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Rashard Mendenhall a Fantasy Stud? | NFL Fantasy Football Rankings

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers

Veteran running back Willie Parker is going to miss his second game for the Steelers with a nasty turf toe injury. In his absence, Rashard Mendenhall will get his second start in a row and play against the Lions poor run defense.

Last week, some fantasy football analyst’s were down on Medenhall even though he was going to be a solid play against the Chargers. In some ways, this was understandable as Mendenhall was benched by the coaching staff the week before.

Not only that but he had never shown much in terms of football or even fantasy reliance up to that point.

My How Things Have Changed

Last week Mendenhall ran with the toughness and skill that reminded people why this kid was drafted so high out of Illinois. Not only did Mendenhall run hard, but he was the teams feature runner the entire game.

On the night he ran the football 29 times for 165 yards with two touchdowns. He even had two catches for 26 yards in the passing game as well.

After the game even Parker admitted he was impressed and noted that Mendenhall ran like someone said something bad about his mother.

This is the kind of spirited performance that Mike Tomlin was hoping to see from his talented young runner.

Can He Do It Again?

While last week’s game was a fine performance, fantasy football owners need to see if Mendnehall can put two strong performances together. This week he has no excuses to not run well as he faces the Detroit Lions.

San Diego Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers

The Lions are 20th against the run and are giving up a league high in points per game at 33.5. This should indicate that Mendenhall is inline to at least produce over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.

If Mendenhall can perform strong once again and stay healthy doing it, then he might be one of the biggest waiver pickups of the 2009 season.

Fantasy Football Rankings for Mendenhall and Parker

As long as Mendenhall stays healthy and continues his strong running, he is the runner to have for fantasy football. When Parker comes back, he will have to run well to remain the starting running back.

Even if Parker comes back and runs well you shouldn’t let go of Mendenhall. We have seen Parker’s decline in speed and health over the past two seasons.

If Parker goes down again, Mendenhall will be an instant starter for your fantasy football team. Odds are he will go down again.

NFL Fantasy Football Information writer Sean E. Douglas:

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