Trent Richardson is a rarity in the world of fantasy football as the primary running back for the Cleveland Browns. In his rookie season he scored 12 total touchdowns and received 16 or more touches in 12 of his 15 games played last season, those are tempting numbers in the realm of fantasy football. But can he be counted on for a full slate of games in 2013?
Richardson did not play in the Browns preseason opener and has never played in a preseason game in his career. He had a series of injuries last year, broken ribs and an ankle injury which scratched him from the season finale. He had a knee procedure in August of last year. He has been held out of practice so far this year and just rejoined the team on the practice field.
There is no doubt that Richardson is going to get the ball a lot in 2013 and his absence from preseason games should not impact his performance. In fact, it’s probably better to limit the number of carries in the preseason due to the workload he’ll see this year.
The rib injury doesn’t concern me as much as the ankle and knee ailments. While he should put up some solid numbers at the start of the season, I’m concerned as to whether or not he’ll wear down as the season moves on. He was held out of Thursday’s game because of a shin injury. He missed offseason OTA’s while dealing with a muscle strain in his right leg.
He is expected to see limited action in the Browns next preseason game against the Detroit Lions.
Leg issues are the bane of a running back. While I am tempted by the potential for a monster season by Richardson, I have concerns whether he’ll be around by the time fantasy owners will need him the most, the playoffs. I realize that no one can forecast injuries, but the history of injuries which follows Richardson gives me serious concern knowing how much of the offense he’s going to be counted on to provide.
If he remains healthy for a full season, I could envision a 1,300 yard season with 10 scores.