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Like/dislike: Starting Trent Richardson, not liking it

What we are talking about:

  • Matthew Stafford

    He is going to win your week

  • Trent Richardson

    Have to start him

  • Chip Kelly

    Seriously?

A few of the more traumatic moments of my youth were the Eric Dickerson trade; Magic Johnson's retirement; and Jessie Spano in "Showgirls." Oh yeah, and the Los Angeles Rams folded after the 1994 season and the expansion St. Louis Football Club opened up shop in 1995. (Editor's note: Yeah, Adam's mind is a wonder, but we think he's got a point he's going to make so let's see where he's going with this.)

So I understand what the Browns are going through. I've gone through many of the same things they have gone through; bad management, team moving, trading your superstar running back. But let's be honest, Trent Richardson ain't Eric Dickerson. He's not Cleveland Gary, either, but he's not an elite superstar. The Browns shouldn't have used that third-overall pick on Richardson last year, so why not cut bait and stock up some draft picks? I'm pretty confident Michael Lombardi can find another running back to average 3.5 yards-per-carry. This will end up being the turning point for the Browns.

Don't worry Clevelanders, you're in good hands. You'll be in the playoffs next year, so I understand you might be stung by this right now, but good days are coming.

But you're likely asking, "What the (expletive) does this have to do with my fantasy team?"

Fine, fine. We'll get to the fantasy football now. I just wanted to reassure the wonderful Browns fans out there. But let's look at the big-time fantasy players and what it could mean for them in the future.

Trent Richardson: He will be much better for the Colts. Sure, he didn't exactly set the world on fire behind a pretty solid offensive line. But this is a huge upgrade to go from Brandon Weeden to Andrew Luck. That's like the jump from Heather Hopper to Tiffani Amber Thiessen. (And I will always say the "Amber.")

Andrew Luck: You know, call me a bit cautious on this one. I like the move from a football perspective. But look at Luck's stat line from Week 1. He passed for 178 yards and two touchdowns. He salvaged a huge fantasy day by rushing for a touchdown. But Luck could end up like a modern-day Troy Aikman.

A quick history lesson, when I started playing fantasy as a lad, I picked Troy Aikman because he was awesome. I didn't realize however, it didn't always translate to fantasy unless the Cowboys were up against the Cardinals. I'm not saying this is for sure going to happen to Luck. Again, I'm just concerned.

Jordan Cameron: Man, this one kind of stings. I grabbed Cameron in a few leagues and was rewarded early. But I'm not going to give up just yet. I mean, who else is there for Brian Hoyer to throw to? And to be honest, he's replaced Brandon Weeden. This isn't Matt Cassel in for Tom Brady. So let's see how this plays out.

Josh Gordon: He's back. Seriously, the Browns are going to be behind in so many games, what choice will they have but to throw the ball a ton? I like him.

The defense shuffle: I have made it known that I like to change out my defenses on a weekly basis. Typically you hone in on teams going up against the Jaguars, Jets or Raiders. You can now add the Browns into this mix, too. So there you go, you now have a solid defense to play.

Ahmad Bradshaw: Ah man, I had looked forward to starting him in Week 4 against the Jaguars. Now, he's just a handcuff to Richardson.

Jim Irsay: Great move by the Colts owner. When he sent out the tweet about a potential trade, we were all prepared to be underwhelmed. And then when you looked at the clues about "Tidal Wave" and "Rollin' the dice" you thought, wow, the Colts are going to get Mark Ingram. Even a few days removed, it seems unbelievable the Colts got Trent Richardson. Well done, sir!

NFL Fans: We got a real-life, in-season trade! We don't get a ton of them and they are an awful lot of fun. I was at a doctor's appointment and got out and people had asked me about Andy Luck and Trent Richardson being on the same team. And I was like "What the heck?" I love that. It brings some excitement the NFL doesn't get enough of. I would love to see more of this stuff.

Jim Brown: Yeah, buddy! Browns fans can now be all, "See, the dude had a point all along." You shouldn't have doubted him.

Let's move on in this column voted "Best Use of a Soap Box" by our homepage editor, Patrick Crawley.

