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This is a game that will have massive playoff implications. In a game that is a bitter division rivalry, no love will be lost. Expect a nasty defensive battle. The Seahawks are looking to establish themselves as the clear-cut favorite in the NFC West. The Cardinals are looking to demonstrate to the world that they are still one of the most talented teams in football. By taking a better look at the matchups, we can get a more clear view of how this game might turn out from a fantasy perspective.

  • Seattle Seahawks

    Coming off of a close win against a red-hot Atlanta squad, the Seahawks are again looking like they belong amongst the NFL’s elite. Their defense is as good as ever, leading the league in yards against. The Cardinals have a decent offense, but they aren’t the world beaters they were last year. Therefore, Seattle’s defense is worth a start as a low-end starting defense.

    Russel Wilson is an elite QB when healthy, but against a stout Cardinals defense, he is only a borderline QB1 this week. If you have a quarterback with a better matchup, then it may be ok to leave Wilson on your bench.

    Christine Michael has been decent, and Arizona is only a middle of the pack team vs. the run. He is a decent RB2 this week. CJ Spiller and Alex Collins have seen upticks in usage recently, but neither backs are worth starting for fantasy purposes.

    Jimmy Graham has been on a tear his last 3 games, averaging 6 catches and over 100 yards per contest. With his heavy involvement, he looks like a strong start regardless of matchup. Graham is showing the world he can again be a top-3 tight end in the NFL.

    Slot receiver Doug Baldwin has cooled after a fiery start to the season. He may get a fair amount of attention from Tyrann Mathieu, which would probably not bode well for him. Oddly enough, the only game the 2 faced each other last year, Baldwin had a fantastic game notching 7 catches on 10 targets for 134 yards and a score. He is probably a WR2 this week, but you never know when the Wilson-Baldwin connection will start to give defenses fits. Temper your expectations, but don’t be surprised if Baldwin has a solid outing or a dud performance.

    All other receivers will have to deal with Patrick Peterson and Marcus Cooper. That means don’t start them as they weren’t all that talented as a group to begin with. Tyler Lockett been such disappointment.

    Players to start for the Seahawks

    • Seattle’s D/ST
    • Russell Wilson (Low-end QB1)
    • Christine Michael (RB2)
    • Jimmy Graham
    • Doug Baldwin (Boom/bust WR2)

    Players to sit for the Seahawks

    • All other Seahawks RBs and WRs

    Big Questions:

    • What will Doug Baldwin’s impact be?
  • Arizona Cardinals

    I am going to make a statement: David Johnson is the best running back in the NFL. Here are some mind-blowing stats for you. Johnson has yet to have a game under 100 scrimmage yards. He has 8 touchdowns and is on pace for over 21 touchdowns this season. He is averaging over 5 yards per carry and over 6 yards per touch. In fact, Johnson is on pace for over 50 catches and 700 receiving yards. Seattle may be the 3rd best team vs. the run, but with Johnson’s stellar all-around abilities, he shouldn’t be out of anybody’s lineups. No other back is getting enough attention to warrant even owning in fantasy.

    Carson Palmer has been incredibly average this year. Fantasy owners are already frustrated, and a matchup against the legion of boom will not alleviate any of their frustration. Sit Palmer this week.

    The most consistent of the Cardinals receivers has been the savvy veteran, Larry Fitzgerald. With at least 5 catches and 49 yards in every game so far, he at least can give you a WR3 floor. I would not expect much more from him, but if you are thin at receiver, you could do worse than a future Hall-of-Famer. John Brown has looked better after a very slow start, but he will get the daunting combo of Richard Sherman and DeShawn Shead. Sit Brown unless you are extremely desperate for a flex spot. Michael Floyd has been flat out awful so far and is barely ownable. Don’t play him or Jaron Brown either.

    In what should be a defensive battle of 2 teams that like to run the ball, the Arizona defense makes for a decent play. Seattle has playmakers, but Arizona does possess one of the more talented defenses in the NFL.

    Players to Start for the Cardinals

    • David Johnson
    • Larry Fitzgerald (WR3)
    • Cardinals D/ST

    Players to Sit for the Cardinals

    • Carson Palmer
    • John Brown
    • Jaron Brown
    • Michael Floyd

    Big Questions:

    Can any of the receivers in Arizona have a big game against Seattle?

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