Three and out: No Big Ben? Expect more Mendenhall

Big Ben done until playoffs?: In an effort to make sure Ben Roethlisberger (ankle) is ready to go for the playoffs, the Steelers are considering shutting down the QB for the remainder of the regular season and putting Charlie Batch into the starting role. Batch has thrown just two passes this season, so don’t expect much from him in the way of fantasy production — especially against a Rams defense that is in the top 10 of defending fantasy quarterbacks. It could, however, lead to a heavier workload for RB Rashard Mendenhall. The fourth-year back has topped 100 yards only once this season (146 in Week 6 vs. JAC) and hasn’t run for more than 76 yards in any other game this season, but he could find the end zone against a squad that has allowed 12 rushing TDs this season.

Jones misses practice: For the second straight day, Cowboys RB Felix Jones (hamstring) sat out of practice. Dallas is already short-handed at running back with DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner on injured reserve, so holding Jones out of workouts could just be a precaution. With the Cowboys hosting the Eagles and their suspect run defense, Jones is worth starting as a No. 2 RB if he’s able to go Saturday.

McCown to start for Bears: After throwing nine interceptions in just four starts, QB Caleb Hanie was benched in favor of Josh McCown for Sunday’s game at Green Bay. By the time kickoff rolls around at Lambeau Field, it will have been a little more than four calendar years since McCown last started an NFL game. With QB Jay Cutler, Chicago’s lackluster WR corps had some life. Since his injury, the passing game has been a fantasy wasteland. Now that WR Johnny Knox is out for the rest of the season, there’s nearly no value to be found. The only exception might be RB Marion Barber against Green Bay’s middle-of-the-road rushing defense. However, RB Kahlil Bell cut into Barber’s touches significantly last week. If coach Lovie Smith is going to turn his backfield into backs-by-committee approach, you’re better off avoiding both.

– Marcas Grant

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