Trent Richardson For 2012 Fantasy Football April 28, 2012  |  Chet

At this point T-Rich is in my top 10 list for running backs. His ability, and what looks to be, every down status, gives him top 5 upside in a group of injury and RBBC prone backs. At first glance I worry about the Browns offense, but if you are the every down back on any NFL team you are sitting pretty when it comes to fantasy football.

In Adrian Peterson’s rookie season the Minnesota Vikings had Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb and Brook Bollinger all at quarterback. Are Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy worse than that group? I’d go out on a limb and say they are at least comparable with a chance to be better. As a group Tarvaris, Kelly and Brook threw for an extraordinary 2,817 yards, 12 TDs and 14 INTs. Oh, and the leading receiver? The immortal Bobby Wade with 54 receptions, 647 yards and 3 touchdowns.  So teams knew the Vikings were going to run, and also knew that if they didn’t run the chances of Jackson to Wade hurting them were pretty slim. So how did the Vikings run game fare? Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor had great numbers, both averaging over 5 yards a carry. Peterson scored 12 touchdowns and Taylor 7 while Peterson finished as the 3rd best fantasy back in the league.

Is Richardson as good as Peterson? Most likely no, but he is close and comes out of college as a better receiver and is now on a team that will use him more in the receiving game. He’s 5’11’ and a stout 224 pounds with speed, balance and agility which will make him nearly impossible to bring down at the goal line.

If he can get 250+ carries there is no reason he won’t put up similar, to much better numbers than Peyton Hillis did in 2010 when he finished as the 3rd best fantasy running back in the league on an offense that was pretty much just him and well, him. The 2010 Browns finished 5-11 and a QB amalgamation that threw for 13 TDs and 18 interceptions. Much like the 2007 Vikings, the 2010 Browns had no way to take the pressure of Hillis and he still scored 13 touchdowns and topped 1600 total yards. Oh, and Hillis is not Richardson. Not even close.

I see Richardson conservatively getting 270 carries, 1250 yards rushing, 8 rushing TDs, 40 receptions, 300 yards receiving, and 2 receiving TDs with plenty of room to crush those numbers. There’s nobody to take carries away from him and he’ll be the goal line back and the third down back. I’m guessing he’ll probably throw a touchdown or two as well. You do not have to be on a winning team to be a good fantasy player. It sometimes can hurt your chances to put up fantasy numbers if the wealth is being spread around. There is only one pile of gold in Cleveland and his name is T-Rich.

Here’s some stuff to look at:

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