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Rashard Mendenhall returns to preseason action, fantasy value remains modest

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals veteran running back saw his first preseason action since tearing his ACL. We break down the fantasy implications.

Rashard Mendenhall led the Cardinals with 32 yards rushing on seven carries in his first preseason action with the team.

More: For more on the Cardinals, check out Revenge of the Birds

Mendenhall sat out the Cardinals preseason opener with knee tendinitis, but rebounded with a serviceable performance in his first game action since tearing his ACL. For the most part, Mendenhall did not have much room to run but was able to break through for an 11-yard gain on one occasion.

Fantasy Spin: While Mendenhall's return to action is encouraging, more than just his health puts a cap on his fantasy football potential. Head coach Bruce Arians is expected to deploy a pass-heavy offense once again, and Mendenhall has never been a huge factor in the passing game.

The running back position is also a crowded one despite Mendenhall being atop the depth chart, and he could see rookies Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor cutting into his snaps in certain situations. Mendenhall outperformed his competition on Saturday and appears to be the Cardinals' best backfield option at this point, but there will be several better alternatives across the NFL come fantasy draft day.

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