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Player Spotlight: Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns (1 Viewer)

Jason Wood

Zoo York
2013 Player Spotlight Series

One of Footballguys best assets is our message board community. The Shark Pool is, in our view, the best place on the internet to discuss, debate and analyze all things fantasy football. In what's become an annual tradition, the Player Spotlight series is a key part of the preseason efforts. As many of you know, we consider the Player Spotlight threads the permanent record for analyzing the fantasy prospects of the player in question. This year, we plan to publish more than 140 offensive spotlights covering the vast majority of expected skill position starters.

As always we will post a list of players to be discussed each week. Those threads will remain open for the entire preseason, and should be a central point to discuss expectations for the player in question. Importantly, analysis done in the first week of posting will be part of the permanent record in two ways. 1) At the end of the week, we will tally the projections into a consensus. 2) We will select a number of pull quotes from forum contributors who make a compelling statement or observation. Both the projections and pull quotes will be part of a published article on the main website.

Thread Topic: Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns

Player Page Link: Trent Richardson Player Page

Each article will include:

  • Detailed viewpoint from a Footballguys staff member
  • Highlighted member commentary from the message board threads
  • FBG Projections
  • Consensus Member Projections

The Rules

In order for this thread to provide maximum value, we ask that you follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Focus commentary on the player (or players) in question, and your expectations for said player (or players)
  • Back up your expectations in whatever manner you deem appropriate; avoid posts that simply say "I hate him" or "He's the best"
  • Avoid redundancies or ... this should be about incremental analysis or debate

While not a requirement, we strongly encourage you to provide your own projections for the player (players):

Projections should include:

  • For QBs: Attempts, Completions, Passing Yards, Passing TDs, Ints, Rush Attempts, Rush Yards, Rush TDs
  • For RBs: Rushes, Rushing Yards, Rush TDs, Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs
  • For WRs & TEs: Receptions, Receiving Yards, Receiving TDs

Now let's get on with the conversation! We look forward to your contributions and let me offer a personal thanks in anticipation of the great debate and analysis.

 

fightingillini

Footballguy
Richardson IMO is a pretty safe pick in the 1st round. You know he's going to get a lot of carries, a lot of receptions, and proved last year that he can punch it in near the goalline. IMO one of the top 5 RBs in the league in terms of talent. If Weeden can show improvement, the sky is the limit for Richardson. The guy was a top 10 RB last year despite a 3.6 YPC and he played hurt for much of the season.

300 car, 1190 rush yards, 10 TD

55 rec, 400 rec yards, 2 TD

 

ghostguy123

Footballguy
Richardson IMO is a pretty safe pick in the 1st round. You know he's going to get a lot of carries, a lot of receptions, and proved last year that he can punch it in near the goalline. IMO one of the top 5 RBs in the league in terms of talent. If Weeden can show improvement, the sky is the limit for Richardson. The guy was a top 10 RB last year despite a 3.6 YPC and he played hurt for much of the season.

300 car, 1190 rush yards, 10 TD

55 rec, 400 rec yards, 2 TD
He is already playing hurt for the offseason, and is out for a few weeks with some mystery shin injury.

I am still ranking him at or near the top of my RB rankings, but I don't have him as far ahead of some of the slightly older guys that I did a few weeks back.

I had an offer out of Rice/Maclin (or Gordon) for Richardson that was rejected. Not sure I want to do that anymore.

 

moderated

Footballguy
Richardson IMO is a pretty safe pick in the 1st round. You know he's going to get a lot of carries, a lot of receptions, and proved last year that he can punch it in near the goalline. IMO one of the top 5 RBs in the league in terms of talent. If Weeden can show improvement, the sky is the limit for Richardson. The guy was a top 10 RB last year despite a 3.6 YPC and he played hurt for much of the season.

300 car, 1190 rush yards, 10 TD

55 rec, 400 rec yards, 2 TD
He is already playing hurt for the offseason, and is out for a few weeks with some mystery shin injury.

I am still ranking him at or near the top of my RB rankings, but I don't have him as far ahead of some of the slightly older guys that I did a few weeks back.

I had an offer out of Rice/Maclin (or Gordon) for Richardson that was rejected. Not sure I want to do that anymore.
if you can get a 21 yr old Richardson for Rice and any WR not in the top 5 you're a winner.

 

ghostguy123

Footballguy
Richardson IMO is a pretty safe pick in the 1st round. You know he's going to get a lot of carries, a lot of receptions, and proved last year that he can punch it in near the goalline. IMO one of the top 5 RBs in the league in terms of talent. If Weeden can show improvement, the sky is the limit for Richardson. The guy was a top 10 RB last year despite a 3.6 YPC and he played hurt for much of the season.

300 car, 1190 rush yards, 10 TD

55 rec, 400 rec yards, 2 TD
He is already playing hurt for the offseason, and is out for a few weeks with some mystery shin injury.

