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Four-Down Friday: What Is Trent Richardson’s Fantasy Football Ceiling For The 2014 Season?

Posted Jul 18, 2014

Intro: What’s on the minds of those in Colts Nation? What is Trent Richardson’s ceiling in 2014? Who is going to get more snaps at tight end—Dwayne Allen or Coby Fleener?



INDIANAPOLIS – You asked them and we answered them.

Here’s “Four-Down Friday” which is a weekly Twitter Q and A piece that will run every Friday.

This week’s installment of questions focuses on the likes of Trent Richardson, the tight end position, CFL-star Henoc Muamba and the depth at receiver.


With Steve Andress now on board with Colts.com, make sure to check out his fantasy pieces each and every Friday.

As far as Richardson and his fantasy outlook, this is a very interesting question. Chuck Pagano has said on several occasions that he envisions Richardson as a a three-down back and from a physicality standpoint, he isn’t a guy you take off the field near the goal line. The question becomes how many carries will Richardson get when you have guys like Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard also in the same backfield. There’s no need to run Richardson into the ground with 25 plus carries when you have capable backs waiting. Having said that I could easily see Richardson right around 18-20 carries a game with getting the touches near the goal line that is so critical to any fantasy owner.

This has the sound of another fantasy type question. When Pep Hamilton took the Colts offensive coordinator job in January of 2013, he was walking into a situation with two tight ends heading into their second NFL seasons after being drafted in the first three rounds. As a tight-end friendly offensive system, Hamilton couldn’t ask for a much better situation at that spot.

Obviously with Allen’s injury, the Colts weren’t able to emphasize the tight ends as much as Hamilton did in college. With both back in the fold, the Colts have the ability to be creative with multiple tight end looks and accentuating the strengths of Allen (tremendous in-line guy) and Fleener (the ability to split out wide). In 2012, Allen averaged about 19 more snaps per game than Fleener. Granted with Hamilton now running the Colts offense, I see that number shrinking quite a bit this season.

In my opinion you have three names in the mix for that fourth spot—Donte Moncrief, Da’Rick Rogers and Griff Whalen. While that spot remains up for grabs, the fourth receiver isn’t going to play too many offensive snaps from week-to-week. With a healthy tight end duo, there isn’t much of a need for many four-receiver sets so whoever occupies that spot will be first in line for next man up if one of those three 1,000-yard receivers goes down.

Most teams tend to only dress four or five receivers on game day so that role will likely be in more of a special teams need. Moncrief showed flashes during the OTAs but does he have enough of a grasp of the Colts offense to be counted on in a pinch? I lean more towards Whalen being a stop gap type of guy and if there’s a significant injury to one of the first three, then that opens the door for the other guys to have more offensive responsibility.

An interesting question and Muamba has been forgotten a bit after he signed with the Colts early in the offseason. He was a highly sought after CFL product who pushed the Colts to the front of his free agent list after a talk with Ryan Grigson.

The comparisons to Freeman are obvious but let’s temper expectations just a bit. What Freeman has done in two NFL seasons is quite remarkable. Unless injuries occur at ILB, there’s just not a massive role waiting for Muamba. The Colts inside linebacker position will look a bit different in 2014. Muamba has made it clear he thrives on special teams and that will probably be where we see his most significant impact in his first NFL season.

 


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