Trent Richardson Injury: Fantasy Owners Must Add Montario Hardesty as Handcuff

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

Oct 14, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Montario Hardesty (20) celebrates a run in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

If you are a Trent Richardson owner in fantasy football, you'll want to go ahead and heed this advice: Add Montario Hardesty to your team via the waiver wire this week.

That's all I've got, folks, thanks for reading.

But seriously, Hardesty is a vital handcuff to have this weekend. While Richardson very well may play after leaving after leaving Sunday's win against the Cincinnati Bengals, the running back is currently day-to-day according to Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur (via Tony Grossi of ESPN):

Pat Shurmur: RB Trent Richardson has a right rib/cartilage injury, day to day.

— Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) October 15, 2012

Hardesty was a solid relief runner against the Bengals, rushing for 56 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and adding a reception for another nine yards. With a nice matchup against the Indianapolis Colts next week, Hardesty instantly becomes a low-end RB2 or solid flex option if Richardson doesn't play.

The Colts are giving up 159 rushing yards per week, so whoever ends up getting the start is a player you should plug into your lineup with great confidence. If Shonn Greene of the New York Jets can go for 161 yards and three scores, anyone can.

Even these guys.

Now, if you aren't a Richardson owner, using your waiver priority on Hardesty is really risky since Richardson could play. You may not want to drop yourself to the bottom of the wire hoping that T-Rich is unavailable.

Surely, there are safer pickups out there for you this week. Heck, there is one on the Browns—wide receiver Josh Gordon, who now has a combined 35 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues over the past two weeks.

If I weren't a Richardson owner, I would add Gordon over Hardesty without a second thought. Hardesty only has value as a handcuff, and since Richardson could play, only his owners should use a roster spot backing him up.

Obviously, keep tabs on Richardson this week and keep Hardesty on your watch list. He may only be worth a roster spot for one week, but owners savvy enough to snatch him up could end up being very, very pleased that they did.


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