I am still ranking him at or near the top of my RB rankings, but I don't have him as far ahead of some of the slightly older guys that I did a few weeks back.

I had an offer out of Rice/Maclin (or Gordon) for Richardson that was rejected. Not sure I want to do that anymore.
if you can get a 21 yr old Richardson for Rice and any WR not in the top 5 you're a winner.
Maybe. It can also destroy your team and future if this guy continues to be banged up and unable to condition in the offseasons.

And just to add, I am NOT in the camp of "best player in the deal always wins the deal".

If that were the case I would trade all my picks in rounds 2-15 in startups and get like the top 3 players, and fill out the rest of my roster with crap.

 
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Biabreakable

Footballguy
It is kind of hard to know where to start here but I want to say that from what I have seen of Richardson I believe in him. He played through multiple injuries last season on a team with rookies at nearly every skill position and played well, but not nearly as well as I think he is capable of when fully healthy. The Browns have a long history of being a bad team. They lost their team who became the Ravens and has since won 2 super bowls. The team that is the Browns now started as an expansion team in 1999 and has yet to establish a team identity.

For me Richardson changed that. I think he personifies the identity of the team now. I became a 1st time ever fan of the Browns mainly because of Richardson as well as my appreciation for offense built around running the ball.

I think the offense last season was ill suited to the Browns talent on offense. The new coaching changes of bringing in Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator are the best possible scenario for Richardson, Weeden (or his replacement) and Josh Gordon who also emerged as a legitimate deep threat. While Weeden may not be the long term answer he has a legit deep ball that defenses must respect. Norv Turner has been very good at creating a pass offense that is enough of a threat to keep defenses honest so that the running game can keep working. I looked over Norv Turners history as a OC and Head Coach. He has a long resume. His best years were likely in Dallas and ideally I think this is how Turner would like his offense to run. Turner has worked with many less than stellar QBs over his career so I do not see Weedens limitations hindering the offense so greatly that they will not be successful establishing the run. Norv Turner has accomplished this with almost every offense he has run. With superstar RBs Emmitt Smith, Ricky Williams and LT as well as Terry Allen, Stephan Davis, Frank Gore (Gores best season). There have been bad seasons as well like in 1994 1st year with the Redskins with 3RB getting carries then in 1997-1998 when Terry Allen got injured 97 was finished out by Stephen Davis but in 98 Davis was also injured I think. In 1999 and 2000 Davis had 290 and 332 carries. In 2004 with the Raiders when they had nothing. In 2005 they brought in free agent Lamont Jordan who had a career year. The last few seasons of Norv in SD he used a mix of Tolbert,Mathews,Sproles and Battle. But I think it is safe to say that when Turner has a workhorse RB that RB will be very busy.

I have also been looking at the play distribution in Norv Turners offense and these are the tendencies I see. 2TE will get targets. If one of those guys is Gates or Novacek they will get the 2nd most targets on the team. Otherwise the RB gets the 2nd most. The RB will get a lot of targets in the passing game either way. Just how good is the TE is more the question to me. I am not sure that Jordan Cameron is either of these guys. If the top TE is not that good then targets get split more with a FB/HB type player or if they have a player like Sproles/Centers that player will get targets with the main RB still getting targets also. The main WR gets most of the targets and the 2nd WR is usually behind the RB the TE and possibly the 2nd TE/FB/HB/COP for targets. So I expect Richardson to be targeted heavily in the passing game as I have seen him show good ability as a receiver and the Browns are very good at blocking outside sweeps and screens.

My projection for Richardson last year- early projection 1624-1974 combined yards 9-16 TDs late projection (after injury news) 220-270 carries @ 3.9ypc 858-1053 yards 6-10 TD 15-30 catches for 117-234 yards 0-3 TD. So 975-1287 total yards 6-13 TD

2012 Browns rushing game 396ra 1593yds 12TD 4.0ypc 99.6ydgm

2012 Richardson 22age CLE RB 15gm 267att 950yds 11TD 32lg 3.6ypc 63.3ypg 17.8ra/gm 51rec 367yds 7.2ypc 1TD 3.4ca/gm 24.5yds/gm 1317total yds 87.8ypg

I was low on the receptions for Richardson who closer met my earlier projection of 40-60 receptions before I downgraded him.

My 2013 projection for Trent Richardson 290-370ra 4.1ypc 1189-1517yds 9-15TD 50-70rec 7.2ypc 360-504yds 1-3TD or 1549-2021yds 10-18TD

eta- whatever   is I wish it would leave my text alone.

 
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pghrob

Hail to the Chief
For all his talent and skill and superior biometrics, if Richardson can't keep himself off the injury list, then he is falling short of expectations. Anybody know how he came to injure himself leading up to OTA's? What does he need to do to stop these nagging injuries? Viewed in totality, they exert a negative cumulative effect that lowers his value.

