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Elvis
07-09-2008, 06:16 AM
Thursday, Jul 3, 2008 5:30 pm EDT
Spin Doctors: Steely McBeam showdown: Parker vs. Mendenhall

By Yahoo! Fantasy Staff


Willie Parker and rookie Rashard Mendenhall are separated by nearly 40 picks in early drafts. Not using ADP as a barometer, who will be more fantasy relevant by season's end?
Buser and Big Noise bare brass knuckles over the issue:

http://f3.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_fantasy_experts__2/ept_sports_fantasy_experts-288570219-1215119209.jpg?ymqNto_CzAU54i7m (http://f3.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_fantasy_experts__2/ept_sports_fantasy_experts-288570219-1215119209.jpg?ymqNto_CzAU54i7m)Buser says: I expect Willie Parker to finish the 2008 season with closer to the 250 carries he had in 2005 than the 329 he's averaged in the two seasons since. Having a dynamic complement in Rashard Mendenhall allows that, and the Steelers' clear intentions are to not once again run Willie until the wheels come off (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/golf/s_529798.html).
With that said, Parker is the RB1 and I'm not anticipating the pair's production over the course of the season to change that. I'm well aware of Mendenhall's exceptional talents, but fantasy owners need to be careful as to how much they read into what a lighter load for Parker entails.
I fully expect a healthy and motivated Parker in the neighborhood of 275 carries, 1,150 yards and five scores - he's a fantasy RB2 at this point. Mendenhall should garner around 160 carries, 725 yards, and eight scores - he is likely to see more goal-line opportunities than Parker, but the Steelers throw as much as they run in the red zone. There's also talk of Mendenhall being involved in the passing game, but throwing to the RB is not something the Steelers do consistently, and any anticipation of those surplus touches has to be somewhat tempered with the presence of Mewelde Moore.
Upside is a wonderful thing, and Mendenhall has got plenty of it - I'll be the first to tell you that he's a necessary handcuff to Parker this season. I'll also be among the last to suggest that, barring injury, Mendenhall will finish the season with more total fantasy points than Parker.
http://f3.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_fantasy_experts__2/ept_sports_fantasy_experts-151618045-1215119220.jpg?ym1Nto_CZua3DCDR (http://f3.yahoofs.com/ymg/ept_sports_fantasy_experts__2/ept_sports_fantasy_experts-151618045-1215119220.jpg?ym1Nto_CZua3DCDR)Evans says: In an ironic twist, Illinois head coach Ron Zook compared Rashard Mendenhall to Jerome Bettis (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07270/820912-143.stm) last September. Now, he's Pittsburgh's new terror on two wheels.
The Steelers first-round choice has the size, open-field speed and versatility of a complete NFL back. An intelligent runner with Clydesdale power, Mendenhall will revive a Pittsburgh ground game that struggled to pound out yards between the hashmarks last season.
Bruce Arians is positively giddy about his new weapon describing him as a "bigger, faster Edgerrin James." (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/stats/byteam?group=Offense&cat=Rushing&conference=NFL&year=season_2007&sort=18&old_category=Rushing&old_group=Offense) For now, Arians plans to institute a pony backfield similar to the days of Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/1976.htm). Minus the bushy beard, Mendenhall will unmistakably resemble Harris.
Sharing roughly 40 percent of the workload, expect the rookie bulldozer to rack a minimum of 200 carries, with several of those touches coming near the goal-line. The potential also exists that if he outplays Mewelde Moore in camp, he will be the featured back on third-downs, spiking his PPR value.
Critics will contest that the Steelers' suspect offensive line and nine total rushing TDs last season are reasons to avoid the youngster. But this is a smash mouth team dedicated to rekindling its historical identity. Since 2001 the Steelers have averaged 14.9 rushing scores per year.
Parker's home-run hitting ability is unmatched, but because he crossed the chalk just two times in 51 red-zone attempts last year and is coming off a major leg injury, he's a second-class fantasy option compared to Mendenhall.
The Undertaker will send Parker's numbers six feet under. Projection: 215 rushes, 943 YDs, 7-9 TDs, 21 receptions, 159 YDs
Related: Spin Doctors (http://sports.yahoo.com/fantasy/blog/roto_arcade?keyword=Spin+Doctors)

DACEB
07-09-2008, 07:32 AM
Good read Elvis, interesting perspective, it was well thought out by the writers.

