He is supposed to be the answer to the Arizona Cardinals' running problems. A big back with acceleration and a knack for running between the tackles.
Rashard Mendenhall may be the best back the Cardinals have had since OJ Anderson (I do not add Emmitt Smith to this list because he was on the downside of his career).
Can Rashard Mendenhall revitalize the Cardinals' offense with his running? If you ask Bruce Arians, he has already penned the former Steelers star in as his day-one starter.
"Rashard is just 25 years old (he turns 26 on Wednesday)," Arians said. "He took me personally to a Super Bowl, and I know what he can bring to the table as a runner and a pass protector and also a receiver. He's an every-down player. And I think he's looking forward to having an outstanding season."
That may be well and good, but Mendenhall is a player that is a “red flag” in my book. He had surgery early in 2012, which led to a bout of Achilles tendinitis last season, which according to Arians, in the NFL.com story, is “no longer an issue.”
Still, two injuries, especially to your leg and Achilles, there will be red flags all over fantasy leagues.
Add to the fact there are other running backs that could make some noise in this offense.
Ryan Williams was in the backfield last season, sharing time with Beanie Wells, who is still looking for work (Oakland needs a backup). There are two rookies, Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor, who can provide a change of pace in the backfield and catch the ball out of the backfield.
For those reasons alone, where there are four capable backs on a roster, touches will be shared. Although he may have been named a starter, is he really guaranteed 25 touches per game?
And when all is said and done, the knee still has to be a concern for those who may call his name in a fantasy league.
Mendenhall should be a name forgotten in fantasy league drafts.