 

Coeur de Lion

Footballguy
I'm sure I'll get blasted by a ton of people for this, but Richardson didn't look like a superstar in the making to me at all last year. The guy runs hard, no doubt, but I didn't see any special lateral movement, vision, or explosiveness when I watched him (granted it was only a handful of games, but still...) -- he looked much closer to a Leroy Hoard than the Adrian Peterson-level talent he was hyped as being. Could it be a combination of his inexperience, nagging injuries, and a crappy supporting cast? Sure it could. But if I'm investing a 1st round pick in a guy, I want difference-making talent, particularly if the guy in question has to overcome being in a bad offense. I'm not convinced that Richardson is an elite player.

Richardson's numbers last year were based purely on volume and usage at the goal-line -- with Norv Turner calling the plays that's not likely to change in 2013, so he has that going for him at least. But his percentage of TDs relative to Cleveland as a whole just doesn't look sustainable to me, and I'm not buying an offensive turn-around for the Browns. Seems like we've heard this song and dance (THIS is the year!!!) a time or two before...

280 - 1050 rushing, 50 - 350 receiving, 8 total TDs

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
My ypc expectation for Richardson of 4.1ypc may be too low.

How does one determine what you should expect for yards/carry for a RB that you only have 1 year of data to work with?

In this situation you have a team that averaged 4ypc but its main RB Richardson only averaged 3.6ypc as a rookie. Richardson also played through a rib injury which may have had something to do with this. I do not think we saw much of what a healthy Richardson is capable of.

I know I am injecting bias into my projections by having Doug Martins ypc projected at 4.4ypc expecting some regression to the league average of 4.3ypc 2012 4.3ypc 2011 4.2ypc 2010. Similarly I progressed Richardsons 3.6ypc last season more towards this average expecting a healthier season than he had as a rookie. Yet because of his performance last season I still have Richardson below the league average. I think fully healthy he is above average, so this is why I think my projected ypc for Richardson may be too low.

Curious about others thoughts on this and how you would look at Richardsons situation specifically.

 

menobrown

Footballguy
I think he has over 2,000 combined yards, 60+ catches and 12+ TD's so he'll be 20+ fantasy PPG guy and in contention for RB1 overall.

What he did last year, which was pretty decent, he'll blow away due to improved health and best RB coach in the game. A guy who oversaw Gore's breakout year and most of the best years of Emmit, LT and Ricky Williams careers. A guy who made Lamont freaking Jordan a fantasy stud.

I'd tell you don't be fooled by this latest overblown injury news but by the time most of you are drafting it will be long forgotten anyway.

 

az_prof

Footballguy
Richardson IMO is a pretty safe pick in the 1st round. You know he's going to get a lot of carries, a lot of receptions, and proved last year that he can punch it in near the goalline. IMO one of the top 5 RBs in the league in terms of talent. If Weeden can show improvement, the sky is the limit for Richardson. The guy was a top 10 RB last year despite a 3.6 YPC and he played hurt for much of the season.

300 car, 1190 rush yards, 10 TD

55 rec, 400 rec yards, 2 TD
He is already playing hurt for the offseason, and is out for a few weeks with some mystery shin injury.

I am still ranking him at or near the top of my RB rankings, but I don't have him as far ahead of some of the slightly older guys that I did a few weeks back.

I had an offer out of Rice/Maclin (or Gordon) for Richardson that was rejected. Not sure I want to do that anymore.
if you can get a 21 yr old Richardson for Rice and any WR not in the top 5 you're a winner.
Maybe. It can also destroy your team and future if this guy continues to be banged up and unable to condition in the offseasons.

And just to add, I am NOT in the camp of "best player in the deal always wins the deal".

If that were the case I would trade all my picks in rounds 2-15 in startups and get like the top 3 players, and fill out the rest of my roster with crap.
Exactly. I like Richardson but how do people know he isn't the next Ronnie Brown or Jonathan Stewart? A guy like Rice who has proven for several years that he is consistent, especially in PPR, gives me a lot more confidence.

 

LOCO

Footballguy
If healthy, dude will be a beast. I know, he never stays healthy. But i am willing to roll the dice on Trich, more than Rice/Mcoy/Spiller. Running backs that we all know will be splitting carries. Only thing holding Trich back is his heatlh. Not to mention, the coach, plus I think the Browns will surprise some peeps. I am All in on Trich.

 
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BruceAlmighty

Footballguy
I know he's been dinged up a lot but keep in mind he's missed one game. The addition of Norv Turner will be huge for his development.

