Roy Helu, 26, looks like a perfect fit for Oakland’s new up-tempo offense that will often feature a no-huddle approach. ESPN scout Matt Williamson thinks Helu can be one of the Raiders’ most productive offensive weapons even though it will be in a limited role.
“While he isn’t great in protection, I think he will be a very valuable piece and a quick safe option for Derek Carr in this up-tempo passing game and offense overall,” Williamson said. “Helu has been extremely productive on a per-snap basis.”
Helu has averaged 2.69 catches per game in his four-year career, and is expected to serve as the team's primary passing down back while Latavius Murray and Trent Richardson compete for early-down duties. The Raiders are planning to move to a more up-tempo offense under OC Bill Musgrave, who spent last season working for Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. Helu is likely to be fantasy relevant in PPR formats, though the explosive Murray should hold the most fantasy value in 2015.
Saturday, April 4, 2015, 9:05am
Williamson: I think Murray is going to win the job. I just don’t think Richardson is a starting running back in the NFL. He has shown no explosion. I think he is a backup. Two teams have committed first-round picks to him and they both gave up on him. That’s a hint. Murray has more explosion and more potential at this point.
Williamson added that Murray does have to improve his football IQ. That likely means they want Murray to know the playbook more, know scheme better, know the blocking schemes better. It’s all things a young running back has to go through. Roy Helu may be a bigger threat to take away production than Richardson.
"I think it will be a competitive situation," Del Rio said.
Del Rio likes Richardson's potential.
"What I saw when we brought him in and talked to him was a young man that was hungry to kind of leave that portion of his career behind him and start fresh," Del Rio said. "My challenge to him was, 'Look, I don't want you to worry about anything other than coming in here and competing your butt off every day. Come in here and be a great teammate. Come in here and find a role on special teams. Come in here and just grind every day with the hunger you had as a freshman at Alabama.'"
We fully expect Murray to win the job, though it is concerning that the Raiders aggressively pursued DeMarco Murray. It indicates that they aren't fully ready to move forward with Latavius Murray, even though he rushed 82 times for 424 yards (a 5.2 YPC) and two touchdowns, including an incredible four-carry, 112-yard, two-TD performance against the Chiefs in Week 12. He still averaged a solid (if unspectacular) 4.0 YPC when that game is excluded. With good size (6'2", 223 lbs) and great speed (4.38 40-yard dash), Murray has all the physical tools to succeed at the position. He even showed solid hands with 17 receptions on 23 targets. We don't see Richardson as much of a threat, but teams have force-fed him before. Roy Helu is also in the mix, so if the Raiders don't commit to Murray, this could devolve into an ugly committee.
This is actually good news for Latavius Murray, since Richardson isn't a real threat to Murray's chances of winning the RB1 job in Oakland. The team went hard after DeMarco Murray but ended up with T-Rich. There's an opportunity for a joke here, but we're going to let it pass. The team also signed Roy Helu, who should serve as the third down back.
The rocky relationship between the Indianapolis Colts and running back Trent Richardson built up over time during the 2014 season because of weight issues, accessibility and an absence, multiple sources told ESPN.com.
Richardson, whom the Colts acquired from Cleveland in September 2013, had weight issues during the season, was difficult to get in touch with and didn't tell the team he wouldn't be at the walk-through the day before the AFC Championship Game, a source said. He was suspended two games by the team for missing the walk-through.
He served the first game of the suspension during the AFC Championship Game against New England. His second game will be served next season -- if he's still with the Colts.
Because of default language in his contract, the Colts could exercise an option to void $3.1 million in guaranteed money owed to Richardson next season. The NFL Players Association would likely challenge that ruling if it occurs.
It's unlikely that Richardson will be back with the Colts next season. The team is likely to (finally) admit its mistake and move on.
If his suspension stands, the Colts can cut T-Rich without paying him for the final year of his contract. Look for the team to shore up the RB position this offseason.
GM Ryan Grigson gets asked about Trent Richardson. Says he was suspended for two games and won’t get into it because of personal reasons.
It appears that Richardson's time in Indianapolis is drawing to a close. When asked about T-Rich returning in 2015, Grigson declined to comment. RIchardson is under contract for one more season.
Friday, January 2, 2015, 5:04pm
Colts RB Trent Richardson (illness, questionable) missed practice Friday and is questionable for Week 18. Richardson is likely to play, but may be limited, further boosting Dan Herron’s upside in a good matchup against Cincinnati.
The first, and most obvious, is the Colts' considerable lack of depth at running back. Trent Richardson and Dan Herron are joined only by undrafted rookie Zurlon Tipton from Central Michigan, currently the third running back. The Colts, like most teams in today's NFL, prefer to play a rotation of running backs. With Ahmad Bradshaw on injured reserve, there aren't a lot of options.
