Well, this was quite the surprise. I’m concerned with who is hot, who is not, and whether or not Larry Fitzgerald is able to play this Sunday (he’s questionable but should fine), but then I get blindsided by a blockbuster trade on the Wednesday between weeks 2 and 3.
I would love to talk with you for hours about how ridiculous this trade is, and tell you that this is why the Browns can’t field a winning team. However, we can do that later because what you really want to know is whether or not Trent Richardson, now with the Colts, is still the back you drafted to start the season. Maybe you have Andrew Luck or Reggie Wayne and want to know if they will suffer from a real running back being on the field.
This guy looks like the real deal. He ran for just under 1,000 yards in his rookie season, but he added 12 total touchdowns and a beautiful 51 catches for all you PPR folks out there. He only has 105 yards after two weeks this season, but in his defense, he played two tough run defenses and plays for a Cleveland team that is usually playing catch-up. I wouldn’t worry about Richardson’s statistics suffering because if anything, they should improve. Edgerrin James was Peyton Manning’s running back on the Colts for a number of years and he still managed to break 1,500 yards and double digit touchdowns four times each. Remember: a good run game opens up the pass game so now the Colts will be a more balanced offense.
Moral of the story: If you have Trent Richardson, be happy because his value and stats just went up.
The difference between having running backs accumulate yards and having a marquee back is the respect factor. Luck had over 4,300 yards last season, but Vick Ballard received the bulk of the carries and he isn’t scaring anyone. Having a real threat in the backfield will force the defense to play honest, and that should help open things up a bit more for Luck. You might be worried about him throwing it less but don’t be concerned; the Colts ran the ball over 400 times last season but since it was by a committee and the longest run was only 26 yards, no one really noticed. Richardson will now take most of the carries and since teams will actually have to game plan for the run, Luck should see some clearer throwing lanes.
Moral of the story: At the very least, I would expect Luck’s turnovers to decrease and I would be surprised if his yards and touchdowns didn’t didn’t go up.
After the 2012 season, you would think Wayne played with Manning again. His 1,355 yards and 106 catches were the second highest totals (in each category) of his career. Luck took an immediate liking to the reliable veteran and that shouldn’t change even with the surprise play of T.Y. Hilton and the addition of Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Moral of the story: You have nothing to worry about.
Other Colts Offensive Players
Some people like might have picked up Ahmad Bradshaw, but he’s worthless now assuming Richardson is fully healthy. Receivers like Heyward-Bey and Hilton could still be good plays in deeper leagues where you start three receivers or two and a flex. Even though Hilton is listed as the third receiver on the depth chart, I like him over Heyward-Bey because he has better chemistry with Luck. Dwayne Allen was Luck’s favorite tight end last season, but so far he’s taken more of a liking to college teammate Colby Fleener. I don’t really have a lean either way since neither is consistently more talented or receiving more targets than the other.
Moral of the story: Immediately drop any running backs, and you may want to look elsewhere if you only start two receivers.
Browns Offensive Players
The interesting thing about this is that the Browns traded away their best offensive player, who also happened to be the third pick in the 2012 draft, for a draft pick that will undoubtedly not be that high. This smells fishy but that’s another story. I definitely agree with KJ in that Willis McGahee is a must add for now (assuming he passes his physical). Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron have potential but their play obviously hinges on Brandon Weeden. It will be interesting to see if the Browns try to put more on Weeden’s shoulders.
Moral of the story: You’re in trouble if you’re still relying on anyone from Cleveland to bring you a fantasy championship.
Please flood our forums with posts about this and other other moves throughout the NFL season. We’re here to answer your questions and help you bring home the “W” each week.
Find me in the forums before games on Sundays and randomly throughout the week. For a more immediate response on this post or any other questions you have, comment below or find me on Twitter: @dhrodgers52