Daryl Richardson: Fantasy Football Profile, Outlook and Analysis for Rams RB

Chris Trapasso@ChrisTrapassoAnalyst ISeptember 17, 2012

Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; St Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson (26) carries the ball during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson, or Mr. Penultimate, rushed 15 times for 83 yards and caught two passes for 19 yards in the team's thrilling 31-28 win over Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in Week 2. 

I'll admit, I didn't make up the nickname—Twitter deserves the credit. 

What's the story behind it? 

Well, Richardson was the second-to-last pick in the 2012 draft, one pick away from being the famed Mr. Irrelevant. 

Thus the Mr. Penultimate nickname. 


So, what's what the deal with this Rams runner? Let's break him down from a fantasy perspective.



Richardson is the brother of Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott and Miami Dolphins 2011 fourth-rounder Clyde Gates, and like them, he was a standout at Abilene Christian. 

As a member of the Wildcats in 2011, he averaged 5.9 yards per carry, totaled 825 yards on the ground and scored 11 rushing touchdowns. 

At 5'11'' and 192 pounds, he's built solidly, but is better utilized in space than running between the tackles. 

At the ACU pro day in early April, he ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash and had a 40.5-inch vertical jump. Safe to say, Richardson is an explosive athlete.


Fantasy Outlook 

Richardson, to the surprise of many, is the Rams' No. 2 running back behind Steven Jackson. He's carried the ball 17 times in two games and has averaged over six yards per carry. 

Second-round pick Isaiah Pead has caught two passes, but has yet to receive a carry. 

The fact that Richardson is already ahead of Pead on the depth chart is clearly an encouraging development for fantasy owners. 

Jackson suffered a groin injury against the Redskins but told the St Louis Post-Dispatch "he’ll try to return for next week’s game in Chicago."

Even so, with Jackson potentially dealing with a nagging groin injury all season, Richardson's fantasy stock is certainly on the rise. 

A lot can change on a week to week basis in the NFL, but Richardson and the Rams' running attack do face some tough run defenses in the coming weeks, or at least teams perceived to have sound defensive fronts. 

After a Week 3 road test in Chicago, St. Louis plays the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals at home in consecutive weeks. 

Matchups in Week 10 and Week 13 against the San Francisco 49ers aren't favorable for the Rams run game, and a Week 11 battle with the New York Jets doesn't appear to be an advantageous matchup, either. 

However, not every team will totally stymie the Rams running game, and if Richardson continues to show big-play ability in the open field, he'll get more carries and could realistically become a nice check down option in the passing game. 

Right now, he has potential as a flex option in extremely deep leagues, but patience is needed for this rookie runner. Remember, Jackson's injury is definitely worth monitoring as the season progresses for anyone thinking about adding Richardson from the waiver wire.  



Richardson demonstrated his impressive burst on a 53-yard run and on a 18-yard reception from Sam Bradford

The Rams were looking to find a lightning bug complement to the veteran Jackson, and we all thought they found that guy when they drafted Pead in Round 2. 

But thus far, Richardson's clearly made the more profound impression on the coaching staff, and the Rams won't be afraid to run the ball even if Bradford continues to show improvement. 

Even if Jackson's groin heals and doesn't bother him throughout the year, following the current trend in the NFL, St. Louis will likely use a two back system to keep their star runner fresh—an ideal situation for Richardson.