Heading into the 2012 NFL Draft, fantasy owners were chomping at the bit to see where Alabama running back Trent Richardson would fall. Where he landed left many disappointed.
In recent years fantasy players go to the Dawg Pound and die. Aside from Braylon Edwards’ one decent season when Derek Anderson actually looked like a quarterback in 2007, Cleveland’s offense has finished in the bottom five in the league in scoring offense in every year since 2003.
The Browns offensive line is on the upswing. While the unit lacks depth, its young core has upside. That should translate into plenty of good running lanes for the rookie.
With Montario Hardesty currently listed as the team’s No. 2 back on the depth chart, Richardson will not have to worry about competition for carries either.
In addition, Richardson’s size and ability allow him to be effective on all three downs and will lead to more touches than a typical NFL back. Richardson could easily lead the NFL in touches as a rookie.
The main concern is the team’s passing game. The Browns drafted a 28-year old quarterback, Brandon Weeden, in the first round and aside from Greg Little there is little talent and/or experience in the receiving corps.
The poor passing attack will allow defenses to cheat and stack the box to slow down Richardson.
309 carries, 1,274 RuYd; 45 receptions, 513 yards, 5 ReTD
As you can see I am extremely high on the rookie despite the limitations Cleveland may bring. Assuming he stays healthy Richardson will finish as a top 10 fantasy producer at the position, with the upside of being a top 5 fantasy RB. He comes with risk though and therefore should be looked at more of a second-round pick in upcoming season drafts. His upside makes him a top 5 dynasty RB immediately
Fantasy Football, NFL