Trent Richardson has been dealt in a surprise trade to the Indianapolis Colts, with his former squad, the Cleveland Browns, receiving a first-round pick in return for his services.
ESPN's Adam Schefter broke the news about the trade:
Filed to ESPN: Browns RB Trent Richardson to Indy for Colts' first-round pick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 18, 2013
This will no doubt be a huge boost to Richardson's fantasy value moving forward as long as he remains healthy.
In two games with the Browns, Richardson has failed to get into the end zone and has compiled just 105 yards rushing to the tune of 3.4 yards per carry. Through the air, Richardson has been less productive, with seven catches for 51 yards.
Things figure to get better for Richardson, as he joins a Colts team that has far more talent on offense. Because of a lackluster offensive line and no real threat in the Browns' passing attack, teams were able to stack the box and cheat against the run, thus making Richardson's job that much tougher.
The same can't be said about the Colts. While they don't exactly have a great offensive line, opposing defenses will have a difficult time cheating against the run with the Colts' pass-first offense that can make plays down the field.
What impact did a trade to the Colts have on Trent Richardson's fantasy value?
Richardson should have much more space to operate in Indy, and his value in points-per-reception leagues will rise since quarterback Andrew Luck's countless passes per game will undoubtedly find Richardson rather consistently.
Indianapolis has gotten off to a great start to the season on the ground, despite the fact that it doesn't have any elite backs on the roster. With the help of Luck, backs Ahmad Bradshaw, Vick Ballard and Donald Brown have combined to form the No. 5 rushing attack in the NFL.
However, there will be one fewer back to whom Richardson will potentially lose a small amount of carries, as Ballard is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. And with only Bradshaw as the other viable back, Richardson will instantly be this team's No. 1 back the second he arrives.
Richardson hasn't done much in the way of fantasy production so far in 2013, but by joining a better team in Indianapolis, the 22-year-old should provide a noticeable boost to your team on a weekly basis.