If the Arizona Cardinals were playing in any other division in football, they would be at worst in the heat of the playoff race. If they were in the AFC, they would be a playoff team comfortably, and that's before even accounting for the fact that their schedule would have worse opponents filling it. Instead, they play in the NFC West, which means they are stuck behind the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, relegating them to also-rans in the division race. Sunday, they hope to flip that reality on its head, as they travel to Seattle for a 4:05 p.m. ET game. Here's a look at the fantasy players of note:
Start in every league: ...
Start if you're desperate: Jay Feely, Defense/special teams
It's hard to imagine using any of the regular Cardinals in a fantasy finals; Feely has been a fine kicker, and it's hard to imagine the Seahawks letting them reach the end zone often, so field goals might be their best bet. ... And the Cardinals' defense is a strong unit, though even if is worrisome in a road game in Seattle.
That'll do it. Palmer has had his moments on the season, but his fantasy numbers have dropped five weeks in a row, and the Seahawks have allowed the fewest points to opposing fantasy quarterbacks by more than a point and a half per game. ... Both Ellington and Mendenhall have back-to-back double-digit fantasy days, and it would be tempting to toss them out there. But between the battle for touches and the tough environment, there's a lot to not like there. ... Between Fitzgerald's concussion, Floyd's ankle, and the defense they're facing, they'd both be scary plays. ... Housler has only had one big game all season, and now doesn't seem like the time for No. 2.
Start if you're desperate: Doug Baldwin, Zach Miller
Bench: Golden Tate
The Cardinals' defense comes into Week 16 as the NFL's No. 4 unit, but injuries have left it as less than itself. Wilson should have a big game. ... Lynch might not be at its peak, as the Cardinals' run defense is still basically strong, but he's still "No. 4 running back" Marshawn Lynch. ... Hauschka has four double-digit fantasy games in his last five outings, and has converted multiple field goals 11 times in 14 games overall. ... The Seahawks' defense ought to be a tremendous start against always-liable-to-throw-interceptions Palmer.
Baldwin has scored 12-13 points four times in six games after being less productive early in the season; he has a decent ceiling, though his floor is very low. ... Miller only has a few big games this season, but the Cardinals have allowed 56 more fantasy points (four a game) to opposing tight ends than any other team in football; this matchup shapes up well for Miller.
Tate's numbers have been miserable for four games in a row now; the team seems to be focusing on Baldwin. Look elsewhere.