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Donald Brown and Trent Richardson's Updated Fantasy Outlook for Week 13

USA Today
Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2013

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly have finally made the decision to ride the hot hand. 

According to NFL.com's Michael Silver, via NFL: Around the League on Twitter, the organization will bench beleaguered running back Trent Richardson in favor of Donald Brown in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport found that the franchise has decided to roll with its most productive back after going 2-2 following the Week 8 bye.

During that four-game span, the Colts have fallen behind by at least 14 points in every contest. After a 40-11 humbling by the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12, Indianapolis clearly needs to shake things up and work to establish the run.

Fantasy owners who own Brown should rejoice, as well as instantly place him into their starting lineups if they can find room for him. He’s a bona fide RB2 heading into this AFC South rivalry matchup and should produce in a big way.

Oct 28, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Donald Brown (31) gives his glove to a fan as he leaves the field after defeating the Tennessee Titans 19-13 in overtime at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

These two rivals played on Thursday Night Football in Week 11, when Brown helped the Colts mount a big second-half comeback with two touchdown runs. In addition to those two scores, the five-year veteran out of UConn compiled 80 yards on his 14 carries.

Compare that to Richardson, who had a mere 22 yards on his eight carries and recently sunk his yards per carry average below 3.0 on the season. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft has just 96 yards on 42 carries over the last five games.

Nov 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Colts 40-11. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Any fantasy owner who was still planning on utilizing the former Alabama star in a starting lineup must finally pull the plug. Richardson is a fringe handcuff option, at best, right now and should be dropped in standard leagues without deep benches.

While the Colts aren’t ready to give up on T-Rich as their future running back—a wise move considering they gave up a first-rounder in the coming draft to land him earlier this season—Brown is likely going to get the nod for the remainder of the 2013 campaign.

The numbers back it up, as he has rushed for 324 yards on 57 touches thus far—an outstanding 5.7 yard-per-carry average—compared to Richardson’s 392 yards on 134 rushes this year.

The Colts are making a bold choice to put Richardson on the bench, but it is the right one. Expect Brown to come in and immediately bolster the running game in Indianapolis with his increased workload, which is something fantasy owners will certainly appreciate.

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