Originally written September 19, 2013 on Fantasy Sports Locker Room:
Last night, when I heard about the trade via the same medium as Trent Richardson himself I was shocked, like all of you. Those who read my piece on how Richardson would shine in Norv Turner’s system know I loved his set up in Cleveland. Instead, he’s in Indy where they are working on collecting the entire set of top 5 picks from the 2012 draft. They only have two, of course, but its more than any other team. A lackluster aerial attack and poor blocking to date have kept Richardson at bey to date – he hasn’t been perfect as a rusher, but, did lead the league in Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating to in the seasons first week and saw poor results because his line couldn’t block anybody. In that regard, the context doesn’t improve significantly with the trip to Indianapolis as the Colts line ranks equally poor in run blocking to date, but because they have more success as a team throwing the ball there should be more room for the second year back to run. It’s easy to cite his career 3.5 YPC average and be underwhelmed, but, when considering the relative weakness of the offense in general, the additional men in the box Richardson faced on runs and the fact that he’s forced a league high 14 missed tackles since joining the professional ranks there are still plenty of reasons to like Richardson. Again, according to PFF (premium content, otherwise I’d link) Richardson has faced 8 man boxes on 52.6 percent of his carries. With Andrew Luck as his QB and both Reggie Wayne and TY Hilton (along with TE Coby Fleener) viewed as legitimate receiving threats he won’t see the same in Indy. He remains a bruising back who is tough to tackle inside the 20s and should have a better chance of scoring in an offense that puts up more points. It’s worth noting, of course, that Ahmad Bradshaw just joined the Colts this offseason and figures to be in play in some passing situations but otherwise the rushing work should belong largely to Trent. We won’t need to go into great detail on the impact of this trade on the Browns for 2013 as the answer should be fairly obvious. It doesn’t help the value of anyone, to be sure. Jordan Cameron has been playing extremely well through two weeks and the system should continue to favor him but as the offensive context around him takes a downward turn, we ca expect the players production to be affected. The move to Brian Hoyer at QB hurts his value as well – go watch his two games played for the Cardinals last year if you’d like to be convinced. In Indy, conversely, this helps everyone who isn’t named Ahmad Bradshaw. Despite a strong performance in Week 2 he should take an immediate back seat to Richardson. The others may have their red zone opportunities curtailed slightly but from a general perpsective if the offense becomes more productive, all players should benefit. Richardson won’t limit targets for Wayne et. al because the Browns were going to put the ball in the hands of the RB anyway. Added focus on the run game should help make their lives easier on the outside. For Week 3, it’s hard to say. He may not see the field at all, and if he does, he’s facing the 49ers. Given the shock involved with changing cities midstream and the difficulty in picking up a new playbook, I wouldn’t expect great results from Richardson right out of the gate, but certainly moving forward its a plus for his value. Obligatory reference to the factory of sadness video. The post Richardson Reaction: What to make of the blockbuster deal appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.
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