Fantasy  

FedEx  

Trent Richardson in make-or-break situation

Most observers agreed that 2014 was going to be a make-or-break season for Trent Richardson. But just in case you didn't fall into that crowd, the recent comments by Colts general manager Ryan Grigson should sway you.

As Grigson explained, Richardson "needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability." Translation: Trent's grace period is over. It's time for him to produce ... or else. After having a whole offseason to study the playbook and examine where things went wrong in 2013, Richardson (in theory) should have the wrinkles ironed out.

The biggest problem remains that he's still hesitant in hitting the holes. The next issue, however, could be an Indianapolis offensive line that has struggled with injuries over the past couple of seasons. That's an excuse that neither Colts fans nor fantasy owners will accept -- especially after Donald Brown averged 5.3 yards per carry behind essentially the same group in 2013.

The last best chance for Richardson to show something in this preseason will come Saturday night against the Saints. With the starters expected to play at least a half, it will be his chance to improve upon his current ninth round ADP. Otherwise, the former No. 3 overall pick could be relegated to the fantasy football scrap heap.

Quick outs


» Every sideshow has a barker. The Jets might have 53 of them. Seemingly every player this preseason has at one point loudly sung the praises of his other teammates. Chris Johnson is the latest to get the pump up treatment with a couple of his defensive mates proclaiming that the former 2,000-yard back "still has it." While people like to point to his breakaway speed, he still has to get behind the defense to use it. Hopefully with the Jets planning to move him around the formation and use him occasionally as a receiver, it will give Johnson the chance to get in space and make big plays. Let's hope so.

» Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson says Jeremy Hill is "worthy" of playing with the starters. Before you lament the formation of another running back committee, it's worth noting that Jackson says Hill is capable of playing with that group, not that he necessarily will. However, it does seem to cement the idea that Hill will be the hammer in the running game and is likely to vulture a number of touchdowns from Giovani Bernard this season.

» We wait to see if Cam Newton's offseason ankle surgery is going to hamper the dynamic quarterback's running ability at all in 2013. As for Panthers coach Ron Rivera, he thinks it could be a good thing for Newton -- suggesting that it will force the quarterback to stay in the pocket and improve his footwork. Fantasy owners will respectfully disagree. Part of what has made Newton such a fantasy force in his young career has been his ability to run with the football. That could be especially key this season with an unproven group of receivers.

» Just because the Browns named Brian Hoyer as their starter doesn't mean Johnny Manziel is out of the mix. Coach Mike Pettine suggested that the team could employ a two-quarterback system this year. Most fantasy owners know that if a team claims to have multiple running backs, they essentially don't have any. That logic would go double for quarterbacks. Neither Hoyer nor Manziel had any real fantasy appeal in 2014, but if the Browns plan on rotating the duo, you'd be wise to run the other way.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15