Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington both struggle for fantasy owners, Cardinals

Sam Greenwood

In a game dominated by the pass, neither Cardinals running back could do much of anything. We break down the fantasy implications.

The Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars were both pass-heavy in Sunday's matchup, leaving little available for the teams' respective running backs. Those backs responded in kind, as the Cardinals' Andre Ellington provided basically no value, and Rashard Mendenhall needed a lucky touchdown to add anything in Arizona's 27-14 victory over the Jaguars.

Mendenhall had 14 rushing yards on 13 carries, with Ellington adding only 3 yards on eight carries. The two did provide a few receiving yards (13 for Mendenhall, 10 for Ellington), but nothing that can be called fantasy worthwhile. No, the only value the two offered was on a 5-yard touchdown run by Mendenhall late in the second quarter, and even that came on a play when he nearly fumbled. Overall, the Cardinals had only 14 rushing yards; the Jaguars did only slightly better, rushing for 32 combined yards.

Fantasy impact: The team seems bound and determined to have the two backs split time, despite the fact that Ellington had proven (before Sunday's game) far more adept at total yards, yards per carry and basically everything else a running back does in fantasy. Ellington has fumbled only once on the season, and didn't lose it, while Mendenhall has three fumbles and has lost two. Yes, Mendenhall scored Sunday, but he almost fumbled there, and it was the sort of score that any back could get.

Going forward, the team's insistence on splitting carries saps much of the value from both guys. Mendenhall's value is basically nil at this point, while Ellington -- who has a much better chance of breaking off a big run -- can be considered as a low-end flex play, but until one of the guys becomes the team's true No. 1, it's hard to imagine really relying on either.

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