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Rashard Mendenhall will not play vs. Falcons, fantasy owners can safely bench him

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals will be without Rashard Mendenhall on Sunday after missing practice all week due to a toe injury. We break down the fantasy implications.

Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall will not play in Sunday's game with the Atlanta Falcons due to a toe injury.

The news, first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, does not comes as much of a surprise. Mendenhall did not practice all week due to the ailment, and was also listed as doubtful on the team's injury report. Andre Ellington will get the start in his place, but the team is likely to use a committee approach in the backfield to compensate for Mendenhall's absence.

Fantasy News: Even in a week that is riddled with byes and injuries, Mendenhall's owners can relax knowing they can safely have him on the bench. Aside from the occasional touchdown, Mendenhall has never carried much fantasy value other than a desperation flex play, despite his advantageous position on the depth chart. He is averaging just 40 rushing yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry on the season.

Because Mendenhall will be held out of action, a boost in Andre Ellington's value can be expected, but only slightly. Ellington is not viewed as a running back that can handle a huge workload in Arizona, meaning he will have his workload cut into by any of Stepfan Taylor, Ryan Williams or Alfonso Smith. Should he be in line for 15 touches, Ellington would still make for a high-upside flex play, especially in PPR leagues.

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