Likes and dislikes are in bold, for those of you who don't want to take the 88 minutes required to read this column. (But it's Friday: What better way to cruise through it than by checking out my thoughts on fantasy football, comic books, wrestling, TV and music?) Facebook doesn't give you the option to dislike stuff, but I certainly do.

A big hand to stats maven Bill "Sudsy" Sudell for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

RGIII suddenly has a bad matchup against the Lions. No, I'm serious people. The Lions have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. In fact, they've allowed just two passing touchdowns. RGIII has been great, fantasy-wise, the first two weeks and he's thrown more than 40 passes in both games. Now he says he will run a lot more. Of course he will. I have RGIII at the very tail-end of the Q1 rankings. This is weird, to advise you to sit a quarterback against the Lions. I don't know how I feel about this.

I do like that RGIII is going to start running soon. If you followed what AD did, he took a few weeks to heat up, and then he exploded. RGIII is going to do something similar. He's going to run the ball a little more this week, so he won't be a complete disaster. But he's going to start cooking here in the coming weeks. Well actually, starting next week against the Raiders.

Oh, if you have A-Rod (I'm only doing the nickname because I don't want his name to appear on this side of the ledger), be sure to pick up Terrelle Pryor and start him next week. You don't want him against Denver. That wouldn't be prudent. But he's good next week.

In fact, if you have space on your roster right now, go pick up Terrelle Pryor to stash him for next week. He's going to be the play of plays against the Redskins. Same deal if you have Cam Newton, too.

Oh man, I sure hope the Colts just put Trent Richardson on the bench and we'll see you next week against Jacksonville. But man, can you imagine Jim Irsay just being all, "Yeah, we made a huge deal, let's have Trent just sit on the bench in his first game"? So I see him playing. I see me starting him in my League of Record. And I see him getting 39 rushing yards and me getting out an IPA before the afternoon is through.

So why don't I just bench Trent Richardson, you ask? Well, I drafted him with my first pick. So he's got a spot on my lineup pretty much every time he's on the field. And imagine how sick you would feel if you flipped on the game Sunday afternoon and you see Richardson run for a 68-yard touchdown in the opening minutes when you left him on the bench. If he doesn't come through for you, it's his fault. But if you bench him for Mad Bones McGee and Richardson has an all-time day, well, that's on you.

Besides, its Richardson's first day on the job. You remember the kind of impression you wanted to make on your first day, right? So of course Richardson is going to try super hard to make this happen on his very first appearance with the Colts.

Mike Holmgren said if he was the coach of the Browns when a trade like that happened, he would have quit. Yeah, you might not want to use the term "quit" when you talk about your tenure in Cleveland, Mike. Especially when you're one of the reasons why the team is in this situation. You should have just taken the high road on this one and stayed quiet.

Richardson is going to fumble on his first carry with the Colts, isn't he? I'm really starting to hate fantasy football. Or more to the point, my lousy choice of Richardson. Why didn't I go with Matt Forte?

Speaking of guys who have ruined my League of Record team, Roddy White has been cool and upfront with fantasy enthusiasts so far this season in regards to his high ankle sprain. I want to reward him by playing him, but just can't. I fear I'm going to miss a monster stat line from him because I'm too scared. But it beats seeing the 3.3 points he puts up every week.

Steven Jackson is out two to four weeks with his injury. At least he was nice enough to get into the end zone before he left in Week 2. Jacquizz Rodgers is a nice option in PPR leagues, but I'm certainly not going to play him this week. Shoot, and here I had S-Jax pegged as the fantasy MVP this season.

Reggie Bush is said to be 50-50. You are compelled to start him if he goes because, Redskins. But you really hope he's going to be able to really get after it and not bail after he gets 23 scrimmage yards and then has to leave the game. It's kind of a problem and seems so early in the season for stuff like this to be happening. I'd play him, but you certainly aren't required to like it.

Is Darren McFadden hurt yet? You have to play him this week but he's had only one touchdown in his last four meetings against the Broncos. He had fewer than 65 scrimmage yards in each of the two games against the Broncos last year.

There is a report Eddie Lacy will be out until Week 5, in case you missed it. He's doing better but it looks like the Packers are going to make alternative plans. But just keep him on the bench until he's ready to go.

