Daryl Richardson's Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook Heading into Week 4

Mike MoraitisAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 17: Daryl Richardson #26 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Green Bay Packers after catching a pass during a preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome on August 17, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson's fantasy value has taken a slip through the first three weeks of the NFL season, and that trend is likely to continue going into Week 4.

Richardson, who was listed as active for the Rams 31-7 loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, only saw two snaps before having his foot stepped on, which resulted in him leaving the game for good, per Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

RB Daryl Richardson was in for only one play, got his injured foot stepped on, and that was it.

— Jim Thomas (@jthom1) September 22, 2013

While Richardson was unable to carry the ball once, fellow back Isaiah Pead carried the rock six times for 20 yards and failed to make the most of his opportunity. So, with a total failure on Pead's part to make an impact, Richardson likely won't be booted from his starting role just yet.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22:   Isaiah Pead #24 of the St. Louis Rams runs the ball against  Brandon Carr #39 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

However, Richardson hasn't lived up to any expectations he had coming into the season as he's gained just 98 yards on 30 carries, good enough for a 3.3 yards per. That could mean Richardson's time will be split with the other backs on the roster as the Rams continue to search for a consistent answer at the position.

The most troubling thing is how fragile Richardson's foot seems to be. If it only took a step on his foot to take him out of the game, there's a good chance Richardson's problems will derail him once again in Week 4, should he play at all.

While his status is still up in the air for Week 4 against the San Francisco 49ers, Richardson was limited in practice on Monday but plans to play on Thursday night with the injury that has plagued him all season, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com.

This nagging injury may be a huge reason why Richardson has been unable to produce. It appears his foot isn't getting any better any time soon and that will lead to more lackluster weeks from the Rams back.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 22:  Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams throws against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On top of that, St. Louis is very much a pass-first squad, as evidenced by its No. 8 ranking, and as quarterback Sam Bradford continues to have success, the Rams will keep throwing the ball as their best option to gain yardage on offense.

The only bright spot heading into Week 4 for fantasy owners is that Richardson will be trying to bounce back against a Niners defense that ranks No. 29 against the run this season and just got smoked by running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Trent Richardson of the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.

It must be noted that expectations for the Niners defense as a whole were much higher coming into 2013-14 and those expectations haven't been met. It's just a matter of time before San Fran's defensive unit improves and that could happen this week at the expense of Richardson and company.

With injuries and ineffectiveness being the norm for Richardson, and the Rams rushing attack overall, the 23-year-old's stock is taking a serious nosedive going into Week 4 and it doesn't figure to get any better moving forward.