So, the Cleveland Browns apparently traded Trent Richardson—the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft—to the Indianapolis Colts for their 2014 first-rounder on Wednesday, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
The questions now are: Who takes over for the Browns in the backfield, and is he worth a pickup in fantasy football leagues?
Well, it turns out the Browns are planning on the dreaded running back by committee, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. And fullback Chris Ogbonnaya will apparently become a tailback again.
Ogbonnaya, the No. 211 overall selection in the 2009 draft, has totaled 95 carries for 420 yards and one touchdown since arriving in the NFL. His blocking ability—whether he's protecting the quarterback or opening a lane for a fellow back—granted him a two-year contract extension in March. Now he may be asked to handle third-down duties in Cleveland.
According to Ulrich's report, Ogbonnaya will share carries with veteran Willis McGahee and Bobby Rainey on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. The former seventh-rounder wouldn't be worth a flier if he was the primary back in Cleveland, let alone stuck in a time share.
The Browns ranked 19th in the NFL in yards per carry before Richardson was sent packing. It's hard to imagine Ogbonnaya, McGahee or Rainey doing any better.
Richardson posted seven fantasy points in each of the first two weeks of the season before getting traded. This, coming from a former Nick Saban disciple. Something tells me the Browns' troubles running the pigskin weren't all on him.
Cleveland's struggles in the backfield have only been compounded by the poor play of second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden currently ranks 29th in the NFL in yards per pass attempt, tossing one touchdown to three interceptions along the way. He ranks 31st in quarterback rating, only ahead of the New York Jets' Geno Smith and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert.
Part of being a good quarterback is opening things up for your teammates. Weeden hasn't been able to do that for the Browns backfield. He's having a tough enough time working on his own issues.
The Browns never intended on using Ogbonnaya has a pure running back when they signed him to the extension in March. The only reason they are doing so now is because they have no other choice.
Add the fact that Cleveland ranks 28th in yards per drive, 31st in points per drive and 28th in touchdowns per red-zone opportunity—via Football Outsiders—and Ogbonnaya won't receive many chances to score, either.
Don't pick up Ogbonnaya or any other Browns running back.
It's not worth it.