Fantasy Football: Should Trent Richardson's Knee Be a Concern?

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IAugust 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Trent Richardson (R) from Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #3 overall by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Highly touted Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson gave dynasty-league and early drafters a bit of a scare when news broke that he had soreness in the knee he had surgery on in February.

Things really got tense when word came out that he will travel to see Dr. James Andrews. There is also talk of a second scope (via Mary Kay Cabot of The (Ohio) Plain Dealer).

That is not news you want to hear for somebody that likely went with the first pick in dynasty drafts and a first or second pick in re-drafts.

Any mention of Dr. Andrews’ name makes hearts stop.

Throw on top of it the fact that there was some speculation that his carries could be scaled back in the early part of the season (via ESPN).

You want to hear glowing reports of how well he’s handling training camp and how well he’s adjusting to the rigors on the NFL life.

But if he misses the entire preseason, reduced carries will be a reality.

Don’t let the knee and reduced carries talk scare you away, though. Richardson is the best rookie running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. With his combination of size and speed, the worries should be put to rest.

Richardson played in the nation’s top conference and ran for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. He added 29 catches for 338 yards and three more scores.

Clearly he has the goods to be an every-down back in this league.

With a rookie starting at quarterback for the Browns, Richardson is going to be leaned on heavily. It may take some time, but you win at the end of the year and not at the start.

Hopefully your opponents will panic on draft day, and he slides to you. Just don’t expect him to slide very far, as very big things are expected from him. With a solid offensive line, anchored by Joe Thomas, and a huge workload, you could be looking at a top-10 fantasy performer.

Obviously there will be some risk, but there could be plenty of reward, as well.

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