Trent Richardson: Fantasy Owners Must Start Injured Browns RB in Week 7

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 07:  Running back Trent Richardson #33 of the Cleveland Browns carries the ball against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on October 7, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

If he is healthy enough to play, Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson should start on your fantasy team in Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Here is the latest on his injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Browns running back Trent Richardson injured his ribs and is scheduled to undergo an MRI Monday.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2012

Richardson talked about his injury following Sunday's win against the Cincinnati Bengals (via Tony Grossi of ESPN 850 WKNR)

I took a shot, but I'll be back. I'll be ready for next week. I was in and out of the game and I tried to do as much as I could while I was in the game. Coach (Pat Shurmur) didn't want to take the risk of me being injured even more.

Richardson sounds confident about his status for Week 7, but make sure you monitor his progress leading up to Sunday.

The Indianapolis Colts have the 28th-ranked run defense and allowed New York Jets running back Shonn Greene to rush for 161 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday.

Richardson rushed for 37 yards on 14 carries in Week 6 versus the Bengals before leaving the game with an injury.

In Week 5, Richardson rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while also catching five passes for 47 against a great New York Giants defense. The rookie from Alabama is going to be a very good NFL running back and has a great opportunity to showcase his talents against a poor Colts defense.

If he's cleared to play in Week 7, fantasy owners must start him because he won't have many more favorable matchups than the Colts.

Indianapolis has allowed an average of 200.5 rush yards per game over the last two weeks, and neither of those games was against an opponent that had a running game ranked in the top third of the NFL.

Since the Colts' pass defense is the third best in the league and Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden has struggled as a rookie, expect Cleveland to run the ball a lot this week. Establishing the run will help Weeden as the game progresses.

Richardson is a threat in both the passing and running games. He is worthy of a starting spot on your fantasy football team's roster if his rib injury isn't severe enough to prevent him from playing on Sunday.