I haven’t yet met anyone who is in the middle of the road on Trent Richardson. You either love him or hate him, it’s that simple.
I have never been big on Richardson. As a matter of fact, I was one of the few who believed the Indianapolis Colts made a mistake trading away what they did to acquire him. He lacks explosiveness and relies on an enormous amount of carries in order to be fantasy relevant. I’m low on Richardson, and it’s not even a close decision.
Some mention Richardson breaking Jim Brown‘s rookie rushing record of 950 yards, but keep in mind that came on 267 carries (3.6 YPC). His yards and YPC dropped even further last year to 563 yards (3.0 YPC). Richardson really lacks big-play explosion that a lot of other backs possess. In his two years as a professional in the NFL, he has just three rushes for longer than 20 yards. In 2013, there were 54 other RBs who had more 20-plus yard rushes than Richardson, who had just one.
On top of this, you should be aware that he only had one game of over 100 cumulative yards between rushing and receiving last year, and worked up a measly 32.7 YPC. There’s also a long list of injuries for a guy who is so young in his career that should make you cautious.
You can make the excuse of him just needing to learn the playbook or anything else, but the fact of the matter is he lacks decisiveness and the burst that you need as a running back in the NFL. For a guy whose strength is power running, he tip-toes around in the backfield rather than just hitting the hole hard and using his strengths to max out his potential.
The potential is there, and it’s what has people still believing in Richardson. I have taken him off of my rankings completely and will look to pick up Ahmad Bradshaw in the later rounds. Leave the headache and heartache to someone else in your league this year.