Arguing for more carries for Herron is one thing – he's been more productive – but to suggest that he alone handle all the carries, when he has no history of being an every-down running back, is a stretch.
But there's a much bigger reason behind the Colts' rationale to stick with Richardson. And it has little to do with running the football. Richardson is the best pass-blocking running back the Colts have, a distinction that greatly increases his worth to the coaching staff.
You might not value this quality in your favorite team's running back, but quarterbacks do not share your opinion.
While it's just one opinion, it makes a lot of sense. Protecting one of the top QBs in the league is key to the Colts success and playoff future, and if Richardson has the best ability to keep Luck upright, he's going to be on the field. That could mean on the field in key third down situations, which obviously would limit Herron's pass-catching numbers. Both Herron and Richardson had two receptions last week.
Saturday, December 6, 2014, 8:49am
Colts running back Trent Richardson has been a major disappointment since he was traded early last season from Cleveland to Indianapolis. But Richardson says he’s still the same player who was once viewed as an elite running back prospect.
Richardson, who is preparing to face his former team on Sunday, says he has the confidence to brush off the people who point out that he’s come up short in Indianapolis. That confidence stems from his own belief that he’s still the same guy who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
“When I hear people talk down about me, I just laugh at them and I say, ‘God bless you,’” Richardson said. “I want everybody to see and know that I’m still that running back, I’m still that guy that Cleveland chose with the third pick. A lot of people are saying Trent is a mistake and he was bad and he was that, but I’m telling you folks now, watch these next four weeks and see what happens.”
Whether it's true or not, it seems like Dan Herron has passed Richardson after just one week, and despite fumbling. As the story points out, through Richardson's first 27 games as a Colt, he has averaged 3.05 yards a carry and 33.5 yards a game.
Herron’s 49-yard touchdown run against Washington was the longest for the team since Week 16 of last season.
“He's a talented, talented guy and I think we've seen that out of him,” HC Chuck Pagano said after Herron’s 88-yard outing against Washington.
“He's quick, he's fast to hit the hole and once he gets outside, he's got some long speed. I think we all found that out (Sunday). It's always nice to be able to get outside and get those guys loose in the secondary and have a guy that can take it the distance."
Herron has quickly become the top fantasy back in Indianapolis with Trent Richardson continuing to struggle running the ball. Over the past two weeks, T-Rich has gained 54 yards on 21 carries (2.57 YPC) while Herron has gained 153 yards on 20 carries (7.65 YPC). Even when Herron's 49-yard TD run is removed, he's still averaging 5.47 YPC in the last two games. He should continue to see his role increase, though Pagano has said that he's not ready to give Herron the majority of the touches. For now, Herron is a low-end RB2 due to his limited workload.
Indianapolis Colts backup running back Daniel "Boom" Herron has outplayed starter Trent Richardson in the past two games. But coach Chuck Pagano is not ready to make a switch and give Herron the majority of the workload in the backfield.
"We're not there," Pagano said. "You guys might be, but I'm not."
Still, Pagano is sticking by Richardson, who returns to face the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, because he has "no level of concern with how he's playing."
"He's a professional, he understands," Pagano said. "None of us can ever get away from working at our craft regardless of the circumstance, regardless of adversity, just keep grinding, just keep working, just keep swinging the ax. If he keeps swinging the ax, the tree will fall. If you put the ax down, the tree is never coming down. Just keep chopping wood and good things will happen."
Herron has rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. Richardson has only rushed for 54 yards in the past two games. He gained 12 yards on eight attempts against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and that performance came two weeks after he didn't rush for any yards on six attempts against New England. Herron looks like the better fantasy back to own and it didn't take long for him to emerge over Richardson. It seems like Richardson is still going to get his work for now though.
I'm going with Dan Herron. He spent most of the season as the Colts' third running back, then moves into the starting lineup against Jacksonville and rushes for 65 yards and has 31 yards receiving. Richardson, who everybody has been waiting to see get going, rushed for 42 yards and didn't have any catches out of the backfield.
The thought was coach Chuck Pagano started Herron over Richardson because Richardson missed a day of practice because he was sick. Turns out Pagano went with Herron because he outperformed Richardson in practice. I wouldn't be surprised if Herron starts at running back again this week against the Redskins.
Wells didn't mention anything about beyond this week, but reading into it a bit, it would sure seem like Herron could end up being the starter over Richardson. Herron didn't need a lot of time to out-perform Richardson in practice and move into the starting role. Richardson will still get his carries which will likely cap Herron's fantasy value, but Herron seems like the back to own between the two.
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