Aug 25, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas (23) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football: Fantasy Football Prospects

The football season is in full swing and so are the former Illinois Fighting Illini football players in the NFL. We will take a look at the former Illini players in the NFL and if they are a potential fantasy football gold mines or if they are a fantasy flop.

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

RB Rashard Mendenhall #28 Arizona Cardinals

Last Game: 15 carries, 66 yards, 1TD, 2 receptions, 28 yards

  • Mendenhall has had a solid start to the 2013 NFL season. After having a lack-luster season in Pittsburgh he came to Arizona hoping to start fresh, and that is exactly what he has done. The Cardinals have come out with a balanced attack, using Mendenhall for roughly 17 touches a game.
  • Mendenhall is an average to below average running back in smaller leagues. He does have solid value in deeper, 16 team leagues though. He would be a good bye week back. At best, he should be a weak RB2.

RB Pierre Thomas #23 New Orleans Saints

Last Game: 5 carries, 29 yards, 4 receptions, 18 yards

  • Thomas is sitting in the same role he has been in since coming into the league 7 years ago. He is a dumbed down version of Marshall Faulk. Thomas can be used as a multi-purpose back catching and running the ball. With Payton back in the coaching seat, hopefully this will eventually open up the running game a little more.
  • The New Orleans Saints are a pass happy squad and do not pay much attention to the run. That is why I always stay away from their running backs in the draft. I would keep Thomas around just for insurance on my main running backs because he can get you somewhere between 5 and 8 points every week. You cannot count on him to be a starter or you will be watching other fantasy members playing in the playoffs and you won’t be with them.

Player’s that Could Make a Future Impact

WR A.J. Jenkins #15 Kansas City Chiefs

  • Jenkins has speed and talent. With being traded from the 49ers, it will still take him some time getting used to the system and his teammates.

TE Michael Hoomanawanui #47 New England Patriots

  • Hoomanawanui is a tight end on a team that has been depleted by injuries and tragic decisions. He definitely has potential to get looks each week because of these circumstances.

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Tags: Fantasy Football Pierre Thomas Rashard Mendenhall

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