There is a lot of excitement and intrigue surrounding Indianapolis Colts quarterback Anthony Anthony Richardson. The team used the No. 4 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on the tantalizing prospect, hoping he can become their next franchise quarterback.
There is no denying the upside that the former Gator possesses. He has a combination of size, speed and athleticism that has never been seen before, putting up some eye-popping numbers at the NFL Combine. It will take some time for him to realize that potential, but it is easy to see that the tools are there.
The first order of business, however, is to beat out Gardner Minshew for the starting job. Minshew has a leg up in the competition as he has spent the last two seasons playing under Shane Steichen when he was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles, who is now the Colts’ head coach.
Even if Anthony Richardson doesn’t get the starting job right out of the gate, he will likely be involved every week. It would be a waste to not take advantage of his rushing ability, mixing him into the lineup to give opponents a different look.
Because he is not yet the starter, projecting the Florida product’s numbers for the 2023 season isn’t easy. But, there are already some Fantasy Football preparations going on and he is someone managers are keeping an eye on.
Over at ESPN, they already have projections done for the upcoming season. They are predicting a solid season from Anthony Richardson, who could find himself on the QB1 line when it is all said and done.
He is projected to complete 60.7 percent of his passes, going 269-of-443 for 2,889 passing yards. 16 touchdowns are projected to be thrown compared to 13 interceptions, with most of his damage coming on the ground. Anthony Richardson is projected to rush for 609 yards and five more scores.
“Anthony Richardson was selected with the No. 4 pick of April’s draft. The Florida product is a big (6’4″, 244 lbs.) and strong dual-threat QB who absolutely dominated at the combine, pacing this rookie QB class in the 40-yard dash (4.43), vertical (record-setting 40.5″) and broad jump (129″). Anthony Richardson will make plays with his legs (145-1,221-12 rushing line at Florida, including a class-best 8.4 YPC) and via downfield throws (class-high 10.3 aDOT) but has major accuracy concerns (class-worst 55% completion rate, 3.8% INT rate and 15.5% off-target rate) and is raw (13 career starts). Anthony Richardson has massive upside and his legs may be enough to immediately get him on the fantasy QB1 radar even if he struggles as a passer. Consider him with a late-round pick on draft day.”
We have seen plenty of quarterbacks break fantasy football over the years with their rushing ability. Just last season Justin Fields was winning managers their leagues despite the Chicago Bears having the least productive passing game in the NFL.
Fields did a ton of damage with his legs, producing as an RB1 in that regard, which Anthony Richardson possesses the upside to provide as well. In the early going, his rushing production is going to be what buoys his Fantasy Football performance.
For managers that is just fine, as it will provide Anthony Richardson with a very high weekly floor and some serious boom potential if he can find the end zone as a runner. If he comes close to producing the numbers that ESPN has projected for him, the Colts and Fantasy Football managers alike are going to be very happy.