Daryl Richardson Says He's Not Starting for Rams; Analyzing RB's Fantasy Value
Struggling St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson isn't expecting to draw the start when his team takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5.
Richardson was responding to fan questions on Twitter, and when someone asked if he was going to start this weekend, he replied no:
@saebhaidar not this week man— Daryl Richardson (@DRICH_26) October 2, 2013
However, despite the tweet, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said he hasn't decided on his starting back for Week 5, according to Jim Thomas of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“Haven’t decided yet,” Fisher said when asked who was starting against Jacksonville. “We’ll probably play most if not all of the running backs who are active.”
The starter, Fisher continued, “depends on what package we’re in, you know, when we start the game. ... We’ve got different things, and different style runners, and we’ve got different things for different backs.”
Richardson’s since-deleted tweet came in response to a fan asking him if he was starting this week. “Not this week, man,”was Richardson’s reply.
“That was just brought to my attention,” Fisher said, at his post-practice media session. “I was surprised about that. But we haven’t gone in one direction or the other right now.”
The Rams are apparently set to give another back an opportunity, although it's unclear whether it will be Isaiah Pead, Benny Cunningham or somebody else. Regardless, not having a spot in the starting lineup is a serious blow to Richardson's short-term fantasy value, especially considering the tasty Week 5 matchup.
He was already walking a tightrope with fantasy owners after averaging less than three yards per carry in the early going. Yet any starting back has value in fantasy leagues, so he still was worth a flex start depending on the matchup.
What should fantasy owners do with Richardson?
Week 5 would have presented one of those chances as the Rams are set to face the league's worst run defense. The Jaguars are giving up more the 160 yards per game on the ground, providing fantasy backs with room to post monster numbers.
It sounds like Richardson won't be fortunate enough to capitalize, though. He may still be involved in the offense, but to what degree remains more uncertain than ever, and fantasy owners simply can't afford to take such a major risk without guaranteed carries.
Looking ahead, the 2012 seventh-round pick flashed upside while averaging nearly five yards per carry last season. He probably doesn't deserve to be dropped unless the St. Louis backfield situation sorts itself out and he's the odd man out.
At least for Week 5, however, he belongs on the bench and should remain there until his role within the Rams' offense is clear.
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