1475/14 rushing

425/3 receiving

 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
It’s difficult to argue with Richardson’s rookie year. 1317 YFS & 12 TD’s at an ADP of late 2nd/early 3rd is if not a best case scenario…certainly quite favorable. And yet, he seems to be coming into the 2013 season with some unattractive warts on his resume, almost as if he is a consolation prize of sorts for owners looking to draft an RB late in Round 1. For one, in one season, Richardson has been labeled as injury-prone, or at least prone to not being able to play at 100 percent. If we are calling a spade a spade, it’s tough to ignore the litany of injuries, albeit not serious, that Richardson has had to deal with since his college career. Two knee surgeries, a rib(s) issue and now this shin thing that’s popped up this off-season. It’s not confidence inspiring. Second, a lot of the big play ability he was able to showcase at Alabama seemed to be missing from his rookie season. He was an absolute bull to bring down, but teams managed to do so effectively enough. Of his 1317 yards, most of them were awfully tough ones.

With Joe Thomas and Alex Mack anchoring the O-Line, I expected a run game that produced bigger plays and more consistent overall production that what we saw in 2012. Too often, Richardson was easily stopped up as his 6 games with a YPC of less than 3 attest to. Too often, his only saving grace was an ability to convert down by the goal line or produce enough in reception yardage to blunt what would have otherwise been difficult weeks.

And so if you got him as your RB2 last season, you didn’t feel badly about the pick, but you also felt like there was some upside being left on the table that you were hoping to capitalize on since his draft position fell about a round due to a training camp knee scope.

Why should I expect anything different in 2013?

I do feel like the change from Shurmur to Chudzinkski could pay dividends. But no one in Cleveland seems all that excited about another season of Brandon Weeden. Despite missing some time with injuries or having his on-field time managed…he still finished 9th in the NFL in touches. So workload wasn’t the issue. But will a new coaching staff to fit to paying more attention to Richardson’s workload and as such, even if he does prove healthier, will Chudzinki not grind him into the ground? Previous experience suggests he’s comfortable with a 2 RB system and while the move flew under a lot of radars, the Browns did acquire Dion Lewis to try and emerge as a COP type back for Cleveland. While Lewis hasn’t garnered much on field time, he lost RB2 duties in PHI to Bryce Brown which in retrospect seems understandable. Whether Lewis provides any type of contribution whatsoever remains to be seen but it does provide an indication that the Browns are cognizant of trying to manage Richardson with more prudence.

I often think a lot of us depend on what we saw the previous year to determine current day draft value and don’t take into account a bigger picture when drawing conclusions. And Richardson to a certain extent falls into this category. In an era where the RB position is being continually commoditized, Richardson was a consensus Top 5 NFL draft pick. There is talent there that is significant. But his situation may not be ideal despite the fact that he seems to be the only established option in their ground attack.

But ultimately, Richardson is being drafted in the latter stages of Round 1 and quite frankly, as a drafter who feels like it’s better to err on the side of caution in Rounds 1 & 2, Richardson seems a wee bit risky at his current ADP. Certainly there is upside there and if he experiences a Tomlinson like spike in terms of Year 1 to Year 2 YPC figure (3.6 to 4.5)…he’s going to make a lot of owners very happy. But I'm hedging my bet and more than likely avoiding him until the middle of Round 2. But that could sting if the right circumstances emerge.

Prediction: 278 Rushes 1123 Rushing Yards, 10 TD’s 39 Receptions 262 Receiving Yards 1 TD.

 

RBM

Footballguy
Ill project for a 16 game slate, but I doubt it happens

310/1270/9

40/285/2

 
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Buffaloes

Footballguy
for the guys predicting less than 50 receptions can you give a reason for a reduction in catches? Injury seems like the obvious reason. Trying to keep a close eye on Richardson and I think with a full season his reception baseline might be around 45-50

 
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TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
Buffaloes said:
for the guys predicting less than 50 receptions can you give a reason for a reduction in catches? Injury seems like the obvious reason. Trying to keep a close eye on Richardson and I think with a full season his reception baseline might be around 45-50
A couple of factors:

1) I think Chud will look to diversify offense a bit more than Shurmer did. While Ogbayana was the primary 3rd down back, it did seem like the Browns were forcing the ball to him.

2). Their young receivers TE's are a year older and I would think the hope would be that they could rely on those weapons more consistently. That and the fact the they acquired Davone Bess in the slot, to me means he could see a drop in receptions. That said, 39 for an RB is still very respectable.

 

Tanner9919

Footballguy
I doubt he even gets to 300 carries..wasn't very imrepssed with anything he did last season, a paltry 3.6 ypc avg is just this side of,*cough*, Errict Rhett..a ho hum overhyped RB who never lived up to expectations.

Durability and off the field issues are a major concerns with Richardson, and his QB situation is less than ideal..the problem is that the Browns don't have much in the way of WR talent and that is going to continually hurt the running game..

265 carries, 954 yards, 8Td, ho-hum 3.6 per carry

45 recs, 324yards,1

ho-hum RB on a ho-hum offense..

I bought the hype last season and I won't do it again in 2013.let someone else reach for Richardson.

purely fool's gold if you're thinking of drafting him in the first round.

I like what Norv Turner brings to the table,but I doubt he can change the Browns' running game overnight..

