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Daryl Richardson makes fantasy football owners worry by saying he’s not starting

Daryl-Richardson-RamsSt. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson is quickly slipping into fantasy football irrelevancy. Fellow running back Isaiah Pead was a surprise inactive against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, and Richardson was still unable to put together a decent stat line with a backfield to himself. He rushed for only 16 yards on 12 carries, bringing his season total to 114 yards on 42 attempts. He has yet to find the end zone.

Since Richardson was drafted as a second running back by most fantasy players, his abysmal start has put a lot of teams in rough shape. It may not get better anytime soon. On Wednesday, Richardson responded to a fan’s Twitter question about whether or not he would be starting against the Jacksonville Jaguars this weekend. Here is the original tweet.

Richardson replied to the tweet by saying “not this week man,” though he later deleted it after it went viral. That could indicate that Pead will be active this week or that Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham are in for more work.

Fantasy owners were hoping a matchup against the Jaguars’ last-ranked rush defense would be the medicine Richardson needs. That won’t be the case if the Rams don’t give him the ball. He’s in danger of becoming a full-blown fantasy bust.

Week 5 fantasy pickups include Danny Woodhead, Justin Blackmon, Heath Miller

Danny-Woodhead-ChargersBelieve it or not, one quarter of the fantasy football season is already in the books. For those of you who have your championship in Week 16, we’ve already passed the 25% mark. If you’ve managed to dominate the first four games of the season, you’re in good shape. If you haven’t, there’s still plenty of time to work the waiver wire, pull off a few trades and put yourself in position to make the playoffs. Here are your Week 5 fantasy pickups.

Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers: Most of us assumed Woodhead was a product of a highly-product Patriots offense last season and would have little fantasy appeal with the Chargers. It’s starting to look like we were wrong. Ryan Mathews is still Ryan Mathews and Woodhead has become a favorite safety valve for Philip Rivers. After posting more than six fantasy points in Weeks 2 and 3, he went off for 84 total yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys. Don’t expect that kind of production again, but there’s no reason Woodhead can’t be a viable flex play most weeks.

Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars: The hope here is that the Jaguars eventually realize Blaine Gabbert is useless and go back to Chad Henne. Either way, Blackmon is returning from a four-game suspension this week and should instantly become the most viable receiving option in Jacksonville’s pathetic offense. It’s hard to get excited about anyone on this team, but someone has to see targets while the Jags are playing catch-up every single week. Blackmon is a solid candidate for that and there’s a good chance he’s been forgotten during his suspension.

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Chris Johnson goes off on his disappointed fantasy owners

Chris JohnsonChris Johnson went off on his disappointed fantasy football owners, turning the tables on them and blaming them for drafting him and starting him in their lineups.

Johnson made his comments on Twitter Sunday night after rushing for just 21 yards on 15 carries in the Tennessee Titans’ 38-13 win over the New York Jets.

“Public service announcement: I can care less about fantasy football. Key word fantasy. As long as we win I’m happy. I rush for 200 n lose y’all happy,” Johnson wrote.

“U r the head coach n the owner of ur fantasy team so u should be mad at urself I didn’t ask any of u to draft me so if I’m so sorry y start me,” Johnson said in another tweet.

Ignoring his shorthand Twitter game, he makes a good point. If you’re a fantasy football owner, it’s your fault for drafting him. I didn’t think he would do anything this year, and that’s been the case. CJ went from 2K to barely CJ1K. If you took him in your draft and continue to start him, that’s on you.

The trend of seeing football players respond to fantasy owners via Twitter has been popular this year. We saw Ray Rice lash out at them earlier this season, and now Johnson has. Last year DeAngelo Williams did it after taking a lot of nastiness.

Who can really blame Johnson for his reaction? Some fans were supportive of him after the game, but others crushed him with hateful tweets. Let’s take a look at some of them. Be warned that the language is offensive in many of them.

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Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya fantasy players to pick up after trade

Willis McGahee BroncosThe Cleveland Browns traded former No. 3 overall draft pick Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday for a first-round pick, leaving them with a huge void at running back. As soon as a trade like this is made, the fantasy impact must also be analyzed.

Richardson was the only back to carry the ball for the Browns this season, so what will they do to fill that position?

Chris Ogbonnaya and Bobby Rainey are the likely in-house options, but CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports that the team will sign Willis McGahee as long as he passes his physical.

