29-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Rashard Mendenhall in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Rashard Mendenhall Contract Information:
Retired in March of 2014.
Mendenhall is retiring from football, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Rashard Mendenhall: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Rashard Mendenhall.
New head coach Bruce Arians brought in Mendenhall from Pittsburgh after Mendenhall's season was largely lost to an ACL injury suffered in 2011. At his best, Mendenhall was a 1,000-yard bell cow for Arians in 2010 and 2011, and at 5-10, 225, he was an effective goal-line option (22 rushing scores). Mendenhall will have a shot to regain that form in the desert, but won't be without competition as 2011 second-round pick Ryan Williams returns from a shoulder injury, and highly productive college backs Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington – whom Arians drafted in the fifth and sixth rounds, respectively – will also be in the mix. Mendenhall is the favorite to lead this backfield if he can remain healthy, but a committee could be forged in training camp if one of the young players excels. The Cardinals offense should also be significantly improved in 2013 after finishing last in rushing and 31st in scoring in 2012. In addition to Arians, new quarterback Carson Palmer and first-round pick guard Jonathan Cooper should give Mendenhall a chance to greatly improve the Arizona ground game.
Despite playing in 15 games and increasing his YPC, Mendenhall saw his rushing yards drop from 1,273 in 2010 to 928 last year, thanks to 96 fewer carries. His touchdowns also fell from 13 to nine, and his production as a receiver declined, too. A down year got even worse when Mendenhall suffered a torn ACL in Week 17, which puts his 2012 season in jeopardy. He’s expected to return at some point – and he impressed onlookers at OTAs in May – but it’s likely he’ll start the year on the PUP list, so expectations should be held in check.
Mendenhall saw his YPC drop to 3.9 last season, but he was given 82 more carries and scored nearly twice as many rushing touchdowns (13 to 7) as he did in 2009. His 21 goal-line carries were the third most in football, and he converted 10 for scores. Despite the increase in rushing attempts, Mendenhall received a similar amount of snaps last year compared to 2009, so it’s not surprising his receiving numbers took a step back. Mendenhall isn’t a flashy runner, but he’s got a nice spin move for someone his size, and he’s clearly established himself as Pittsburgh’s workhorse. For someone approaching 230 pounds, he has pretty good speed, as his 11 carries for 20-plus yards last season were fifth-most in the NFL. Mendenhall would benefit if Pittsburgh’s O-line can rebound from a down year, and he’s one of the few lead backs who gets the majority of the work between the 20s, catches passes and is the main option at the goal line. Just realize he’s coming off the heaviest workload among all running backs, as the team’s Super Bowl run meant he accumulated 385 carries.
Mendenhall bounced back after a lost rookie season with 1,369 total yards and eight touchdowns last year, taking over as Pittsburgh’s lead back. He had just seven carries entering Week 4, so his final stat line looks much more impressive when you consider it came over just 13 games. Mendenhall’s YPC dropped over the second half (3.8 compared to 5.7 before), but it was essentially his rookie campaign, so it was hardly unexpected. He now knows what to expect over a 16-game grind in the NFL, and the Steelers are moving forward with Mendenhall as their workhorse. He's also a solid option at the goalline, as Mendenhall scored on six of his 12 goal-line carries, which is a strong rate. Pittsburgh drafted Jonathan Dwyer, but that was in the sixth round, and Willie Parker is no longer on the team, so only injury can prevent Mendenhall from reaching 350 touches. Pittsburgh has stated a goal of returning to its smashmouth roots, so an offensive philosophy skewed more toward running the football is expected. While the offense will lose some potency with Ben Roethlisberger suspended the first 4-6 games of the season, that should also result in Mendenhall being featured quite heavily.
Mendenhall’s rookie season ended when he broke his shoulder Week 4, and he didn’t do much to impress beforehand, gaining just 3.1 YPC. Of course, he wasn’t given much of an opportunity, and nearly half of his 19 carries came against a tough Ravens defense. Mendenhall’s shoulder is fully recovered, and Willie Parker struggled through an injury-plagued season last year. Parker is also in the final year of his contract, so Mendenhall could establish himself as Pittsburgh’s franchise back with a big 2009. After all, the team did draft him in the first round in 2008, so he’ll certainly be given the chance to make his case. Mendenhall will be in a timeshare, but Parker is starting to show signs of breaking down and has converted just three of his 16 goal-line attempts over the past two seasons, so Mendenhall could easily dominate the scoring opportunities.
Mendenhall was something of a one-year wonder in college, but that one season came in 2007 and was quite impressive (1,999 yards, 19 TDs). He averaged 8.4 YPC on 78 attempts in 2006, so the skill set was there, and last year didn't completely come out of nowhere. He was the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year last season and enters the NFL with fresh legs, accumulating just 388 carries throughout his collegiate career. At 5-11, 224, Mendenhall has good size, but he also ran the 40 in 4.4 seconds and possesses big-play ability. He’s capable of running both inside and outside, flashing exemplary vision and quickness. However, he's only carried the ball 200 times in one season, so he’ll need to prove he's durable and capable of a bigger workload. Incumbent Steeler feature back Willie Parker was leading the NFL in rushing when he went down with a fractured fibula last year, but Parker struggles in short-yardage situations and as a receiver out of the backfield. Mendenhall might already be a better blocker than Parker, and Parker averaged just 4.1 YPC last season, and that was before a severe injury to his leg. Pittsburgh averaged the third-most rushing attempts per game (31.9) last year, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has already spoke of using Mendenhall and Parker in the backfield at the same time. With Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes fast becoming superstars, the offense should enable big numbers from the ground game. Mendenhall is younger and the better blocker, receiver and short-yardage runner, giving him more upside than the incumbent Parker.