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Anthony Richardson start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

We break down the fantasy football outlook of Anthony Richardson ahead of the Colts’ Week 1 matchup against the Jaguars.

Indianapolis Colts v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

It didn’t take long for the Indianapolis Colts to name Anthony Richardson as their starting quarterback, to the surprise of no one. The fourth overall pick in this year’s draft could be one of the most exciting players to watch this season, and with a big arm and a rare kind of playmaking ability as a runner, he’s on the fantasy football radar too.

Richardson and the Colts kick off their season at home against a pretty good Jacksonville Jaguars team. It’s not the easiest matchup for a rookie signal caller’s regular season debut. Anyone nervous about putting Richardson in their fantasy lineup is wondering whether or not this is the week to roll with him.

Fantasy Football analysis: Colts QB Anthony Richardson

There’s just not a lot of tape on Richardson, who only had one full season as a starter in college with Florida. Still, he looked pretty good in that season. In the preseason this year, we got a little taste of what Richardson can do. He showed off his knack for keeping plays alive in the face of defensive pressure and making some big throws.

The Colts head coach, Shane Steichen, comes via the Eagles, where he helped mold Jalen Hurts into one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Expect him to lean on Richardson’s ability to create plays as a runner, mixing in a lot of lower-risk throws while he develops, with an occasional tease from that massive arm.

Start or sit in Week 1 standard leagues?

Richardson is a risky start this week, and I’d be more inclined to give him a solid green light if Jonathan Taylor were playing too. Still, there’s some real upside here that just might be worth the risk. If nothing else, I would expect him to have the chance to pad his numbers in garbage time in what should be a one-sided affair for the Jags.

Jacksonville was fifth in rushing attempts allowed by opposing quarterbacks, giving up 469 yards on the ground to signal callers, third most in the NFL last season. Those encouraging numbers make me think Richardson is worth the risk this week unless you can start someone from the first or second-tier or quarterbacks.

Player(s) you would start ahead of Anthony Richardson

If you want more reliability, Aaron Rodgers is a solid option this week, even though a lot of fantasy folks are fading him. He’s got a potential shootout with the Bills on tap. I like Jared Goff too, in that middle tier of QBs with Richardson, because he’s got a solid group of skill players and a game against the Chiefs where he’ll likely be chasing points in the second half.