Now I trust Steelers' Mendenhall

Updated: November 10, 2009, 2:59 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
The feedback from fantasy owners regarding Rashard Mendenhall has been coming in fast and furious this fine Tuesday, and as always, I welcome it. "OK, Eric, now do you believe in this guy?" Why yes, yes I do. That is what I wanted to see from the Pittsburgh Steelers' second-year back. I wanted to see this big, talented bulldozer barrel through defensive openings and take off down the sidelines, really show confidence in his ability. No more dancing behind the line of scrimmage, waiting for something bad to happen. No more making it obvious he was protecting himself from injury. And no more threat of Willie Parker. Call an earlier game from Mendenhall his breakout performance, if you like, but this was the one I chose, that second half against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

No more will you see Mendenhall outside the top 20 in my running back rankings in any week, unless the circumstances really change, which I doubt they will. I believe Mendenhall is a safe fantasy RB2 now, in the same class as Joseph Addai, Ryan Grant and Pierre Thomas. Some weeks he might even be top-10, but in most weeks I'll likely rank him in the low teens.