Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
The return of Steven Jackson to the front of the St. Louis Rams' offense means Daryl Richardson's big fantasy football debut is going to have to wait for all but the most dedicated birddogs.
For a while, there, the St. Louis Rams' running back utilization was creating a minor sleeper rush on seventh-round draft pick Daryl Richardson (and a major freak-out from owners of their all-time rushing leader, Steven Jackson.) Richardson showed off impressive quickness and big-play ability as the Rams' complementary back, and as they approached their bye week he was carrying the ball nearly as frequently as a much-diminished Jackson, who was being cited frequently in trade talks.
Then Jackson crossed 100 yards Sunday-before-last in the Rams' exciting-but-disappointing tie against the San Francisco 49ers, and to do it he carried the ball more than three times as often as Richardson, and the bull-market vanished. Based on that reaction we're tentatively predicting a massive, Black Friday-style sell-off Monday morning, after an ugly Rams loss in which Steven Jackson was the sole bright spot.
He disappeared with the Rams' offense--giving the ball to your 29-year-old, consistently hurt running back seems superfluous after you've been blown away by Mark Sanchez--but when Jackson was on the field he looked as good as ever, carrying the ball 13 times for 81 yards. Richardson got six carries, for 26 yards.
Which is nothing to sniff at for a complementary back. The news, then, is that with Jackson on the Rams until the end of the season, Richardson will remain a complementary back until 2013. Meanwhile, it looks like Rams fans and fantasy football players alike will just have to wait until next year.