Ahmad Bradshaw's Fantasy RB Handcuff Value After Trent Richardson Trade

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 18, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the Indianapolis Colts hits the ground at the end of a rush for a touchdown but was called down at the one yard line against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Trent Richardson is officially joining the Indianapolis Colts, and that means fellow running back Ahmad Bradshaw's fantasy value is going to take a big hit as he becomes a handcuff player.

ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the trade between the Colts and Cleveland Browns on Twitter late Wednesday afternoon, and it sent a shock wave through the NFL:

The Colts confirmed the news via their official website.

While this is a huge and unexpected blockbuster move for both the Colts and the Browns, who are arguably both winners in their own ways, the biggest losers have to be Bradshaw and his fantasy owners.

The Colts brought in Bradshaw this offseason despite concerns about his nagging foot injury. He missed the entire 2013 preseason but was ready to go Week 1. Splitting carries with Vick Ballard against the Oakland Raiders, he put up seven carries for 26 yards in the season opener.

Things looked more promising from a fantasy standpoint in Week 2 after Vick Ballard, unfortunately, tore his ACL and it was reported that he would miss the rest of the season. Bradshaw saw more carries in Week 2 and finished the game with 65 yards and a touchdown.

Bradshaw's fantasy value has been one of the more volatile over the first few weeks of the season. ESPN.com had Bradshaw as the No. 25 RB in Week 2 and tied for No. 21 in Week 3, but he can expect that ranking to fall hard after this trade.

There are a number of problems with Bradshaw as a handcuff running back that should scare off fantasy owners. First, the Colts haven't shown a whole lot of love to their No. 2 running backs through two weeks. Bradshaw had just seven carries in Week 1, then Donald Brown had seven more in Week 2.

That's not enough carries to make much of a fantasy impact.

Now that the Colts have a safer and more talented player in the backfield with Richardson, it very well could be the case that he becomes more of a workhorse back than Brown or Bradshaw were through the first two weeks, limiting the carries even further for Bradshaw.

Second, Bradshaw's health is still a concern. He fought through a lot of pain in the 14 games he played with the New York Giants, and although he ran for 1,000 yards, we don't know if he'll be able to stay healthy throughout the season in 2013.

The final point is that Bradshaw wasn't an incredibly productive fantasy RB to start with. He put up 15 total points through two games, and that was with a more involved role than he will likely have with Richardson behind Andrew Luck.

Perhaps PFF Fantasy and Bleacher Report's own Alessandro Miglio said it best:

The Colts as a whole may have just gotten better, but Bradshaw's fantasy value has taken a big hit, and he's probably only valuable enough to warrant one of the last spots on your bench until he proves otherwise.