The Arizona Cardinals running back situation has been one of the most frustrating situations for fantasy football owners this season. Running backs Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington, Alfonso Smith, and Stepfan Taylor have all received carries out of the backfield and have all been popular waiver wire options at some point in the year.
This week, though, Arizona has an extremely favorable matchup against the St. Louis Rams. The division foe is allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs and the unit is giving up a staggering 20.7 points per game.
This leaves fantasy owners with a tough call to make in Week 14. Many have become infatuated with Ellington in recent weeks and would think he would be the best back to start, but Mendenhall could prove to be a sneaky starter in the first round of the playoffs.
Mendenhall has scored five touchdowns on the year, but more importantly, has scored three times over the last five games. He received 18 carries last week against the Philadelphia Eagles and racked up a season-high 76 yards. He didn’t score a touchdown, but he clearly established himself as the team’s lead back.
Additionally, Ellington missed last week’s game with a knee injury. Head coach, Bruce Arians, expressed that the back wasn’t even close to suiting up against the Eagles in Week 13, which certainly isn’t promising heading into this Sunday. If Ellington sits out again, Mendenhall’s stock will only go up more.
Of all the backs to have a chance to score in Week 14 in Arizona, Mendenhall is certainly at the top of that list. He is the clear goal-line back and the veteran will get every tough carry in-between the tackles. If you need a sleeper flex option for Week 14, Mendenhall is worth consideration.