Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 6/1/12

Many Cleveland Browns fans have taken to their fantasy football teams for enjoyment since 1999 as the real Browns have struggled. For the first time in a long time, fantasy owners might just be looking to the Browns for excitement.

Here’s the thing with Trent Richardson: He projects as a true workhorse running back in his rookie season, and there just aren’t many guys like that in the player pool. It would be a huge surprise if a healthy Richardson failed to finish with 300-plus touches. Yes, he’s tied to an underwhelming offense — his team averaged just 13.6 points per game last year — but he’s such a massive upgrade for Cleveland. Just two years ago, Peyton Hillis topped 1600 scrimmage yards for the Browns, crossing the goal line 13 times. Richardson is a more talented runner, by orders of magnitude.

Just to put things in perspective, 300+ touches is Frank Gore territory. Maurice Jones-Drew led the league with 343 rushing attempts and added 43 receptions if you want to see the extremely high numbers. In Peyton Hillis’ breakout year in 2010, he carried the ball 270 times and also had 61 receptions. That just goes to show how involved the outside world expects Trent Richardson to be in the Browns’ offense this year. Let’s hope those touches turn out to be yards and TDs too, by the way.

And to think all we can do is seemingly talk about quarterbacks, none of whom were drafted anywhere near as highly as Trent Richardson.

[Related: Colt McCoy Through the Lens of Brady Quinn]

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