 
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Andy Dufresne

Footballguy
You're predicting that he'll have nearly identical numbers (except for less TD's) than he did last year (2012 - 267/950/11 & 51/367/1) ?

Mmmkayyyy...

 

JackReacher

Footballguy
I doubt he even gets to 300 carries..wasn't very imrepssed with anything he did last season, a paltry 3.6 ypc avg is just this side of,*cough*, Errict Rhett..a ho hum overhyped RB who never lived up to expectations.

Durability and off the field issues are a major concerns with Richardson, and his QB situation is less than ideal..the problem is that the Browns don't have much in the way of WR talent and that is going to continually hurt the running game..

265 carries, 954 yards, 8Td, ho-hum 3.6 per carry

45 recs, 324yards,1

ho-hum RB on a ho-hum offense..

I bought the hype last season and I won't do it again in 2013.let someone else reach for Richardson.

purely fool's gold if you're thinking of drafting him in the first round.

I like what Norv Turner brings to the table,but I doubt he can change the Browns' running game overnight..
If you bought into the hype last year, then that means you drafted him in the late 2nd/early 3rd. You didn't like the 12 total touchdowns he produced for you in 15 games from that draft slot? Most who bought into Trent hype last year did very well for themselves.
 

Cookiemonster

Footballguy
I don't get the hate for the Browns' passing game. New O coordinator and coach who feature the RB and downfield passing game. Little is hated to a high degree on these boards, but he should do much better in a downfield attack and really did have a very nice 2nd half of the season last year. Everybody was tripping over their own feet scrambling to get Josh Gordon until his suspension news. The athletic Jordan Cameron is expected to take over at TE, Travis Benjamin was pretty electric at times last year and they add a very good slot WR in Devon Bess. Now, Weeden was no fireball as a rookie, but might we all be a little too demanding of out rookie QBs after Cam, Luck, RG3, Wilson? Do we not expect him to improve a little? I expect him to make a pretty significant jump being in an offense that suits his skills better (next year, even more so after a year to get comfortable in the system). Defensive improvements and a division that looks much more wide open with the Steelers faltering last year and the Ravens expected to take a big step back lead me to think Cleveland is a bit of a sleeper this year. A healthy Richardson is like a young, hungry Steven Jackson and I think this offense as a whole will be much better than the abominations that Jackson had to work with and he still put up some good seasons.

 

Wise Old Owl

Footballguy
For a Top 10 fantasy Rb in his rookie year the shark pool seems to be really down on this guy. He played 8-9 games with a broken rib and missed one game completely and still easily outproduced his ADP from last year. He was playing with a rookie qb and missed the greater part of training camp and preseason due to a offseason knee scope. He catches a ton of passes, is a centerpiece of the offense with no threat to touches behind him and has shown to be a force at the goal line. If you believe his talent, you expect his YPC to go up to a respectable level.

In redraft in the 6-7 spot, assuming the obvious are gone, I'm not sure I could pass on him.

1350 yds 11 td / rec 440 2 td.

 
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whoDATT

Footballguy
No broken ribs, no offseason knee scope forcing him to miss training camp/preseason in his rookie season, 2nd year QB and WR1 instead of rookies, Norv Turner callin the shots... I'll go with:

317 carries, 4.3 YPC, 1,363 Rushing Yards, 13 TDs

54 receptions, 7.4 YPR, 399 Receiving Yards, 2 TDs

Total Fantasy Points = 320 / 20 PPG

 

whoDATT

Footballguy
No broken ribs, no offseason knee scope forcing him to miss training camp/preseason in his rookie season, 2nd year QB and WR1 instead of rookies, Norv Turner callin the shots... I'll go with:

317 carries, 4.3 YPC, 1,363 Rushing Yards, 13 TDs

54 receptions, 7.4 YPR, 399 Receiving Yards, 2 TDs

Total Fantasy Points = 320 / 20 PPG

 

Keith Lewis

Footballguy
For a Top 10 fantasy Rb in his rookie year the shark pool seems to be really down on this guy. He played 8-9 games with a broken rib and missed one game completely and still easily outproduced his ADP from last year. He was playing with a rookie qb and missed the greater part of training camp and preseason due to a offseason knee scope. He catches a ton of passes, is a centerpiece of the offense with no threat to touches behind him and has shown to be a force at the goal line. If you believe his talent, you expect his YPC to go up to a respectable level.

In redraft in the 6-7 spot, assuming the obvious are gone, I'm not sure I could pass on him.

1350 yds 11 td / rec 440 2 td.
No hate, just a couple of trolls.

 

TheDirtyWord

Footballguy
Wise Old Owl said:
For a Top 10 fantasy Rb in his rookie year the shark pool seems to be really down on this guy. He played 8-9 games with a broken rib and missed one game completely and still easily outproduced his ADP from last year. He was playing with a rookie qb and missed the greater part of training camp and preseason due to a offseason knee scope. He catches a ton of passes, is a centerpiece of the offense with no threat to touches behind him and has shown to be a force at the goal line. If you believe his talent, you expect his YPC to go up to a respectable level.

