Andre Ellington has career-best game in first half; fantasy owners celebrate

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals rookie finally got the start and came through in the first half Sunday. We break down the fantasy implications.

In Week 2, Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall ran for 66 yards, which was, entering Sunday, the most rushing yards in a game for any Cardinals rusher. Through the first half of Sunday's game, Andre Ellington had left that number far behind; Ellington has nine carries for 124 yards and a touchdown through two quarters, as the Cardinals lead the Falcons, 21-6, at halftime.

Ellington's score came on an 80-yard run midway through the second quarter. It was the rookie Ellington's first career start, with Mendenhall sidelined with a toe injury. Stepfan Taylor, Ellington's backup with Mendenhall out, has run the ball three times for 20 yards.

Fantasy impact: This performance might signal the beginning of the end in Arizona for Mendenhall as a starter, with fantasy owners celebrating. In fantasy circles, Ellington was a hot commodity, but Arizona's insistence on sticking with Mendenhall kept Ellington from getting max value.

The team has said it doesn't want Ellington to get overworked, so Mendenhall, once healthy, will likely slot in as Ellington's backup, but it's hard to imagine -- absent a heretofore unseen fumbling issue -- Ellington losing the starting job any time soon.

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