I'm expecting to see an improvement in our ground game this season, pounding out the tough yards. I'm also expecting a continued progression from Ben, and to use the RB's more as an outlet. I anticipate big things from the tandem of FWP, RushHard and MeMo.

revefsreleets
07-09-2008, 09:53 AM
For practical purposes, though, I don't think either one of these guys is worth taking before RD 3. Too many unknowns. Start with LT-type backs (who don't split carries) and work your way down to the guys who share significant carries. That being said, I tend to think Mendenhall MIGHT put up #1 type numbers...but I'm not confident enough to use a #1 or #2 pick on him.

Haiku_Dirtt
07-09-2008, 01:48 PM
For practical purposes, though, I don't think either one of these guys is worth taking before RD 3. Too many unknowns. Start with LT-type backs (who don't split carries) and work your way down to the guys who share significant carries. That being said, I tend to think Mendenhall MIGHT put up #1 type numbers...but I'm not confident enough to use a #1 or #2 pick on him.

Bruce Arians is probably going to be spreading the ball around. It's no secret even to the seal-clubbing polar bears who are evaporating into thin air that we can't block.

I would think Mendenhall vs. Mewelde Moore would be played out first.

We might see bonafide depth at running back in the near future.

BlastFurnace
07-09-2008, 02:30 PM
The only way I am looking at these two RB's....is Parker and Mendenhall. That way, they make the Steelers better.

The Duke
07-09-2008, 04:26 PM
does it matter? mendenhall's gonna take willie's job anyway :rolleyes:

19ward86
07-09-2008, 06:59 PM
I dont expect Rashard to have much better of a season than what dookie had. But the difference is that Rashard is a rook not a vet.

NV STEELERS 723
07-09-2008, 10:46 PM
does it matter? mendenhall's gonna take willie's job anyway :rolleyes:

I just don't think so:blah: Willie has a lot left in the tank

Galax Steeler
07-10-2008, 05:18 AM
Great read Elvis I like willie alot but I don't see him holding off Mendenhall through the whole season it is just a matter of time.

stlrtruck
07-10-2008, 09:26 AM
This two back system will tell two things about the players:

1) Are players more worried about getting back to the Super Bowl or
2) Are they more worried about personal stats and the next big contract?

fansince'76
07-10-2008, 09:31 AM
....I like willie alot but I don't see him holding off Mendenhall through the whole season it is just a matter of time.

And you say this based on what? Willie's proven at the NFL level, Mendenhall is not (even though I hope he works out).

Vis
07-10-2008, 09:35 AM
Every unproven rookie is better than a known player. That's fandom

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-10-2008, 12:28 PM
For you fantasy football fans, Mendenhall will definately take away from Parker's numbers.

For you fans that want to see wins, I think Mendenhall will post at least 500 yards rushing and push Parker a lot. Its gonna be a great situation.

The Duke
07-10-2008, 01:23 PM
I just don't think so:blah: Willie has a lot left in the tank

we really do need a sarcasm smiley :smile:

Galax Steeler
07-11-2008, 05:07 AM
And you say this based on what? Willie's proven at the NFL level, Mendenhall is not (even though I hope he works out).

Mendenhall has never played in the nfl he may turn out to be a bust but I don't think so I am not throwing off on willie I have been a big fan of his but if Mendenhall plays like he did in college then he will be our next back I believe he will play hard nosed hit you in the mouth kind of player and will get you them extra yards willie has the speed and I will not take that from him but he is not the big back to get us the extra yards we need sometimes.:drink:

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-11-2008, 10:46 AM
Barring injury, the job is Willie's this season and Mendenhall with give him some rest and get short yardage carries.

Mendenhall came out as a junior, but only got 1 season of starting at Illinois, so it stands to reason that he will apprentice for at least a season or 2 before getting his shot. To think he will be the starter midway thru the season is like thinking that Sweed will be getting the start over Ward by week 7.

