Richardson ready for the rock: As if it were ever in question, Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson will see “plenty of reps,” according to coach Pat Shurmur. Richardson is the clear-cut starter at running back and is expected to touch the ball 320-plus times this season. His versatility and “workhorse” status will make him a first-round selection in fantasy drafts. The only concern is if the Browns can improve on their 30th-ranked scoring offense from a year ago, which could limit Richardson’s scoring potential. Regardless, his heavy load will provide plenty of points to justify his draft status.
Percy practices: Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin returned to the practice field yesterday for the first time since having shoulder surgery in April. Harvin had a career season in an expanded role last year, filling in for injured running back Adrian Peterson in the backfield and handling his regular receiver duties. Peterson will be back in action this season, and the acquisition of Jerome Simpson has many on edge on if Harvin at least can reproduce last season’s successes. Though the Vikings could spread the ball out a bit more this year, Harvin will still be an integral piece to the puzzle and should see things open up for him as defenses turn their focus back to Peterson. Harvin will be a mid-round value with plenty of upside as a WR #2 on your fantasy team.
Muscle Hamster impresses: Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin has coach Greg Schiano raving about the rookie after just two days of OTA practices. The Buccaneers are obviously high on Martin after trading back into the first round of April’s NFL draft to select him 31st overall. Like Richardson, Martin is a versatile back with the skill set to be an every-down player. LeGarrette Blount will still see touches, but Martin should be at the top of the depth chart once the season begins. Schiano has committed to the ground game and Martin will be the centerpiece. He should be drafted as a RB #2 in the early rounds with confidence in his production level.
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