Dose: Brown Out

Adam Levitan
Chet Gresham gives you his team for this weekend's Rotoworld FanDuel Tournament

The Colts reportedly feel no buyer’s remorse about the Trent Richardson trade. They’d allegedly make the deal again because they love his “violent running style.” They also just got an email from a woman in Cote d’Ivoire who has $380M for them and are going to collect.

GM Ryan Grigson made a bad trade and he knows it. And I’m not being results oriented – it was a bad trade at the time because even casual NFL fans know running back is the game’s most replaceable position. You can get Eddie Lacy in the third round, Alfred Morris in the sixth, Jamaal Charles in the third, Zac Stacy in the fifth, Andre Ellington in the sixth – the list goes on and on. If you spend a first-round pick on a running back, he better be Adrian Peterson. And Richardson clearly is not.

Thursday night’s 30-27 win at Tennessee was the tipping point for Richardson. He was once again wildly unproductive (eight carries for 22 yards, five catches for 31 yards). And when the game was in the balance in the second half, the Colts turned to Donald Brown. They don’t care that Grigson gave up a precious first-rounder for T-Rich, they just want to win games. And Brown gave them the best chance to win.

When the dust settled, Brown had rushed 14 times for 80 yards with two critical touchdowns. He earned that extra work and a game ball from coach Chuck Pagano.  Here are the numbers since Richardson joined the Colts eight games ago:

Trent Richardson: 96 carries, 272 yards (2.83 YPC), two touchdowns. 12 catches for 116 yards, zero touchdowns.
Donald Brown: 48 carries, 293 yards (6.10 YPC), three touchdowns. 14 catches for 139 yards, one touchdown.

About four weeks ago, a producer for a segment I do on CSN Washington asked me to answer a “would you rather” on Richardson vs. Brown. I told him we should scrap that topic because it wasn’t even close. Ask me again today, and I’d rather have neither. But if forced, I’d rather have Brown.

The Colts’ No. 1 receiver is T.Y. Hilton and their No. 2 receiver is Coby Fleener. Darrius Heyward-Bey appeared to be demoted out of two-wide sets in favor of LaVon Brazill at halftime Thursday, but the Colts said he had an ankle issue. … Andrew Luck’s athleticism is so underrated. He’s now averaging 23.1 rushing yards per game with four touchdowns, propping up his fantasy value. … Chris Johnson was impressive in the first half, bursting through a hole for a signature 30-yard touchdown and running over Antoine Bethea for another score. In the second half, it was CJWhateverK. Regardless, he gets Oakland and then the Colts again. He can help us. … Ryan Fitzpatrick’s noodle arm and conservative nature puts Delanie Walker (10/91/1) on the PPR radar. … Kendall Wright (9/80/0) killed the Colts with short crosses. He’s now averaging 5.9 catches per game.  

The safe play would be to take a wait-and-see approach with Percy Harvin this week. See how his hip is, see how the Seahawks use him and see how he fits in the run-first scheme. But I think I’d throw caution to the wind.

Harvin is practicing in full this week and has been practicing with the team since Oct. 21. He’ll be on a snap count, but is facing his old team – the one that he often butted heads with. We can be sure the Seahawks will want to give him a chance to exact some level of revenge. And of course, the Vikings have the league’s No. 30 overall defense and No. 29 pass defense. It’s a good spot to gamble with Harvin.

Shane Vereen (wrist) is expected to make his return this week. Of course, this is the Patriots we’re talking about, so we can’t say anything with certainty.

What we do know is that Vereen is practicing in full and coach Bill Belichick said they’re going to raise the passing back’s level of competition in practice. Assuming he handles it – and there’s no reason to think he won’t – he’ll play on Monday night against the Panthers.

It’s a dicey proposition to rely on Vereen this week, but desperate owners can pencil him in and use Brandon Bolden as a handcuff. But soon, Vereen will be the passing back, get some base carries and do some joker things. He was going to have a monster year if not for the Week 1 injury. Expect 10-14 touches weekly.

Terrelle Pryor (knee) got back in practice. The concern is that without his mobility, he’s not an effective real-life or fantasy quarterback. … Darren McFadden (hamstring) remains out of practice, as expected. Rashad Jennings is ready to rock again. … Peyton Manning (ankle) practiced Thursday. He’ll be fine – it’s not like he uses mobility to win anyway.

Vernon Davis (concussion) is practicing. It would be a surprise if he doesn’t play against the Saints. … Michael Crabtree (Achilles) isn’t practicing this week. Don’t expect him until Week 13 at the earliest. … Harry Douglas sustained a knee injury sometime this week, leaving him in doubt for Sunday. … Tony Gonzalez (toe) still hasn’t practiced. He’s likely headed for a game-time call. … Stevie Johnson (groin) is looking very doubtful and Robert Woods (ankle) is out. The Jets D/ST is a nice streamer. … Michael Floyd (shoulder) is back in practice and on track to play through his AC sprain vs. the Jags. … Calvin Johnson (undisclosed) hasn’t practiced yet this week. He says he’ll be fine for Sunday. … Nate Burleson (arm) now appears to be targeting Week 12 for his return.

Christian Ponder continues to get the first-team reps. He’s going to start in a nightmare matchup against the Seahawks Sunday. … Ed Reed, the 35-year-old cut by the Texans after slipping to third string, signed with the Jets. He’s more name than game. … Joe Haden is expected to shadow A.J. Green Sunday. It’s not the week to use Green in daily leagues.