Danny Amendola is going to skip surgery and will try to return in two weeks. You think he watched the young receivers drop all of those balls against the Jets and decided to get back ASAP? You have to hang on to him. I'd start him if he returns against the Falcons in Week 4. Not so much if it's Week 5 against the Bengals.

Don't release Danny Amendola. He's frustrated a lot of us. I made the mistake of going for the Tom Brady-Danny Amendola combo in my League of Record. That is pretty much going to cost me the season, though I just added Bradford to that team. But hang on to him. He's awesome in the six weeks he's going to be healthy.

Rob Gronkowski is just a week away from being back, folks! This is good news. I'd start him immediately once he returns.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he wants to "ramp up activity" for Le'Veon Bell this week. He's been limited in practice until Thursday, but that's a good thing. You wouldn't want to play him in Week 3 against the Bears, who have allowed the fifth-fewest points to running backs this season. But get ready to add Bell to your lineups in the near future. He can be a huge boost if he returns in Week 4 against the Vikings in London. Don't start any Steelers running backs this week.

ImageAs I checked the pocket schedule to look up the Steelers' Week 4 opponent, I noticed the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers have a bye next week. The NFL needs to stop with this nonsense. A Week 4 bye week? Come on competition committee. How does this stuff still happen? How can you expect a team like the Packers to have a bye in Week 4? If you're still going to go with this archaic practice, at least make teams like Jacksonville and Oakland take the early weeks, seeing that the last half of the season is a bye week for these clubs.

ImageAll of the bye weeks should happen Weeks 9-12. Two divisions take a bye each week and it rotates from year-to-year. How is it this hard to figure out? Nobody would be able to complain anymore and the competitive advantage/disadvantage would be erased. This situation makes way too much sense. Who do I need to talk to? Find me somebody who would disagree with this.

Going back to the Steelers, say good bye to Ben Roethlisberger's value as a fantasy option. He has been miserable in the first two weeks of the season and the offensive line is terrible. And the thing is, Roethlisberger is still pretty good at eluding the rush. I can't imagine how much worse this situation would be if he wasn't.

James Starks is going to be tough to sit this week, but you can't expect him to rush for 132 yards and score a touchdown against the tough Bengals D, which has allowed the sixth-fewest points to fantasy running backs this year. The Bengals have allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in seven of their last eight games. Tough to trust Starks this week.

Trust is a tricky word with David Wilson. Coach Tom Coughlin doesn't trust him to hang on to the football. Wilson himself doesn't trust his own ability to hang on to the football. And so what do you do? You bench Wilson, and you look to see if Andre Brown is available in your league. He could be a nice stash player.

Hey Eli Manning, don't worry about it, you can turn the ball over as much as you would like and you're never coming out of the game. Which is good news! Of course, he does have a pair of Super Bowl titles which earns you a little more trust, but still. The matchup against the Carolina Panthers looks pretty good. But he's had one touchdown pass in three of the last four meetings.

Steve Smith has had fewer than 90 receiving yards in seven career meetings against the Giants, but he's scored a touchdown reception in two of his last three meetings. You're going to end up playing him, but not be particularly fond of it.

Kenny Stills was a disappointment last week, too. I hope you all realize, when I put out guys like Stills, I'm playing him, too. I even started Royal in one of my periphery leagues. But the point is, I wouldn't recommend something I wouldn't do myself. Still, I saw a couple of shots to Stills in that game against the Bucs. But you can't really count on those things coming through. Disappointing because you like the talent, but there is no way to really get that right.

The Vikings will try to find ways to get Cordarrelle Patterson involved in the game. I like that. But I don't like him going up against the Browns this week. He's somebody to keep an eye on, but he would be a risky play. Not that I shy away from those. I got burned by Kenny Stills last week. However, I won't take that risk with Patterson.

The Seahawks receivers are going to be tough to play this week. Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are all good receivers, but there is nobody to trust week-in, week-out. And yes, I understand I like Wilson this week, but he's going to add some rushing in this week.

ImageBTW, the lightning delay on Sunday night? I understand the safety aspect. But I've often heard you have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do being struck by lightning. So basically, the players were pulled off the field because there was a chance they could win the lottery.

And did they really need a halftime after that, too? I'm also surprised Jim Harbaugh's experience with untimely delays didn't become a factor in that game, either. Really surprised, actually.

