Week 12 is here, and if you are still in the playoff hunt, it is indeed crunch time. If you are not, take the time and show the pride to play spoiler as the fantasy regular season winds down.
First off, I must apologize for breaking one of my personal fantasy rules last week. Just minutes before submitting my article I made a rookie fantasy mistake and decided to change my mind at the last minute.
After having written up Detroit defensive lineman Nick Fairley as a prime sleeper candidate and then hearing the news that Cliff Avril was cleared to play, I decided to roll with Avril over Fairley.
The rest, as they say, is history. I went against my gut feeling (and plenty of research) and missed out on providing IDP owners what turned out to be one of the week's top defensive performances. Trust me, it will not happen again.
Let's get to it!
Koa Misi, SLB, Miami vs. Seattle: Misi is coming off a nice game against Buffalo in which he posted four total tackles with a sack while playing only 28 defensive snaps. He is purely a matchup type player for fantasy purposes, and this week's game against Seattle should allow him to shine, as he is solid against the run. His snap count will be higher as Seattle pounds the ball on the ground, and with 2½ sacks on the season, Misi does bring some big play potential.
Erin Henderson, WLB, Minnesota at Chicago: Henderson has worked his way into the rotation in the Vikings' sub-packages again and should see more playing time moving forward. This is a great match up for him, as the Bears will be looking to establish the running game to help keep their quarterback upright. Henderson has put up 11 total tackles in his last two games, and while that is not all that impressive, he's averaged 46 snaps per game and with an increase in playing time likely, he is an excellent sleeper this week.
Jonathan Vilma, WLB, New Orleans vs. San Francisco: New Orleans interim head coach Joe Vitt has stated that Vilma will see more playing time moving forward, and this is a great week for that to happen. The 49ers are a Top 3 matchup in allowing points to linebackers, and Vilma is in line for a big day. He posted his first sack of the season last week and will be very active in containing Frank Gore on the ground as well as having to worry about the running ability of newly crowned starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
James Harrison, OLB, Pittsburgh at Cleveland : Harrison looked the Harrison of old, rather than an old...