Mendenhall is a back to target in 2010 drafts

The NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla. have wrapped up, and some coaches and general managers gave us a sneak peek into the 2010 season.

Here are some of the best quotes and what fantasy owners can take away from them:

“I think he’s capable of a lot more. He’s still a very young guy. He was 20 years old when we got him. Looking for him to do great things for us.” - Steelers coach Mike Tomlin speaking about Rashard Mendenhall.

Fabiano’s take: It’s hard to argue with Tomlin’s assertion of his young running back. He showed flashes of brilliance last season and has the potential to rush for 1,200-plus yards in 2010. I see Mendenhall as a borderline first- or second-round selection.

“Hypothetically, we’d see him carry the ball 15 times a game. I’m sure some games he’ll have more rushing attempts than Shonn Greene, and I think Shonn will have more than L.T. in other games.” – Jets coach Rex Ryan on the role of LaDainianTomlinson.

Fabiano’s take: Sorry Rex, I’m not buying what you’re selling. Tomlinson will be 31 when the season starts and is past his prime. Greene is a superstar in the making, and I fully expect him to see 300 carries in 2010. L.T. puts a cap on his upside, but I still see Greene as a No. 1 fantasy back.

“This is the truth: Our three quarterbacks are Philadelphia Eagles. People are entertaining us with offers. Nothing’s been done, but we’re evaluating all of them. That’s the truth. There’s not a lot really going on other than entertaining.” – Eagles coach Andy Reid on his current quarterback situation.

Fabiano’s take: I wouldn’t be shocked if Donovan McNabb or Kevin Kolb were traded, but the market for Michael Vick appears to have dried up. If Kolb opens next season as the Eagles’ No. 1 quarterback, his fantasy value will go through the roof. Stay tuned.

“We have not received any phone calls. He wouldn’t be one of the guys on the top of my lists to deal (away). We’ve had no conversations about any of our backs.” – Panthers coach John Fox on trading DeAngelo Williams for a first-round pick.

Fabiano’s take: Williams and Jonathan Stewart combine to form the best backfield committee in fantasy football. Both runners have 1,000-yard potential and should see 200-plus carries. I like Williams more, as he’ll remain the starter and should see slightly more work in 2010.

“I don’t mean to insinuate we’d take a running back with the first pick … Right now, we only have two running backs on the roster.” – Bills coach Chan Gailey on his current backfield.

Fabiano’s take: I’m a big fan of Fred Jackson, but it looks like Marshawn Lynch is sticking around. That’s going to put a cap on Jackson’s value. Adding another back into the mix would make for a very confusing committee. That’s all fantasy owners need — another backfield mess!

“I can’t tell you whether Jamaal [Charles] will play more or Thomas Jones will play more. The roles will figure themselves out. The best players will play.” – Chiefs GM Scott Pioli on the his current backfield.

Fabiano’s take: If Pioli is right, and the best players will play, then Charles should see more than enough carries to succeed. Much like the situation in New York with Greene and Tomlinson, the presence of Jones caps Charles’ potential but doesn’t decimate it at all. He’s still a viable No. 1 fantasy back.

“We have a lot of information and background with him. Those guys all know him, so they give us unique insights … to understanding how he could fit into the offense and what he could do in helping us.” – Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on Brandon Marshall.

Fabiano’s take: It appears the Broncos want to trade Marshall, but it might not happen until right around the NFL Draft. A deal would affect the value of several players, including Marshall, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch. This is a situation fantasy owners need to watch.

“We’re in Chicago. It’s not going to change. We’ll continue to run the football. We just want to be able to pass the football, too.” – Bears coach Lovie Smith on the team’s offense.

Fabiano’s take: A Mike Martz offense that’s based on the run? Hmmm. I’m still not touching Matt Forte or Chester Taylor if I can help it. The Bears didn’t spend $12.5 million on Taylor to keep him on the bench, so expect a full-blown shared backfield. As for Jay Cutler, I still see him throwing for over 4,000 yards with 25-30 total touchdowns. Whether he can cut down on his interceptions will make or break his fantasy appeal.

“He will be successful in this offense. His role has increased as far as us going to him every year. I don’t see that changing.” – Bears coach Lovie Smith on Greg Olsen’s role in the offense under Martz.

Fabiano’s take: Does Smith know that 2009 Pro Bowler Vernon Davis saw just 49 targets in Martz’s system in 2008? Or that no tight end has ever caught more than 38 passes with Martz calling the plays? Sorry, I’m not changing my opinion on Olsen. He won’t duplicate his 2009 totals next season. No chance.

“We’ll move forward with those two guys. It will help both of them that they will get more work. The question with (Darren McFadden) is, now that he’s healthy, can he be an every-down back? I think he can be.” – Raiders coach Tom Cable on his current backfield.

Fabiano’s take: An every-down back? Did I read that right? Wow. McFadden has to be the favorite to start based on where he was drafted, but Michael Bush is clearly in the mix for a prominent role. This will be a training-camp competition to monitor, as the eventual winner will have flex-starter value.

“He is certainly a guy that is on our board and on our list, as are others. There is no interest as of right this second, but do I respect his abilities, absolutely.” – Vikings coach Brad Childress on the team’s interest in Brian Westbrook.

Fabiano’s take: Right now, Albert Young is the lone back behind Adrian Peterson on the team’s depth chart. If that’s how the Vikings plan to open the regular season, I might consider taking A.P. over Chris Johnson with the top overall pick. There isn’t a riskier back in the league to sign right now than Westbrook.

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