McGahee is the top guy to target as long as the deal goes through. The Browns wouldn’t have traded Richardson unless they felt they had some sort of adequate replacement, and McGahee is just that. McGahee played 10 games with the Broncos last season and was released in the offseason. He must be recovered from his broken leg if the team made the trade and is planning to sign him.

McGahee turns 32 next month and averaged 4.4 yards per carry last season with Denver. Though he lost four fumbles, he still looked like an effective back prior to his injury.

Cleveland’s offense has its limitations in terms of productivity possibilities, but if you’re a fantasy football owner looking for a flex option who can give you yards and maybe the occasional touchdown, McGahee is a recommended pickup.

Ogbonnaya is more of a player to pick up for this weekend’s game at Minnesota. He’s familiar with the offense and will likely see the most carries among Cleveland’s backs, if we had to make a guess. He also could cut into McGahee’s load for the future. He’s the guy you probably want this weekend, while Willis is the longterm back to own.

Temper your expectations here because the Browns offense didn’t run the ball much even with Richardson, but like we said, if you need a back, McGahee should be satisfactory.

Week 3 fantasy pickups include Eddie Royal, DeAndre Hopkins, James Starks

Eddie-Royal-ChargersUnlike the relatively quiet opening week we began with this NFL season, Week 2 was littered with injuries. Ray Rice is dealing with a hip flexor strain that is not considered serious, but everyone needs to be adding Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce if he isn’t already owned. He should have been drafted in almost all leagues, so we’re not considering him a waiver wire pickup.

Other injuries included Packers running back Eddie Lacy and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who both left their respective games with concussions. Falcons running back Steven Jackson also went down with a thigh injury and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Vernon Davis could also miss time with a hamstring injury. Long story short, the waiver wire is more important than ever. Here are your Week 2 fantasy pickups.

Eddie Royal, WR, Chargers: The bad news for Royal in fantasy terms is that he has hauled in five touchdown passes in the first two games of the season — while he was on waivers in most leagues. He’s only owned in 24% of fantasy leagues, but that number will shoot up this week now that he has obviously developed a rapport with Philip Rivers. Should we expect the WR1 or WR2 numbers to continue? It’s doubtful at best, but with Floyd looking like he’s going to miss time Royal should continue to see plenty of targets. He’s worth adding if you’re in a league that starts three receivers and are struggling to find someone to plug in.

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Ray Rice rips fantasy football owners after suffering hip injury

Ray-Rice-RavensIn many ways, fantasy football has made the world an evil place. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had to leave his team’s win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he suffered a hip injury. Prior to that, he was not performing well. Rice finished the game with just 45 total yards and three receptions, which gave his fantasy owners somewhere in the range of four to seven points.

The lack of production angered fantasy players who took Rice in the first round of drafts. In fact, many of them even ripped Rice for leaving the game with an injury. Those people have sullied Rice’s opinion of fantasy football.

Rice has played in all 16 games over the past four seasons, so he has not had to listen to cold-hearted fantasy “managers” complaining about things he can’t control — like injuries. Guys like Arian Foster could tell you that the concept is hardly a new one and has been an issue for years.

People like yours truly, who have Ravens backup running back Bernard Pierce sitting on their bench, perked up a bit when Rice went down. As awful as it sounds, that is what fantasy football has done to us. Fortunately for Rice and the Ravens, the injury is considered minor. The biggest impact it may have on the 26-year-old is opening his eyes to what fantasy owners are truly like.

Maybe next time Rice needs to take the DeAngelo Williams approach to fantasy owners.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

James Starks a fantasy player to watch with Lacy’s concussion

James StarksJames Starks was hardly on the fantasy football radar prior to Sunday, but he is the top player to keep your eye on entering Week 3.

Starks came in for the Green Bay Packers after rookie running back Eddie Lacy left with a concussion suffered on his first carry of Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins. Starks looked brilliant against the Skins defense, posting 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and 36 receiving yards. He showed an excellent burst and no hesitation on the 32-yard touchdown he scored late in the third quarter.

Starks, a sixth-round pick of the Packers in 2010, looked better than he did in 2011, which is when he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and posted 794 combined yards. To give you an idea of how bad Green Bay’s rushing game has been, Starks was the first Packer to have a 100-yard rushing game since Brandon Jackson ran for 115 at Washington on Oct. 10, 2010.

We were high on Eddie Lacy for fantasy purposes entering the season, but the concussion was a really bad break. There is no report on how much time he might miss, but Starks is a player you need to keep your eye on in case Lacy is out. He might be worth picking up just in case Lacy misses next week’s game at Cincinnati. Starks is available in most fantasy football leagues.