Conventional wisdom tells us that Trent Richardson is the best running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson. Does that make him equally valuable as a fantasy commodity? Unfortunately, the NFL has changed dramatically, even since Peterson entered the league, so the answer to that question is “no.”
Just because he will not produce at the same level as Peterson does not mean Richardson is less valuable than a lot of other running backs, however. There is a strong debate whether he should be the first rookie off the board in dynasty leagues, and that is saying something considering how much value quarterbacks have nowadays.
Toiling behind Mark Ingram until last year, Richardson broke out last season with 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. He averaged 5.8 YPC for his career. Yes, he will be good at the next level.
When Cleveland moved up one spot, giving up 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks, it was all but certain they would be taking Richardson. From a fantasy perspective, there is no better landing spot for the talented back out of Alabama. He will land in a feature back situation, making him an instant contender for top-ten RB status as a rookie. Going to Cleveland may have made him the best choice in rookie drafts as well.