Beat: Andre Ellington to be the 'featured back'

USA Today - [Full Article]

Cardinals beat writer Kent Somers on RB Andre Ellington: Last year, the Cardinals limited how much they gave Andre Ellington the ball. They weren't sure the 5-9, 199-pound rookie could take a pounding. But he was more durable than they thought and as explosive as they expected. With the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall, Ellington becomes the featured back. Arians said he would like to get Ellington the ball 25 times a game. That's a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea. Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer are the main backups.

Fantasy Impact: 

Rashad Mendenhall retired, and the Cardinals didn’t do much of anything at RB in free agency (outside of signing Jonathan Dwyer), so the path is clear for Ellington to become a feature back. HC Bruce Arians says he wants to build the offense around the diminutive RB, but that they’ll be careful not to overwork him, implying that they may limit his short-yardage work. He was the #25 RB in 2013 on 10.4 touches per game, but averaged 12.4 touches in his last 11 games. In that span, he averaged 9.3 FP, which are low-end RB2 numbers. Arians’ offenses don’t utilize the running back heavily in the passing game, but with the way he has been gushing about Ellington’s skill set, that may change. Ellington averaged 0.771 fantasy points per touch in 2013, so if he can maintain that production at a 15-touch workload, he’s looking at an average of 11.6 FP per game. Those are high-end RB2 numbers.

Filed Under: 2014, Preseason

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