In one of the most surprising and bizarre blockbuster trades in recent NFL history, the Browns traded starting running back Trent Richardson who was thought to be a building block when they drafted him in the top three just two years ago. In that same draft, the Indianapolis Colts grabbed Andrew Luck #1 overall and now Richardson joins him in the backfield in Indy.
While Browns fans wallow and express their frustration on twitter and Colts fans rush to get their new jerseys, let’s take a quick look at how it affects all of us in our fantasy football leagues:
Trent Richardson: Richardson goes from the Browns offense to the Andrew-Luck fueled Colts attack. The move is a huge upgrade for him and puts him in a great place to succeed for the rest of the season. He was fading to a borderline RB1 and was in danger of dropping out of the top 10 based on matchup, but in his new offense he could be a top five RB if he settles in and shows the spark he flashed at times last season.
Andrew Luck: In case you were afraid of a sophomore slump, Luck gets a new weapon to use that will keep defenses honest and give him more favorable matchups on the outside. Those matchups also should help…
Colts Receivers: Balance coming to the offense is a good thing for Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Coby Fleener. Fleener is suddenly a solid addition after Dwayne Allen sustained a hip injury that required surgery ending Allen’s season.
Willis McGahee: McGahee will reportedly be signed by the Browns and immediately step right in to their main running back spot. The only running back on the roster right now is Bobby Rainey a second-year back from Western Kentucky who hasn’t had a target or a carry yet this season. Chris Ogbonnaya may vulture some third down plays from his FB spot, but McGahee should get plenty of chances making him worthy of a roster spot which is a big win after being unsigned before this move.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw was a feature-back for exactly one week after Vick Ballard was injured in practice last Thursday. He did decently against the Dolphins running for 65 yards and a touchdown and catching three passes for 19 yards. Now, he’s back to the bench as Richardson takes over making him barely worth a roster spot in most formats.
Browns QBs: Whether Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer, or Jason Campbell that plays, they’ll be asked to shoulder almost the entire load offensively now that there isn’t much of a running game. There isn’t much fantasy value left on the Browns, so don’t reach and try a Cleveland QB.