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Trades don't happen in the NFL with the regularity they occur in pro baseball or even the NBA, so when one does happen, and early in the season, it becomes just about the only thing anyone can talk about.
Just about a week ago, RB Trent Richardson, a consensus first-round fantasy draft pick, was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Indianapolis Colts for two draft picks (the real kind). Assessments of fantasy experts have varied a bit, but almost everyone sees this move as at least a cautious positive for Richardson's fantasy owners, since he has moved to a better team with a more prolific offense that will give him more chances to score on goal- line rushes (which he did on his very first play with IND).
I agree with all that in theory, but I find myself a little bit down on the fantasy implications of The Trade. In Cleveland, Richardson was the offense. In Indianapolis, he's just another piece of an offense with one great WR in Reggie Wayne, a couple more talented young receivers, a good young TE, and another multi-talented, if injury-prone RB in Ahmad Bradshaw. And QB Andrew Luck was not hired to hand off the ball to someone else, or dump off safe, five-yard passes all game long.
I think Richardson will get more TD opportunities with IND than he would have with CLE, but overall, I don't think he'll get nearly as many touches. Along with Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin and a few others, he was one of the top workhorse backs coming into this year, but for fantasy purposes, he's now in a time-share.
* ESPN's injury report includes Texan receiver Andre Johnson, who looks to be on his way to another injury-riddled season.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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