Week 16, though, brings a tough matchup against a Seahawks team that hasn't allowed a running back to score a touchdown since Week 7. And that Week 7 touchdown was scored by...Rashard Mendenhall. He rushed for 22 yards when the teams first met, in mid-October.
Mendenhall's value lately has been tied to his ability to score. And he faces a team in Week 16 that is adept at not allowing touchdowns to running backs. The Seahawks aren't invincible against the run -- they allowed consecutive 100-yard games in Weeks 8 and 9 (to Zac Stacy and Mike James) -- but Mendenahll gives up about 12 touches a game to Andre Ellington, so his value is already limited.
There's always a chance Mendenhall scores and gives his owners those six points, but it's probably not worth the risk in most leagues, where better options exist. Mendenhall can be benched in most Fantasy formats.
The 21 carries were a season high for Mendenhall, who again split backfield snaps with rookie Andre Ellington. Mendenhall is up to eight rushing touchdowns this season.
He visits the Seahawks in Week 16. Seattle held Mendenhall to 22 yards on 13 carries Week 7, though he ran for a touchdown.
This could be a good week for
Tennessee has allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in 10 consecutive games with 12 reaching that mark over that span, including Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball last week. The Titans have allowed 15 touchdowns to running backs during that stretch.
Mendenhall is the better of the two Arizona running backs this week because he comes into this matchup with at least seven Fantasy points in each of this past four games and three touchdowns over that span. Ellington also has at least seven Fantasy points in each of his last two games, but he's not getting as much work as Mendenhall, which makes him more of a risky option.
I consider Mendenhall a low-end No. 2 running back, and Ellington is more of a sleeper as a flex option.
Mendenhall struggled in the running game, averaging just 2.4 yards per carry. He was again out-performed by backup Andre Ellington despite receiving six more carries. Mendenhall did manage to score on the team's first drive, picking up a 3 yard score. In the fourth quarter, the team allowed Ellington to pick up a score from the 6 yard line. Mendenhall was not targeted in the passing game. He'll take on the Saints Week 15.
St. Louis has had a tough time defending opposing running backs this season, allowing them to average 20.50 Fantasy points per game. In 12 games, the Rams have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns. In the first matchup between the two teams, the Cardinals failed to score a rushing touchdown.
With Andre Ellington out last week, Mendenhall was able to rush for a season-high 76 yards. It's starting to look like Ellington could return Week 14. He was upgraded to limited practice Thursday, which bodes well for him to play. That could eat into Mendenhall's workload, but he should still be the team's primary option once they get into the red zone. All five of Mendenhall's touchdowns have come from within five yards out. He would be a strong play if Ellington wasn't coming back, but Mendenhall still has a fair chance at scoring Week 14.
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