RB Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals
HT: 5-10, WT: 225, Born: 6-19-1987, College: Illinois, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 23
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Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full ADP list]Overall: B Green-Ellis (68), J Jones (69), Rashard Mendenhall (70), T Romo (71), V Davis (72)
Position: V Ballard (59-RB24), B Green-Ellis (68-RB25), Rashard Mendenhall (70 - RB26), L Bell (75-RB27), M Ball (76-RB28)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of June 11th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: G Jennings (71), J Jones (72), Rashard Mendenhall (73), R Griffin III (74), T Romo (75)
Position: E Lacy (63-RB27), C Ivory (67-RB28), Rashard Mendenhall (73 - RB29), B Green-Ellis (78-RB30), G Bernard (79-RB31)
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Rashard Mendenhall was a first-round pick by the Steelers in 2008 and has a couple of 1,000-yard seasons under his belt. He played out his contract in Pittsburgh and signed with the Cardinals this offseason, where he will likely be starter at running back. When he is healthy, Mendenhall is a no-nonsense runner who stays north-south and gets the tough inside yards. He has been somewhat injury-prone so far in his NFL career, but the Cardinals are used to that in their running backs. Mendenhall will have to fend off Ryan Williams, as well as rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington, for carries. Because the Cardinals' running game has lacked luster in recent seasons, and because Mendenhall is no sure thing to maintain the starting job all season, he should not drafted as a fantasy starter in leagues that start only two running backs.
Latest NewsCardinals | Bruce Arians backs Rashard Mendenhall (Wed Jun 19, 12:53 PM) - Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said on NFL AM that 'there's no doubt' RB Rashard Mendenhall would be the featured back if the season started Wednesday, June 19. Arians is shying away from the notion that this is a time share. Mendenhall is also ready to go after fighting Achilles' tendonitis last year following early-2012 knee surgery. Our View: Arians wants one clear cut back and is not going to employ a RBBC with the Cardinals. That back is looking more and more like Mendenhall. The two have a history from their days together with the Steelers. Mendenhall's main competition for the starting job is third-year RB Ryan Williams. We'll see if Mendenhall can stay healthy and be a value pick for fantasy owners. His current ADP is RB29 and he's coming off the board at 5.11 in 12 team leagues.
link to story Cardinals | Rashard Mendenhall clearly No. 1 back (Thu Jun 13, 01:46 PM) - Arizona Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall has clearly been the top option in the backfield. He's looked good hitting holes, stable in pass protection and catching out of the backfield. Our View: No surprise here. The team is looking for one RB to be the primary ball carrier and that's looking more and more like Mendenhall. He has a history with new Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians from their days together in Pittsburgh. Mendenhall is competing with Ryan Williams to be the team's lead back. Arians has commented earlier this offseason that he's not going to use a RBBC.
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|1||at St. Louis Rams|
|3||at New Orleans Saints|
|4||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|6||at San Francisco 49ers|
|11||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|13||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|14||St. Louis Rams|
|15||at Tennessee Titans|
|16||at Seattle Seahawks|
|17||San Francisco 49ers|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 5 - If you were worrying about Rashard Mendenhall's health entering this game, you can rest assured that he is back to his best. Mendenhall showed off that he is clearly the team's best running back and it's not even close. The first evidence to support that claim came on a run that was eventually negated by an illegal formation penalty outside the numbers. The penalty had nothing to do with Mendenhall slicing through the center of the defense however. Mendenhall made a quick decision, but more importantly the right decision, to aggressively accelerate through the hole before absorbing a hit from Kurt Coleman and sprinting into the open field. Mendenhall was running very hard and showed no ill-effects of his absence. He again attacked the interior of the defense with a quick decision before spinning away from a defender to turn a one yard gain into a five yard gain. It was those types of plays that the Steelers weren't getting from their other backs. Where Mendenhall really looked good however, was as a receiver. At times he lined up in the slot, but he caught his three* receptions coming out of the backfield. His first reception put him in the open field with one defender between he and the first down marker. Mendenhall got up a head of steam and ran over Kurt Coleman for the first down. He then caught a pass with Mychal Kendricks in his face. Mendenhall hesitated to stand up the linebacker in space, before accelerating past him to the sideline. Mendenhall beat the defenders coming across to comfortably run inside the pylon. Mendenhall's third reception, and his second official one, was a designed screen in the flat when he used Marcus Gilbert's blocking down the sideline before bouncing off a tackler to add five yards to a 10 yard gain. *Mendenhall's touchdown reception was ruled a run because he caught the ball from a lateral. However, Mendenhall was actually the check down in the flat on what was a passing play when Roethlisberger found him from the pocket.
