This post comes from Justin Becker of FantasyFootballOverdose.com. You can follow him on Twitter@NBAandNFLInfo or on the Fantasy Football Overdose Google+ Page, and for more Arizona Cardinals Rumors and News visit Fantasy Football Overdose.
The Arizona Cardinals weren’t the best source of fantasy football production in week 15. Truth be told, they haven’t been a reliable venue for fantasy owners ever since Carson Palmer (knee) went down. Add in Drew Stanton’s own knee injury, and it’s gotten even worse.
Naturally, when the Cards’ take on the Seattle Seahawks this week, fantasy owners can’t be hoping for much. However, with the fantasy playoffs here and injuries sending you to the waiver wire, you just might have to consider using a player in Arizona.
Let’s preview Arizona’s matchup and see if anyone might be worth starting in your week 16 fantasy lineup:
Trust in Ryan Lindley?
No, you can’t trust in Ryan Lindley. Carson Palmer wasn’t even good against the Seahawks last year. In fact, he was really bad. That road win the Cardinals got over Seattle in 2013? It was 100% a defensive effort and Palmer was still not good. Drew Stanton got the luxury of going up against the ‘Hawks in Seattle just a few weeks ago and he promptly stunk up the joint en route to guiding the Cards’ to three points. Lindley, a guy who probably doesn’t even belong in the NFL, put up zero touchdowns to seven picks as a rookie with the Cardinals in 2012. He and the Cardinals offense are in for some trouble.
That being said, the odds suggest Arizona will be behind all day and that they naturally will have to throw. You still probably want to avoid any Cardinals options if you possibly can, but using the likes of Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald or John Brown may not end so terribly. Fitzgerald is the dark horse here since the Seahawks didn’t even see him in the first meeting, while Brown had a decent line (three catches for 61 yards) back in week 12. Floyd got absolutely blanked in week 12 and is probably the third guy of the three to try to use. He’s been an utter disappointment on the season (not that it’s all his fault), and going out with him sinking you is not something you’ll want to do.
As always, you can’t trust Arizona tight ends. Logic might suggest a young passer might checkdown or use his safety blanket, but John Carlson hasn’t caught more than four balls in a game all year and he managed to do that just once. Seattle is pretty bad against tight ends, but you can’t honestly use Carlson with any confidence.
Who Runs the Ball?
Arizona has to at least try to run the ball, or this game is over. The good news is that they’re at home, but just about all of the remaining news suggests you can’t use Cardinals running backs this week. On top of not having a threatening passing game to keep the defense honest, Arizona also doesn’t have one running back they know they can trust. The job is going to be divided between Stepfan Taylor and Kerwynn Williams, and it’s anyone’s guess who will touch the ball more or find more success against a very good Seattle run defense. Taylor started in week 15 and both guys carried the ball at least 14 times. The matchup is bad in every way, but if you must take a shot on one, it’s going to be Williams. He’s the better pure talent and more explosive, so you can cross your fingers the game stays close and he breaks one or two nice runs. At best, you’re probably looking at 60-70 total yards out of either of these guys, unfortunately.
Defensive Battle, Part Deux
There’s no denying the ugliness of Arizona’s offense. They don’t have a quarterback or running back, their offensive line is somewhat suspect and their wide receivers have been inconsistent all year long. Defensively, though, they’re still a unit you can give a shot this week.
There’s always the real possibility that Lindley tosses four picks that help Seattle pour on the points, but if you need the Cardinals team defense, you do have hope for a close, defensive-minded game. Seattle did struggle to score 19 points against Arizona on their home field just a few weeks ago, so it’s entirely possible we could see a similar result in the desert this week.
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