game will be his coming-out party.
In a shocking turn of events, Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a first-round pick last week. The Cleveland Browns supposedly felt he wasn’t a good fit for their offense and initiated contact with the Colts, who obviously couldn’t say no to the offer. The move might have been upsetting for the city of Cleveland, but it was thrilling for Richardson’s fantasy owners.
He now plays for a much better team, which will yield more scoring opportunities as well as more clock-killing chances at the end of games. The one drawback was that it seemed like the Colts, wanting a timeshare between Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw for the time being, planned to hold off on giving their new back a featured role. They wanted to wait until he has a full grasp of the offense, but that option might have come off the table today.
It was reported earlier that Bradshaw has been ruled out against the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. The only other real option the Colts have in the backfield is Donald Brown, and they have no intention of letting him see too much of the field, so a clear path has been paved for Richardson to carry the load. It’s a serious window of opportunity for him because he could potentially earn himself the featured role right away with a very strong performance, even when Bradshaw returns.
Richardson knows this is the time for him to show what he’s capable of and also knows the timing couldn’t possibly be better. Jacksonville has been dreadful against the run this season, allowing a league-worst 167.7 yards per game on the ground. They’ve also been giving up 5.2 YPC, the third-worst mark in the league. It’s an absolute dream-matchup for a guy with something to prove and the most favourable one he’ll have all season.
He should get the ball early and often and since the Jags are horrible, he should also get plenty of carries towards the end of the game when the Colts start trying to run the clock down.
Everything is in place for Richardson to have a monster game. Fantasy owners should finally get the early-round value they expected when they drafted him, and this week could be the start of something beautiful for the former Brown and his new team.