Elvis
07-12-2008, 01:16 AM
I agree El Gonzo very much. I have entered quiet a few leagues already and I have them as my teammates in only one league. But when I am drafting now, I try to get atleast one RB tandem on the same team. Like example:
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams or Turner and Norwood in Atlanta. I think you can get some good tandems like that on decent teams like the Steelers, but you must be sure to get them on good teams that have a chance to be in the playoff run at the end atleast.
:popcorn:

FordsnSteelers
07-12-2008, 08:52 AM
i think mendenhall ypc is gonna outdo willies. if mendehall is what we all think he is, than he will take willie job. But either way, its gonna be a great RB tandem. ahhh i can smell it now....tread marks all over the bungles.

Dodt
07-13-2008, 01:05 AM
i'll be honest i really don't care for stats i just want willie to embarrass there d on big plays and mendenhall to wear them down then stream roll.

Preacher
07-13-2008, 01:08 AM
we really do need a sarcasm smiley :smile:

I have been trying to campaign for one... but it just doesn't seem to work!!

Steeldude
07-13-2008, 05:56 AM
expect the rookie bulldozer to rack a minimum of 200 carries

i haven't seen very many games with mendenahall, but i don't recall him running over anyone in illinois' spread option offense. all i remember seeing is a bunch of running in the open field and pitches to the far right or left. rarely did i ever see anything up the middle. looking at the highlight reels i see the same.

Galax Steeler
07-13-2008, 07:30 AM
I do know when they played against ohio state they had one hell of a deffense they would hold opponents well under a hundred yards then Mendenhall would roll in and rack up over a hundred yards this cat is going to be for reall if not I will sit right hear and eat my crow.

cakmakli
07-13-2008, 08:42 AM
Great read Elvis I like willie alot but I don't see him holding off Mendenhall through the whole season it is just a matter of time.

I agree with Galax Steeler

Galax Steeler
07-13-2008, 08:59 AM
I agree with Galax Steeler

Thanks but I can see that you are new to the forum and don't post often instead of agreeing with someone all the time just advnture out and get infromation people on here like good information and not just one sentence post.It will draw the intrest in the people reading it.

cakmakli
07-13-2008, 09:03 AM
Thanks but I can see that you are new to the forum and don't post often instead of agreeing with someone all the time just advnture out and get infromation people on here like good information and not just one sentence post.It will draw the intrest in the people reading it.


If you wasn't my brother I'd kick your a$$. I might just do it anyway.

Galax Steeler
07-13-2008, 09:04 AM
If you wasn't my brother I'd kick your a$$. I might just do it anyway.

good luck.:toofunny:

Galax Steeler
07-13-2008, 09:08 AM
Sorry to the mods for getting off the subjet just having a little brotherly fun.:drink:

lilyoder6
07-13-2008, 06:40 PM
even when illinois played usc in the bowl game.. usc has a great d and rashard ran all over them... so he has the potential now it's up to him to show it

Galax Steeler
07-13-2008, 06:52 PM
even when illinois played usc in the bowl game.. usc has a great d and rashard ran all over them... so he has the potential now it's up to him to show it

I have to agree lilyoder he can run against good defenses he has proved that against ohio state and usc and I am pretty sure that he will carry it over in the nfl.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-13-2008, 09:36 PM
I do know when they played against ohio state they had one hell of a deffense they would hold opponents well under a hundred yards then Mendenhall would roll in and rack up over a hundred yards this cat is going to be for reall if not I will sit right hear and eat my crow.

Rashard Mendenhall- Nov 10/2007 @ Ohio St. 26ATT, 88YDS, Longest 25YDS, 3.4YPC, 0 TD's

2006 Mendenhall backed up Pierre Thomas.

When exactly did he roll up over 100yds on Ohio St??? I think Mendenhall is gonna be good, but unless Parker gets injured, he is gonna apprentice this year and get some work as the #2 back. Lets be realistic.

CanadianSteel
07-14-2008, 10:40 AM
The more I read the more I get excited about this duo in the backfiled this coming year. We will need am improved ground game with the schedule this year.

I think I will try to get Mendenhall in the later rounds of my fabtasy draft, and or maybe Moore as well if he is returning kicks/ punts.

The_WARDen
07-14-2008, 10:56 AM
I do know when they played against ohio state they had one hell of a deffense they would hold opponents well under a hundred yards then Mendenhall would roll in and rack up over a hundred yards this cat is going to be for reall if not I will sit right hear and eat my crow.

