What’s a girl to do with Trent Richardson this year in daily fantasy football?
Daily fantasy football revolves around the running back. I typically spend a premium salary on at least one of my running backs. It is what has been working for me in past years, so if you’re like me, you’re wondering if Trent Richardson is worth the trouble.
Daily Fantasy Football Numbers
Last season with both the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts, Richardson’s rushing numbers accumulated -108 defensive-adjusted yards above replacement and a -22.2% defensive-adjusted value over average. That success rate tallied out to 43%. If you’re not sure whether that is good or not, compare his numbers to Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. His DYAR was 137, DVOA was 23.8%, and he generated an 81% success rate. This was also based on running backs who had a minimum of 100 rushes. In Richardson’s defense, he wasn’t the worst running back on this list, but he was no LeSean McCoy either.
Don’t be overwhelmed by those statistics. I wasn’t sure what the heck a success rate was at first either. The easiest way to explain a success rate would be to look at how you examine a batting average in baseball. Aaron Schatz who came up with the “running back batting average” says that “it is a statistic used to measure the consistency of a running back by treating all runs as either hits or outs.” The length of the run doesn’t matter, only whether the run was a success or not. Hence: “success rate.”
Receiving yards aren’t the most important when it comes to a running back, but Richardson’s numbers were far from impressive. Compare his numbers to Danny Woodhead and you will see why.
Woodhead had 282 DYAR with a 41.2% DVOA totaling 298 yards above replacement. Richardson was a sadder story. Last year he had -34 DYAR and a -2.6% DVOA with just 55 yards above replacement.
It’s important you realize just how terribly he performed last year. The numbers I just mentioned back that statement up, however there is more to it than that. Last season, Richardson had an embarrassing 2.91 yards per carry with only four touchdowns. The year prior with the Cleveland Browns, he had 12 touchdowns under his belt. Richardson was even benched one game after underperforming behind Donald Brown. He was averaging around 2.7 YPC at the time, so as devastating as the benching was, it did not come as much of a surprise. A source from RotoWorld even said Richardson was not worthy of being an RB2, going so far as to recommend dropping the 23 year-old from your lineup altogether. That’s a scary thought to be associated with such a heralded prospect, but I agree. If someone last season were to ask me my advice on selecting Richardson for their daily fantasy football teams I would say “absolutely not”, likely followed by a few curse words. I hear from many people that he is still young, but to me that’s no excuse. It’s a week-to-week competition and he was drafted to perform.
Daily Fantasy Football Outlook
Dave Richard is a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS News, and he says Richardson is putting in the work to adjust to the Colts’ offense.
“Richardson continues to make strides in his progress of getting the offense down pat, a problem he had last season after he was traded to Indy from Cleveland,” says Richard.
“I feel way more fluid even with timing,” says Richardson. “I didn’t know the snap count last year until the fourth week. I didn’t have the chance to learn why we were learning this, what am I looking at this linebacker or that linebacker on the backside? I just had to know where I was running. I didn’t know the full reasons. With the timing, it’s way easier now.”
Matt Hasselbeck also chimed in regarding Richardson to say he “would definitely expect his numbers to look better this year.”
Richard, as well as Jamey Eisenberg gave their projections on Richardson for 2014.
While Eisenberg projects Richardson to tally 1,003 rushing yards, Richard brings those numbers, as well as Trent, down to earth with a prediction of 826 yards. Richard thinks Richardson will get seven rushing touchdowns and Eisenberg believes he will get five. As far as daily fantasy football points go, Jamey says 152, while Richards says he will give you 125. That average projection accumulates to 138 fantasy points. There just doesn’t seem to be enough optimism surrounding his potential to draft him in anything but the best of daily fantasy football matchups.
Let’s talk about the relationship between Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson. I’m not saying anything is “Facebook official,” however I really don’t see Andrew Luck being head over heels in love with Richardson.
In one November game in particular, Trent Richardson and Donald Brown combined for 16 yards on nine carries. Pretty disgusting.
Daniel Kelley of SB Nation touched on the relationship between the two. Kelley is a huge fan of Andrew Luck, so he made sure to mention that you really shouldn’t worry about Luck’s situation as much as you should about Richardson’s.
“As a Colts fan, I wasn’t as gung-ho about the Trent Richardson trade as many of my compatriots last year. Running backs are so very replaceable, and Richardson hadn’t exactly been as impressive as the buzzfeed beforehand. That said, even I thought the addition of a recent first-round draft pick would portend good things,” said Kelley.
He, along with everyone else who had put positive thoughts into Richardson was clearly disappointed.
“It so very, very didn’t. Richarson ran for 458 yards in 14 games with Indy,” Kelley adds. “He only averaged as much as 4.0 yards per carry in a game once, Week 6 against San Diego, and his season-long average was hundredths of a yard below three.”
He also says we need to remember why the Colts sought Richardson in the first place.
“The team was supposed to run with Vick Ballard as its primary back, with Bradshaw being the change-of-pace and rest option. Ballard rushed for 814 yards and two scores in 2012 despite not really becoming a big part of the offense until the season’s second half. There was a reason to trust him for 2013, but that trust lasted as long as the season’s opening game. Ballard ran the ball 13 times for 63 yards (4.8 yards per carry) before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season.”
Kelley has Trent ranked as his 50th running back, and 143rd overall. Remember, Kelley is a Colts fan. He even remarked that his ranking was rather conservative.
Christopher Harris of ESPN.com ranks him as the number 20 running back this season, sandwiched in between Cleveland’s Ben Tate and Baltimore’s Ray Rice.
Final Daily Fantasy Football Thoughts
It’s frustrating when a player does not understand the playbook, and that’s the reality of the situation right now. My two cents would be to hold off on him as your number one running back when constructing daily fantasy football rosters. He’s not a terrible value option if you can find him in the right matchup. I can see Trent Richardson being the next Marshawn Lynch if he works hard enough, and he needs to become that if he is going to play on Andrew Luck’s team past this season.
It seems he has worked really hard in the offseason, and a lot of experts are saying you should have faith in him. I will definitely draft him, but only for the right price and in the right matchup. If he does indeed have a season like he did his rookie year, I will happily admit I was wrong.