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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 15: Cardinals vs. Titans

Wesley Hitt

One team is 8-5; one is 5-8. One is in second place; one is in third. But those don't line up like you might expect.

Swap the divisions of the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans, and the Titans are still also-rans, but the Cardinals would be locked in a tight playoff race, and would very likely be division leaders. Sometimes life isn't fair. As it is, the 8-5 Cardinals need to win and get help if they hope to sniff the NFC's six seed, while the Titans, at 5-8, are basically done for, save a miracle. The two teams face one another Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET in Nashville. Curious who you should use in your fantasy playoffs? Take a look:


Start in every league: Larry Fitzgerald, Defense/special teams

Start if you're desperate: Carson Palmer, Rashard Mendenhall, Andre Ellington, Michael Floyd

Bench: Jay Feely

There was a lot of up-and-down in Fitzgerald's season early on; he had four games of 10 or more and five of six or fewer through Week 10. In his last four, though, the wide receiver has been consistent, averaging 14.25 points per game with between 12 and 17 points in all four. He's re-establishing himself as a top-flight wide receiver. ... The Cardinals' defense has had several big games, and comes in as the NFL's No. 3 unit.

Palmer hasn't had fewer than 10 fantasy points since Week 5; he's averaged 19 points over his last four games, with eight touchdowns against only two interceptions. The Titans are good against quarterbacks, but he's played himself into plenty of usability. ... Each of Mendenhall and Ellington has had four double-digit fantasy games on the season. Either might have a big game, and both might. Neither is a bad start Sunday, but neither is even close to a sure thing. ... When the Cardinals faced Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia in back-to-back-to-back games, Floyd had almost 17 points per game. When the opposing defense got much tougher last week, against St. Louis, his production fell to two. The defenses stay tough -- in fact, they get heinously difficult. There isn't likely to be enough touches to support Floyd and Fitzgerald.

Feely hasn't converted a field goal in his last two games; he has only four double-digit games on the season; he missed two last Sunday. There's got to be a better option.


Start in every league: ...

Start if you're desperate: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Johnson, Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker

Bench: Justin Hunter, Nate Washington, Rob Bironas, Defense/special teams

There aren't any sure things in the Titans' offense, not against that Cardinals' defense. Fitzpatrick has gotten worse of late; he's been picked off four times in his last two games, though he did have four straight double-digit fantasy days before Week 14. ... Johnson has been wildly hit-and-miss this season; facing the only team in the NFL that has held opposing running backs to less than 10 points per game, this seems like a miss. ... Prior to Week 14, Wright seemed like a sure-fire bet for 5-9 points. Sunday, though, he was held to one point. He's still probably a safe five, sixish points, but that's only "probable" now. ... It looks like Walker will get back on the field Sunday, after missing Week 14. For all of Arizona's strengths, they do struggle against tight ends.

Hunter and Washington have both had their moments, but with a tough defense across the ball from the Sunday, this might not be the time to use them. ... Bironas has been pretty far from spectacular this season, and hasn't made a field goal since Week 12. ... Even giving it a pass for the Broncos game, the Titans' defense hasn't had an impressive game since Week 4.

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