In redraft in the 6-7 spot, assuming the obvious are gone, I'm not sure I could pass on him.

1350 yds 11 td / rec 440 2 td.
If you look at where Doug Martin & Trent Richardson were at this point last year...Richardson was actually being drafted in a similar spot. This was obviously prior to his knee scope which was the second in a six month timeframe. Meanwhile, Martin was a mid 4th rounder (he didn't move up to being a consensus 3rd rounder until deep into the pre-season).

The primary difference between Martin & Richardson at this point last year was:

  • Pedigree
  • Situation
Noone knew if Martin was going to share time with Blount, but as it became clear he wasn't going to really...he moved up. Richardson with his injury went down to late 2nd/early 3rd.

So now we are a year later and Martin emerged as one of the best all-purpose backs in the NFL and Richardson is almost in the same spot he was last year. I don't think people are down on him so much as that last 18 months in Richardson's career have given some cause for concern. His running style which is as violent as any RB in the NFL took a toll on his body his rookie year and as such, his body didn't hold up. People are referencing the rib injury but there was a report in April that even 2.5-3 months after seasons end that it hadn't fully healed and that he may always be dealing with some level of pain/discomfort. Couple that with the fact that he missed OTA's because of a new shin injury and I think there is a reason to exercise caution.

Could he wind up a Top 5 RB? Sure...he certainly has the talent and the skillset to dominate touches in a talent devoid backfield and some might argue offense altogether. But enough evidence piled up that he may struggle to meet that potential if he experiences a continuance of these types of injuries which now are starting to pile up. Ultimately, I think drafters who are risk averse will avoid him not because they don't think he can put up big numbers, but because they feel like they can secure more stable production elsewhere even if they sacrifice some upside.

 

Ghost Rider

Footballguy
Maybe it's because he is a Cleveland Brown, but Richardson worries me. However, having seen him play last year, this guy is the real deal, if he is healthy, he should be a beast and put up stellar numbers. Having Norv Turner as his OC helps, too. Last year was a bad example for Turner, but his lead running back usually produces like crazy. Turner knows to feed his stud RBs, and Richardson should have plenty to eat in 2013.

 

doombringer

Footballguy
1009/8 Tds, below 4.0 ypc again.

33/208.

Over priced, over hyped, over rated. Be ahead not behind the curve, hes just a guy who starts and is 21. That is his value and after another mediocre season when people expect the world of him folks will begin sour on him being the end all of rbs. When i say mediocre i mean in context to value and production.

Hardesty's carries double this year too. Matthews 2.0.

 
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Pots

Footballguy
1200 Rushing

40/300 Rec

9 total TDs

Consistent but overpriced. People expecting an uptick in TDs are expecting Cleveland to score a lot more which I don't see happening.

 

Half in the bag

Footballguy
1400 rush

400 rec

15 total tds

Norv Turner rb's are fantasy gold. The only thing stopping Richardson from a big year would be an injury.

 

menobrown

Footballguy
for the guys predicting less than 50 receptions can you give a reason for a reduction in catches? Injury seems like the obvious reason. Trying to keep a close eye on Richardson and I think with a full season his reception baseline might be around 45-50
A couple of factors:

1) I think Chud will look to diversify offense a bit more than Shurmer did. While Ogbayana was the primary 3rd down back, it did seem like the Browns were forcing the ball to him.

2). Their young receivers TE's are a year older and I would think the hope would be that they could rely on those weapons more consistently. That and the fact the they acquired Davone Bess in the slot, to me means he could see a drop in receptions. That said, 39 for an RB is still very respectable.
I think you those of you who believe his receptions are going to decline significantly are overthinking this to much.

It's not Chuds offense. It's Norv's offense.

Norv throws to his RB's. A lot. From 2012-2004 here is how teams Norv was head coach or OC ranked in target to RBs: 3,2,2,7,2,7,9,5,1.

Than figure in that one of Richardsons best assets is his receiving skills and I simply can't fathom why utilizing him in the passing game is not going to be a major part of what they do. It's a perfect marriage of scheme and talent. I think in a 16 game season he's a lock for 50+ but I believe he'll end up something closer to around 70.

 

silentcoach

Footballguy
Idk what to think about his yards per carry. He averaged 3.6 last year so what I supposed to think he can do now? I'll be conservative and go--1100 rushing 45 rec 315yds and 11 tds.

Not bad, not great. Not a fun divison to have to face 6 times.

Although the stats do not look that great what Richardson has going is that he is consistent as heck. When his rushing is bad, he'll catch, or he'll give you multiple touchdowns. So, his overal impact is actualy better than his overall stats.

