During Week 5 of the 2013 NFL regular season, the Arizona Cardinals made things interesting in the NFC West with a 22-6 win over the Carolina Panthers. With the victory, Arizona moves to 3-2 on the season with yet another strong performance from its rising stars.
No player has been as pleasant of a surprise as rookie running back Andre Ellington. Here's what it means for his fantasy football value.
Ellington, 24, finished the day with seven carries for 52 yards and four receptions for 31 yards. It was the fourth consecutive week in which Ellington has seen his role within the Cardinals offense expand.
Many college football fans saw his NFL success coming, but the former Clemson Tigers star has always faced one hurdle that he couldn't overcome: injuries.
Andre Ellington was this talented at Clemson. Problem was frequent injuries.— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) October 6, 2013
Now that he's healthy, Arizona is beginning to see just how instant a reward it can receive for placing faith in Ellington.
Who should be the Arizona Cardinals' starting running back?
Despite battling a series of injuries, Ellington ran for 3,436 yards and 33 touchdowns in four years at Clemson. He topped 1,000 rushing yards in each of his final two seasons, shining against some of the ACC's best defenses.
Fortunately for interested fantasy football owners, Ellington is owned in just 4.0 percent of ESPN fantasy football leagues.
With his availability established as widespread, Ellington is a player that fantasy football owners should consider signing and stashing. He'll need to see more touches to be worthy of a start, but he's outperforming the hobbled Rashard Mendenhall.
Ellington has 31 touches for 264 yards through five weeks of action, good for 8.5 yards per play. By comparison, Mendenhall has 71 touches for 283 yards and two touchdowns, equating to 3.99 yards per rush.
Proceed with caution when it comes to starting him, but if you're looking to sign or trade for Ellington, don't hesitate. The numbers are reason enough.