Cecil Shorts had 9.3 fantasy points in Week 2. And he was targeted 14 times on Sunday. But Great Caesar's Ghost, there is no way I'm going to play a Jags offensive starter. This team has averaged just over four points a game. Oh the math is correct. Remember, two of the Jags' season total came from a safety.

Fred Jackson has surfaced as a near-vulture in most fantasy circles. Yes, so much for running you know who until he pukes. (Seriously, I know who he is, but I don't want his name highlighted over here.) Jackson has scored just one touchdown in his last nine career meetings against the New York Jets, and none in his last six games. But if you have to play him, I guess you can reason that he's due.

Remember when Ronnie Hillman was a thing? If you're holding on to him, you don't have to anymore. I get it if you want to hang on to Montee Ball. He could end up with value should something happen to Knowshon Moreno. But you're probably not going to get much from Hillman going forward. He's had just five rushing attempts in two games this season. Seriously, what was Denver doing with him at the top of the depth chart this season?

You talk about Shanahanigans all you want, but John Fox has killed fantasy owners for years with his use of the running backs. It's just crazy. And it's not like he's had a long history of success to where you can't argue with the way he's used guys.

Michael Vick can certainly still move. He looked fast as ever on Thursday night against the Chiefs on NFL Network. But one of my biggest pet peeves for fantasy is pick sixes are not worth enough negative points. Because a pick six can be a killer in real life, it should translate in fantasy, too. If I only knew somebody who could help push across some legislation. But what was the deal with that two-point conversion?

Arizona State really exposed one of my biggest pet peeves in sports on Saturday night. No, I loved how the Sun Devils seemingly stole one from the Badgers. I can't believe a West Coast team got away with something like that. But ASU went for two points way too early in the fourth quarter and it nearly cost them. When ASU made it 21-19, it should have just taken the freebie because if Wisconsin scored a field goal, ASU would take a 27-24 lead on a touchdown. Instead, ASU went up 25-21 and then things got all weird. The point is, always take the free points.

What's funny is as quickly as we made Chip Kelly the next great thing in the NFL, we're going to be ready to send him back to the college ranks. Actually, Kelly will likely be in the mix for the USC coaching gig once Lane Kiffin gets canned. You know what; I wouldn't blame Kelly for that. All of the athletes he could get at USC would take him to a completely different level. And then after he wins three national titles at USC, there would be calls for him to return to the NFL. And then he becomes the coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, and the team still doesn't win a Super Bowl.

Wait, did I get ahead of myself there? Actually, Kelly's offense looks good. The inconsistency of Vick has killed this team post-Washington. He's just not accurate enough. So enjoy your fantasy points while you can.

Speaking of another guy who needs to get off the fantasy milk carton, it's Dwayne Bowe. What did he have, like one reception for four yards? We have expected him to be a good fantasy option going into the season, but he just hasn't delivered. Keep him on your bench, but Donnie Avery looks like the better add right now.

A nice moment before the Thursday night game: Andy Reid was cheered by the Eagles fans. I liked that. But then he was chumming it up Jeffery Lurie. WTS? Wasn't Reid fired by Lurie? I get it, football is just a business and deep down these guys are still friends. But is this the way things work in the real world? If somebody is fired, they are typically escorted from the premises and never return. They certainly don't play grab (behind) with the guy who fired them just six months earlier.

I wanted to see Reid give Lurie a glare and then go all Stone Cold Steve Austin on him. Like wouldn't you have loved it if just before kickoff, Reid appeared on the Jumbotron and was seen having a cement truck fill up Lurie's luxury automobile? I love that kind of stuff.

Remember back when Al Davis and Marcus Allen were making things personal during "Monday Night Football" years ago? I mean, it's cool if they eventually settle their differences years later. But this just happened. That's one of the cool things about sports. I still love that Doug Eddings gets jeered when he comes to Angels Stadium. Sorry if I'm not sentimental enough to get into this.

ImageAnd this is why I won't pop off John Cena when he returns to win the Royal Rumble. Holy heck, could Cena end up being the corporate champion? That would be the heel turn of all time. Cena returns and rips the fans for booing him and finally sells out. Wow. I just blew my mind!


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 100,000 followers, and Fabiano has 100,000. Me? Just four. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."

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