Fantasy files: Two short thoughts

I wrote these on different days but they’re on the same subject. I love reading about fantasy football and especially listening to everything from The Audible. I get ideas and more importantly, it lets me come up with my own opinions on players and situations. My thoughts are on two players. Ramses Barden and Rashard Mendenhall.

Fantasy thought of the day: Heading into 2009 we didn’t know how the New York Giant wide receiver corps would work out. There were a lot of candidates but it wasn’t clear. Plus we assumed that the Giants were still primarily a running team and the pass game would be an afterthought. We underestimated the presence of steady but not overwhelming Eli Manning. Look what happened. Steve Smith caught 100 balls, Hakeem Nicks broke out and Mario Manningham was a quality starter for a few weeks. This year’s talk of camp is Ramses Barden, who like Manningham took a quasi redshirt year. Keep an eye on him. And look for that emerging passing attack. There’s value to be had.

How much does a consistent history play into your early round draft decisions? One player highlighted in this week’s The Audible podcast was Rashard Mendenhall. He’s a late first-round pick in some leagues and may go that high in my upcoming redraft. Mendy was practically unusable his rookie year. In his second year, once the Steelers discovered the salad fork coming out of Willie Parker’s back, Mendenhall took over and was great. He earned a 1000-yard season and has practically no competition for the starting job. With the Ben Roethlisberger nonsense the Steelers look like they are going to lean on the running game again. Isn’t a 300-carry, 30-catch guy worth a first-round pick and at the least, a RB1 spot? He is still an unproven commodity and few can forget Ray Lewis destroying him in his first rookie start, which ended his season. Plus if he’s the ninth rated RB, is he really a value? He’s being drafted at the peak of what he can do. He’s not going to have a 15 or 20 touchdown year. It’s possible that rookie Jonathan Dwyer takes some of the short-yardage work. If so, Mendenhall’s more of a RB2 type.

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