The Cleveland Browns apparently are throwing in the towel on the 2013 season already. Today they traded recent 2012 1st round pick (3rd overall) Trent Richardson to the Colts for a 2014 1st rounder. Wow. It’s pretty rare in the NFL to see a player of Richardson’s caliber moved before week 3, but the new Browns management team didn’t draft Richardson and maybe wanted to move him before his value decreased any further.
As for the Colts, the move makes a lot of sense. OC Pep Hamilton’s offense at Stanford revolved around a power running game and injury prone Ahmad Bradshaw isn’t a great fit for that scheme. Vick Ballard was, but with Ballard out for the season, the Colts didn’t have a power back on the roster. Now they have one of the more talented ones in the league. Richardson’s power game fits perfectly into Hamilton’s scheme and they still have Bradshaw as a 3rd-down / receiving back. The trade makes sense on both sides. Now for the fantasy fallout:
Indianapolis Colts: This one is pretty cut & dried. Great news for Richardson owners and terrible news if you were counting on Bradshaw for anything.
Trent Richardson ↑↑ – Richardson goes from facing 8 in the box most downs to facing defenses that have to account for Andrew Luck and the Colts prolific passing attack (7th in 2012). In theory Richardson will have more room to run and will probably see a few more catchable passes from Luck than he did from Brandon Weeden. T-Rich owners should be ecstatic.
Ahmad Bradshaw ↓↓↓ – Well that didn’t last long. After Ballard tore his ACL and was ruled out for the season, Bradshaw was the Colts #1 back for all of one week. He’ll probably get most of the carries this week while Richardson gets acclimated to the Colts offense, but his matchup @SF makes him a dicey start anyway. It looks like Bradshaw will be nothing more then a handcuff moving forward as Richardson is a good receiver out of the backfield and a solid pass blocker. Feel fine dropping Bradshaw in short bench leagues
Cleveland Browns: This one is a bit of a mess. With no clear RB2 and Willis McGahee in Cleveland for a physical, it’s a dice roll right now on who will get the majority of the carries moving forward. Here are the suspects:
Bobby Rainey ↑: An undrafted free agent who was picked up off the scrap heap from Baltimore, Rainey has great speed but he’s small (5’8) and profiles as more of a 3rd down scat-back type. I’d be surprised if the Browns think he can hold up with 20-25 carries per game, but he has plenty of upside if they do.
Chris Ogbonnaya ↑: Another undrafted free agent, at least Ogbayanna has been with the Browns for a few seasons and is more familiar with the offense. Ogbonnaya is a bit bigger than Rainey (6’0, 225) and has seen the field for the Browns as a part-time 3rd down back the last two seasons. He is a good receiver out of the back field (24 catches in 2012) and can block well enough to keep some heat off of whatever bum is playing QB for the Browns. My bet is that Ogbonnaya gets most of the carries in week 3. His value beyond that depends on the next guy on the list.
Willis McGahee ↑: Old Willie hasn’t played in the NFL since he injured his knee in week 10 last year. McGahee played well last season with a 4.4 YPC average and 4 TDs in 9 games. It is a red flag to me that no team has picked up McGahee yet as he has been a productive and well rounded RB the last few seasons. Talent wise he is clearly the best of the three and if he passes the physical he probably has the most value for the rest of the season. Don’t expect much this week, but the Browns offense doesn’t seem complicated enough to keep him on the bench past that.