Clarity has been lacking in the Arizona Cardinals backfield so far this season. Free agent signee Rashard Mendenhall and rookie draft pick Andre Ellington will both see time Thursday night against the Seattle Seahawks.
Mendenhall has had the most rushing attempts in each of the team's six games this season, but has averaged only 3.3 yards per carry. Meanwhile, Ellington has averaged more than 7.0 yards a carry, albeit on fewer carries than Mendenhall, while also being more active in the team's passing game. Each running back has two touchdowns.
Fantasy impact: Ellington has seen his usage increase over the season, from one touch in Week 1, to six in Weeks 2 and 3, to seven, to 11, and finally to 12 in the team's Week 6 loss to the 49ers. As Mendenhall continues to show the team he doesn't have a lot left, Ellington's looks have increased.
Mendenhall has continues to be the team's nominal starter, but in the long run, Ellington is the guy with a future in Arizona. For Thursday night, against a Seahawks defense that doesn't allow long runs, neither is likely to have a huge game, but fantasy owners who have to start one should look at Ellington; Mendenhall is unlikely to be of much fantasy use.