Why Trent Richardson Is The Top Value Play Of Week 12
I don’t particularly like Trent Richardson as a player. His career YPC is a paltry 3.3, which he’s matched this season. He is on a team that barely runs the ball, and has been in a time share most of the season with Ahmad Bradshaw. I also am not a fan of his salary on DraftKings vs FanDuel, where he is medium priced, But with Bradshaw out for the season, I think we will see Richardson’s workload greatly increase, and in a dream matchup with an extremely low FanDuel salary, that’s about all we need. In this article, I’ll make my case for Richardson.
High Powered Offense
The Colts are one of 3 offenses this year to average over 30 points a game, and this week Sportsbooks project them at 31.75, the highest of the week by 2 full points. The Colts have been one of the most pass heavy teams in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t had a lot of success rushing the ball. The Colts are middle of the pack rushing the ball in terms of yards and touchdowns, but combined receiving they have over 500 yards and 6 TDs, which places near the top of the league in fantasy points receiving by RBs. Although Bradshaw was the better pass catching back, Richardson has certainly had success as well. In his rookie year with the Browns, Richardson had 51 receptions, which placed him in a virtual tie for 3rd in the league that year in receptions by a RB.
Richardson is a big dude at 5’9″ 225 pounds. If the Colts do find themselves near the goal line, which is extremely likely to happen multiple times this week, we will see Richardson will reach the end zone. The smaller Dan Herron, the only other running back on the roster, has never scored a TD in his career, so it’s unlikely we see any vulturing of any rushing TDs.
A lot of people seem to expect that Dan Herron or some other RB the Colts may sign will simply step into Ahmad Bradshaw’s role. But there’s a lot of reasons to think that will not be the case. First off, Herron has never been good as a pass catcher. In his career, Herron only has 3 receptions, although his workload has been extremely small. However, in college Herron was not much better. In his best year for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Herron only managed 19 receptions for 180 yards and 0 TDs. The Buckeyes used RB Brandon Saine in passing downs because of Herron’s inability in the passing game.
People don’t think of Richardson as a pass catcher, but he’s been surprisingly good in his career as stated before. Even this year for the Colts, Richardson has managed 22 receptions for 203 yards in only 9 games, although he hasn’t managed a TD. But the Colts do not have big WRs for red zone targets, so Bradshaw’s success receiving this year can be somewhat attributed to the team makeup, and not just Bradshaw’s skill. It seems quite reasonable we see Richardson make a red zone impact in Bradshaw’s absence. My guess is Richardson gets a typical RB1 workload, getting 70-80% of snaps, with lots of passing down work.
The Matchup Is Crazy Good
As you can read about in this article, scoring margin and run play percentage have a strong direct correlation. Why? Because the larger the lead, the more conservative a teams offense will be. The Colts are a massive 14 point favorites this week, which should mean lots of running the ball. But they are also going against the Jaguars, who are 3rd this year in fantasy points given up to RBs. If there is any game we can expect a RB to do well, it’s this one. If this was Matt Forte or Demarco Murray playing, we’d all be drooling.
Trent Richardson has not been a very good player so far in his career. However, with Ahmad Bradshaw out for the season, there’s a lot to like in Richardson this week against the Jaguars. As part of a high powered offense, we should expect Richardson to get a piece of the Colts offensive success. Because of the Colts lack of depth at RB, we should also expect a big increase in Richardson’s workload, especially on passing downs where Richardson has been surprisingly successful. The matchup could not be any better for a RB, as the Colts are not only 14 point favorites, but are facing a team that has given up tons of fantasy points to RBs. At $5700 on FanDuel, Trent Richardson is too good to pass up.
View all posts by Daniel Steinberg