Is Rashard Mendenhall a Top 10 Fantasy Running Back?
Rashard Mendenhall owners got a bit of bad news when Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin named Isaac Redman as the short-yardage back. While it isn’t an ideal situation, I wouldn’t write off Mendenhall as a legitimate WR1.
In fact, some of the other RBs that have similar ADPs like DeAngelo Williams, Pierre Thomas, LeSean McCoy, Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene could also find themselves yielding the goal line touches as well.
Mendenhall had 1108 yards on 242 carries for a solid 4.6 yards per carry. He also added 25 catches for 261 yards and a score. I believe it’s that versatility that will keep him on the field inside the five. Maybe he loses a few one-yard plunges from Redman, but it shouldn’t be enough to drastically sway your opinion about Mendenhall.
It’s not like Mendenhall struggled inside the five last year as six of his rushing touchdowns came from four or fewer yards, with the seventh coming from seven yards out. His lone TD reception was from eight yards out. That’s eight TDs inside the ten yard line in the 13 games he started.
Redman may have the size (6’0″, 230 lbs), but he’ll have to prove he can handle the punishment around the goal line. You may want to lower your expectations for Mendenhall, but this news doesn’t budge him out of the #9 ranking I give him (click to see my 2010 RB rankings).
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