 
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amicsta

Footballguy
To all those out there who are bumping down Richardson due to his YPC last season, I just want to point out that Ladainian Tomlinson also had a 3.6 YPC average in his rookie year and followed that up with a huge season. Not saying that Richardson is LT2, just sayin that it makes no sense to ding him so much when he clearly was playing hurt and offense will be better this year. I expect a huge year for him under Norv. Just to highlight how Norv uses his workhorse backs (and I don't think there is much doubt that Richardson will be just that):

[SIZE=medium]Ricky Williams (2002): 383 rushes, 47 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Ricky Williams (2003): 392 rushes, 50 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaMont Jordan (2005): 272 rushes, 70 receptions (14 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Frank Gore (2006): 312 rushes, 61 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaDainian Tomlinson (2007): 315 rushes, 60 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaDainian Tomlinson (2008): 292 rushes, 52 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Average per game: 24.532[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Average per 16 games: 392.51[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]clearly, a guy like Ryan Mathews didn't make the cut due to injury and poor line play, but I really don't have those same concerns with Richardson. We've already seen that he's willing to play hurt, a clear positive quality for any workhorse. With all the touches we should expect Richardson to get, he's a no brainer top 5 pick to me[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Projections:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]307 carries/4.5 YPC/1,382 rushing yards/11 TD[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]62 receptions/8 YPR/496 receiving yards/2 TD[/SIZE]

 

Pots

Footballguy
Way too many people leaning too heavily on Norv Turner making a huge impact on the situation, not enough people tempering expectations based on Cleveland/Division/Weeden.

 

silentcoach

Footballguy
Way too many people leaning too heavily on Norv Turner making a huge impact on the situation, not enough people tempering expectations based on Cleveland/Division/Weeden.
I think people are using Norv to suggest that he uses his rbs--valid point.

The rest of Richardson's impact really comes down to whether Richardson (1) will increase his ypc and if so (2) by how much? We are pretty much guessing on what his ypc will be.

All the quoted points existed last year (except for Norv). Divison, check, Weeden, a rookie qb, check.

An additional one--Richardson, injured, check.

Final stats

1317 total yards and 11 tds.

Maybe people are leaning too little on the new coach, QB not being a rookie, and Richardson being healthy (maybe?). Idk. I took the middle road .

 
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DoubleG

Footballguy
Way too many people leaning too heavily on Norv Turner making a huge impact on the situation, not enough people tempering expectations based on Cleveland/Division/Weeden.
I think people are using Norv to suggest that he uses his rbs--valid point.

The rest of Richardson's impact really comes down to whether Richardson (1) will increase his ypc and if so (2) by how much? We are pretty much guessing on what his ypc will be. He averaged 20.5 the next 8 games he started. While 20.5 would pencil out to 325+ carries, I am going to go a little more conservative.

All the quoted points existed last year (except for Norv). Divison, check, Weeden, a rookie qb, check.

An additional one--Richardson, injured, check.

Final stats

1317 total yards and 11 tds.

Maybe people are leaning too little on the new coach, QB not being a rookie, and Richardson being healthy (maybe?). Idk. I took the middle road .
:goodposting: Three things I think those who are "down" (relatively speaking) on Richardson are forgetting:

1) Last year he had his knee scoped coming into camp. His shin injury is not nearly as serious. He should have a full preseason and camp and be healthy in the process.

2) Norv Turner - and I don't think the comparisons to LT are that ridiculous. Richardson showed last year (which we already knew) that he has all the tools to be a very effective 3-down back.

3) Due to his knee scope, he was "eased in" last season - he didn't receive 20+ carries until week 8. In fact, the first 7 weeks, he averaged 14.7 carries per game. In the last 8 games he averaged 20.5 carries per game. While that would pencil out to 325+ carries in a season, I am going to be a little more conservative:

280 carries at 4.0 YPC for 1100 yards + 12 TDs and 55 receptions for 400 yards and 2 TDs.

In most leagues that would put him in the RB4-RB7 range.

Honestly, outside of Foster, ADP, maybe Martin, and Rice, I think Richardson is one of the safer RBs in the first round. You know he'll play through injury and he'll get the lion's share of both carries and receptions.

 
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Yitbos69

Footballguy
To all those out there who are bumping down Richardson due to his YPC last season, I just want to point out that Ladainian Tomlinson also had a 3.6 YPC average in his rookie year and followed that up with a huge season. Not saying that Richardson is LT2, just sayin that it makes no sense to ding him so much when he clearly was playing hurt and offense will be better this year. I expect a huge year for him under Norv. Just to highlight how Norv uses his workhorse backs (and I don't think there is much doubt that Richardson will be just that):