Week 6 - After a surprisingly effective return from injury last week against Philadelphia, big things were expected of Mendenhall and a potentially-fixed Pittsburgh running game. The gameplan, early, however was to exploit Tennessee’s very friendly pass defense. Mendenhall wasn’t afforded the opportunity to get into a rhythm, and when Pittsburgh did run, there wasn’t any room for him to maneuver. Even worse for Mendenhall than his lack of blocking and two offensive line injuries was the fact that he left this game early in the third quarter with an injury of his own. It was reported as an Achilles injury that isn’t very severe, but it’s worth monitoring – especially for a guy coming off the ACL injury he sustained last season.
Week 11 - After missing the last four games with an Achilles injury, Mendenhall started the game, but failed to create many plays. During his team’s second drive, Mendenhall took his first carry up the middle for a modest three-yard gain. Mendenhall would take two additional first half carries for modest two-yard gains. Mendenhall is not known an explosive first step, but his initial burst left a lot to be desired.
Alike Dwyer, the Steelers focused on giving Mendenhall more second half touches. After halftime, Mendenhall came out with the starters and picked up seven yards on his first two carries. Mendenhall wasn’t having a ton of success running the ball between the tackles, so the Steelers opted to get him involved in space. On a 2nd-and-6 play, Mendenhall caught a quick rocket screen and evaded Terrell Suggs for a six-yard gain. The Steelers came back to this play, completing it once again for a nine-yard gain. Even though Dwyer (32) appeared on more snaps than Mendenhall (30), this was his first game in over a month. After Redman sustained a concussion, the Steelers may rely more heavily on Mendenhall in the short-term.
Week 12 - Mendenhall fumbled the ball on his second carry of the game, and Cleveland recovered. After that, he was promptly replaced in the next series by Jonathan Dwyer. After finally returning in the second half, Mendenhall showed some burst on a would-have-been nine-yard run that was cancelled out by holding. Mendenhall also fumbled a second time, but that one was recovered by Pittsburgh. On the play, he was barely touched, and there was no strip attempt made by any Cleveland player. He simply coughed it up. Dwyer’s emergence and Mendenhall’s injuries, poor play, and unrestricted free agent status are all collaborating to increase the chance that Mendenhall is wearing another jersey next season.
Week 16 - Mendenhall came in in the second quarter. He cutback with his first carry for five yards up the middle. Mendenhall's second carry came over right guard when he broke through the line of scrimmage and brushed away a tackle in the process for a big gain down the field. Mendenhall ran hard with the few snaps he received, but he was very much down the pecking order. His second longest run came when he bounced outside on second and 10 for a 12 yard gain down the right sideline. He evaded a tackler before sprinting away from those in pursuit.
Week 17 - Mendenhall came in in the second quarter and quickly escaped outside on a sweep play for 11 yards and a first down. Mendenhall found his way into the secondary again on the very next play as he went untouched through the middle, but couldn't escape outside as he tried to gain the sideline. Mendenhall caught two passes for a combined two yards when the Browns' defense swarmed to him and took away any alleys for him to run into. Mendenhall started the second series of the fourth quarter as the Steelers were backed up at their own goalline. He spun away from a defender to turn a two yard loss into a gain on the first play, but was stopped on his next two carries for short gains.