We have breaking news here, people, and it cannot wait until tomorrow. Ok, mainly because I already have an article scheduled and I don’t see a reason to move it back so you’re getting one of those fresh off the presses releases. It’s looking more and more like Rashard Mendenhall will begin the year on the PUP list and that doesn’t mean he’s getting put in an animal shelter for adoption. It looks like he’ll be missing at least the first six games of the season with plenty of room for missing more. He went down with a torn ACL in week 17 last season which means we shouldn’t be surprised by this move though it does mean we need to examine his back-up from last year, Isaac Redman. Redman stepped up the week Rashard went down, carrying the ball 19 times for 92 yards and a rushing TD to go with 3 receptions and 18 yards. He followed that performance up in the playoffs with 121 yards on 17 attempts, chipping in 21 yards on 2 receptions. Now obviously we cannot glean too much from a couple of starts. In fact, the two teams he got to run against – Cleveland and Denver – finished 30th and 22nd in rushing yards given up per game, respectively, so these might be some bad stats to even make a basis on Isaac for. However, we need to recognize how much time Rashard is going to miss and how that will effect his return. Missing over 1/3rd of the season and coming back to not only to be the starter but a productive starter is going to be hard for Rashard (rhyming point!).
Now before you get overly hot and bothered about Redman, you need to put things in perspective. Unlike years past where saying they wanted to be a smash-mouth team was an annual ritual in lip service, the Steelers have finally come out of the offensive closet and said they were going to be a pass-heavy offense. They are even working with Ben Roethlisberger on some no-huddle. Despite this transition – which truly started last year anyways – Mendenhall still finished with 928 yards and 9 touchdowns, good enough to be the 18th best RB on ESPN’s player rater. There’s no reason to think Redman, if afforded the opportunity, couldn’t give you low RB2, flex-like usefulness over the course of the year. Considering his current pricing is the 22nd running back off the board over at Mock Draft Central, I’d say he’s priced fairly. Keep your expectations in check and you have yourself a useful pick-up with the Redman.
As an aside, I’d also like to remind you of our contest that we’re currently running with FanDuel Insider as we look for The Next Great Fantasy Football Writer. That last part takes you to all the rules and info you need to know to get you going. Click to your heart’s content!