[SIZE=medium]Ricky Williams (2002): 383 rushes, 47 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Ricky Williams (2003): 392 rushes, 50 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaMont Jordan (2005): 272 rushes, 70 receptions (14 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Frank Gore (2006): 312 rushes, 61 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaDainian Tomlinson (2007): 315 rushes, 60 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]LaDainian Tomlinson (2008): 292 rushes, 52 receptions (16 games)[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Average per game: 24.532[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Average per 16 games: 392.51[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]clearly, a guy like Ryan Mathews didn't make the cut due to injury and poor line play, but I really don't have those same concerns with Richardson. We've already seen that he's willing to play hurt, a clear positive quality for any workhorse. With all the touches we should expect Richardson to get, he's a no brainer top 5 pick to me[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]Projections:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]307 carries/4.5 YPC/1,382 rushing yards/11 TD[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]62 receptions/8 YPR/496 receiving yards/2 TD[/SIZE]

[SIZE=medium]This!![/SIZE]
 

LittleLarry

Footballguy
I owned him last year and was happy with my purchase. However the guy seems more like a bowling-ball type back rather than a speedster. I like having RBs that can take it to the house from any distance.

I think the longest TD run he had was 20-something yards. I remember him getting pulled down from behind a lot.

 

ConnSKINS26

Footballguy
I owned him last year and was happy with my purchase. However the guy seems more like a bowling-ball type back rather than a speedster. I like having RBs that can take it to the house from any distance.

I think the longest TD run he had was 20-something yards. I remember him getting pulled down from behind a lot.
I do think he'll bust out longer runs when healthy and with his QB/WR's being a bit more threatening.

But in general I disagree with you, but that's why they're called preferences I guess. I prefer the MJD/Rice/Trent bowling ball style RB and their consistency over the big play guys. But I like them too. I own Charles, Spiller, Wilson, Chris Johnson across various leagues and they are great too. Especially if you have a scoring format that favors big plays, as one of my leagues does.

 

Ghost Rider

Footballguy
Regarding the division he plays in, and those defenses he will have to face, it is noteworthy that the Browns 2nd game against the Steelers is Week 17, a meaningless week for most FF leagues, so that has to be taken into account when discussing his schedule.

 

silentcoach

Footballguy
Regarding the division he plays in, and those defenses he will have to face, it is noteworthy that the Browns 2nd game against the Steelers is Week 17, a meaningless week for most FF leagues, so that has to be taken into account when discussing his schedule.
This is a plus! Good find.

 

msudaisy26

Footballguy
He scares the crap out of me. I wouldn't take him until the 3rd and since that won't happen I won't be owning him this year.

 

menobrown

Footballguy
Regarding the division he plays in, and those defenses he will have to face, it is noteworthy that the Browns 2nd game against the Steelers is Week 17, a meaningless week for most FF leagues, so that has to be taken into account when discussing his schedule.
Makes no difference to me, folks are almost making up stuff to be concerned about at this point.

Besides the fact the high volume pass catching RB's are basically matchup proof, at least in PPR leagues, and fact that the Ravens and Steelers defenses suffered some major losses is the glaringly obvious fact that he played 5 games against teams in this division last year and only scored less than 19 fantasy points in ONE game while averaging close to 20 in the 5 division games.

 

FF Ninja

Footballguy
While I agree, I don't think it was a very strong argument. Getting 70% of your team's carries just means that they either invested a lot in you and used you as such or they didn't have other options. It's almost the same point as the first round pick point. They drafted the guy early because they believe in his talent and they gave him a lot of carries early in his career because they believe in his talent. Same Same. Almost all the youngest guys on that list of 26 were 1st round picks, except for Forte (2nd). In fact only a handful of guys on that entire list were not first rounders. The guys who weren't, like Curtis Martin and Jamal Anderson, didn't get their heavy volume, low ypc until age 25 when they'd already proven their talent.

The simple facts are that the Browns were a bad team in 2011 and had a rookie QB last year so Richardson was the #1 threat. He was also injured. I fully expected his ypc to suck last year. I predicted 4.0 ypc and got blasted for it when everyone else was busy projecting 4.5 ypc. He'll improve as the offense improves.

 

Chase Stuart

Footballguy
While I agree, I don't think it was a very strong argument. Getting 70% of your team's carries just means that they either invested a lot in you and used you as such or they didn't have other options. It's almost the same point as the first round pick point. They drafted the guy early because they believe in his talent and they gave him a lot of carries early in his career because they believe in his talent. Same Same. Almost all the youngest guys on that list of 26 were 1st round picks, except for Forte (2nd). In fact only a handful of guys on that entire list were not first rounders. The guys who weren't, like Curtis Martin and Jamal Anderson, didn't get their heavy volume, low ypc until age 25 when they'd already proven their talent.

The simple facts are that the Browns were a bad team in 2011 and had a rookie QB last year so Richardson was the #1 threat. He was also injured. I fully expected his ypc to suck last year. I predicted 4.0 ypc and got blasted for it when everyone else was busy projecting 4.5 ypc. He'll improve as the offense improves.
Lots of first round running backs don't get 70% of their team's carries. But if the point is the Browns believe in his talent, I think that's the most important thing.

 

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