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Fantasy Football sleepers: Daryl Richardson could be St. Louis Rams' running back of the near future

Daryl Richardson was an afterthought on NFL Draft day—now he's pushed Isaiah Pead out of his fantasy football sleeper-slash-St. Louis Rams running back of the future gig.

David Welker

Right now Daryl Richardson's primary fantasy football function is to make life miserable for the people who drafted Steven Jackson, and for the rest of 2012 that's likely to be the case. But the really deep-in-the-weeds sleeper types, and people who've had terrible injury luck with their first-stringers, have already begun wondering about what he'll do the rest of the year. If you're one of those people, consider this update a small public service.

With every game, Daryl Richardson looks less like a preseason fluke and more like a genuinely useful running back. After his breakout game in Washington—15 carries for 83 yards—he disappeared from the offense a little, but in his last three games he's run the ball 28 times for 147 yards while catching five balls for 66 more.

The good news—if you own Steven Jackson, you'll recognize this as the terrible news—is that even with Jackson getting stronger, Richardson's gotten a lot of playing time. In Week 6 he nearly split the carries, and in Week 7 he took eight (for 36 yards) and made three catches with Jackson at full strength.

The bad news is that he's still splitting carries, and short of a Steven Jackson trade he'll remain in that complementary role. (He also has the not-dead-yet Isaiah Pead behind him on the depth chart.) He's not going to get you consistent points yet, but if you insist on playing near the fantasy football bleeding edge his role seems to be increasing