NFL fantasy football: Rashard Mendenhall out of action?

Mendenhall mending: Speaking to the “Vinny & Cook” show on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert stated he would be surprised if running back Rashard Mendenhall “doesn’t open on PUP for the first six weeks” of the regular season. The news should hardly come as a shock to fantasy football owners, but it does cement Isaac Redman as the back to target in drafts. He will be facing the 16th ranked strength of schedule for running backs, but in the first six weeks will square off against the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. None of those teams finished better than 13th against the run in 2011, so Redman carries good value early in the season. The Bowie State product currently has an ADP of 103.82, making him well worth the risk as a late round selection.

Is Isaac Redman a viable fantasy option? (Amy Sancetta/Associated Press)

Backup role: After a scary collision during the Oakland Raiders practice session Tuesday, running back Mike Goodson was taken to the hospital after laying prone on the turf for about fifteen minutes. The back was released following negative results from a CT scan and MRI during the evening, but as quarterback Carson Palmer pointed out, “It’s scary when that happens to anybody.” How slowly the team will work Goodson back into the swing of things remains to be seen. Although Goodson is considered the top handcuff for fantasy football owners who select Darren McFadden, keep an eye on how much work the team gives Taiwan Jones in the coming weeks.

Beanie’s back: Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells was activated from the camp PUP list, and will now resume battling Ryan Williams for the starting role. Though Wells is still the current favorite to ultimately win the job, as NFL Fantasy LIVE’s Dave Dameshek points out, Wells could potentially be a fantasy football bust if Williams cuts significantly into his touches. Wells should be considered a borderline No. 3 or 4 back in drafts, but the situation bears monitoring.

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