Not to burst your bubble, but college success does not guarantee pro success..just ask Ron Dayne who tore it up in the Big Ten as well.

The_WARDen
07-14-2008, 10:59 AM
Rashard Mendenhall- Nov 10/2007 @ Ohio St. 26ATT, 88YDS, Longest 25YDS, 3.4YPC, 0 TD's

2006 Mendenhall backed up Pierre Thomas.

When exactly did he roll up over 100yds on Ohio St??? I think Mendenhall is gonna be good, but unless Parker gets injured, he is gonna apprentice this year and get some work as the #2 back. Lets be realistic.

While I agree that Parker will be #1 to start, it'll only be a matter of time. Teams don't draft RBs in the 1st round to be bench warmers unless he completely falls on his face.

Galax Steeler
07-14-2008, 06:39 PM
Not to burst your bubble, but college success does not guarantee pro success..just ask Ron Dayne who tore it up in the Big Ten as well.

I will have to agree with you on that it is not a guarantee but he just looks like he runs alot harder then dayne did I might be wrong on him but I don't think so.

Galax Steeler
07-14-2008, 06:41 PM
Rashard Mendenhall- Nov 10/2007 @ Ohio St. 26ATT, 88YDS, Longest 25YDS, 3.4YPC, 0 TD's

2006 Mendenhall backed up Pierre Thomas.

When exactly did he roll up over 100yds on Ohio St??? I think Mendenhall is gonna be good, but unless Parker gets injured, he is gonna apprentice this year and get some work as the #2 back. Lets be realistic.

Ok that is my bad I went by what a Ohio state fan told me I should have got my facts before posting it sorry.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-15-2008, 12:34 AM
While I agree that Parker will be #1 to start, it'll only be a matter of time. Teams don't draft RBs in the 1st round to be bench warmers unless he completely falls on his face.

So Felix Jones should have the starting job in Dallas too?? Not this season my friend.

I guess nobody drafts LB's #15 overall in the firstround to be bench warmers either:rofl:

Mendenhall will get a chance to compete for the starters role NEXT SEASON and may still be the backup then.

tony hipchest
07-15-2008, 01:37 AM
Teams don't draft RBs in the 1st round to be bench warmers unless he completely falls on his face.yeah, the steelers dont march to the beat of the drummers of 31 other teams either....

Preacher
07-15-2008, 02:42 AM
While I agree that Parker will be #1 to start, it'll only be a matter of time. Teams don't draft RBs in the 1st round to be bench warmers unless he completely falls on his face.

Really?

Timmons?

The ONLY reason Ben played the first year is because of the injury to Tommy "Watergun" Maddox.

You don't pull last years LEADING RUSHER (until he got injured) off the first string unless there is a reason!

And drafting someone in the first round is NOT the reason.

Steelman16
07-15-2008, 09:21 PM
I give 1st rounders 3 years to become a starter. If after 3 years they're not starting or productive, then you can deal out the bust label. (there are some exceptions...i.e. Aaron Rodgers...)

First rounders should only start their rookie season if there's a very immediate need, or there's injuries and he has to step in. We don't have an immediate need at runningback. Willie Parker is our starter.

Timmons is not a bust. (as much as we like to say he is. :wink02: )

Mendenhall will not be a bust even if he doesn't start for the next 2-3 seasons.

The NFL draft is a crapshoot anyway. They're rookies for crying out loud.

stlrtruck
07-16-2008, 09:04 AM
Let's face it. Parker will be the #1 guy for the Steelers but we can't rule out the fact that Mendenhall is going to get carries this year and I would surmize that he's going to get a good amount of playing time and carries.

My only concern is what is Parker's attitude going to be if Mendenhall is constantly brought in on first and goal from the 2 (ala The Bus)? It was one thing when Bus was in uniform because Parker knew it was coming, especially on the road to the Super Bowl. However, Bus is no longer with us and Parker has earned his position!

Welcome To Smashmouth
07-18-2008, 04:29 PM
Hey, if they both have the right attitude about the situation then I see nothing but a positive situation for this ballclub.

Let's not forget that Parker is the go-to-guy until Mendenhall shows what he can do for the Black 'n Gold...