Name: Rashard Mendenhall
Team: Arizona Cardinals
Position: Running Back
Years Pro: 5
Draft stock: (Rising) Everyone loves a sleeper and Mendenhall’s change of scenery has plenty of fantasy football owners excited about the Cardinals’ new running back. Mendenhall is slated to be an opening-day starer in the NFL, so the opportunity is there for this breakout candidate.
2012 fantasy impact: For all intensive purposes, 2012 was the worst season of Mendenhall’s five-year career. In his last year with the Pittsburgh Steelers Mendenhall rushed for a mere 158 yards and only started in four games. Not to mention, the Steelers’ running back didn’t have a single rushing touchdown for the first time in four years.
Best-case scenario: Mendenhall is the Cardinals’ No. 1 back and nails home double-digit touchdowns for an offense that finally hits its stride. At 26 years old, Mendenhall’s career has gotten its second wind.
Worst-case scenario: For the second straight season, Mendenhall misses time due to injury and an unexpected surge by Ryan Williams makes the former obsolete.
Where you should draft him: Low-risk high-reward running backs like Mendenhall are a dime a dozen this season, so don’t reach for this journeyman. However, Mendenhall has earned a seventh-round selection in my eyes.