21 Days Minnesota Vikings
Erin Henderson has bulked up in anticipation of his move to middle linebacker.
29 Days Minnesota Vikings
GM Rick Spielman considers WLB Erin Henderson a possibility for the Vikings' opening at middle linebacker.
2 Months Minnesota Vikings
Vikings re-signed WLB Erin Henderson to a two-year contract.
Henderson recorded a career-high 80 tackles and three sacks in 14 games with the Vikings last season. He's also a fine run defender. Minnesota wanted to bring back at least one of Henderson or Jasper Brinkley. It might be wise to move on from Brinkley now and address the middle linebacker spot elsewhere.
4 Months Minnesota Vikings
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune suspects impending free agent WLB Erin Henderson may not want to return to the Vikings in 2013.
The Star-Tribune points out that Henderson, 26, wasn't happy with the organization last offseason when he didn't get a long-term deal, so he's likely looking for comparable money from another team. Minnesota would likely have to overpay to keep him. Henderson excels against the run, but he struggles badly in coverage. MLB Jasper Brinkley is also an impending free agent.
Here we go! Week fourteen kicked off Thursday night and so do the fantasy football playoffs. There can be only one and this week begins the thinning of the herd. Lineups are being tweaked and re-tweaked as fantasy owners everywhere are wringing their hands in anticipation of this week's action.
Paralysis by over-analysis runs rampant this time of year and has cost many a fantasy owner an opening round victory. Start your studs, they are studs for a reason and unless an injury is going to prevent them from playing they belong in the lineup. Don't get cute and start trying to outmaneuver talent with ‘gut feelings.'
If your usual starters are nicked up, game time decisions or have already been declared out for this week then let '53 Deep' offer up some solutions to that dilemma with this weeks dose of sleepers.
David Hawthorne, SLB, NEW ORLEANS, at NEW YORK GIANTS: Hawthorne is still a part-time player on the Saints defense and logged only 31 snaps in the week twelve loss at Atlanta. A hamstring injury has really limited him this season (he has 24 total tackles in seven games) but he did manage three solo tackles last week and the Giants are an above average matchup for linebackers from a fantasy standpoint. If they are going to get their moneys worth out of Hawthorne then the Saints are going to play him more down the stretch and that will start this week against New York.
Nick Roach, MLB, CHICAGO, at MINNESOTA: Roach is expected to move into the middle of the Bears defense with the news that Brian Urlacher could miss three weeks or so with a hamstring injury. Roach will be sliding over from the strong-side position, where he has amassed 35 total tackles, one forced fumble and a sack and a half. He's averaged 36 snaps a game to date in 2012 and that number will increase dramatically as he fills in for Urlacher. The Vikings are a decent matchup from a fantasy perspective as they will be feeding running back Adrian Peterson the ball plenty this week. Roach has excellent value as a fantasy sleeper while manning the middle for Chicago.
Don't'a Hightower, SLB, NEW ENGLAND, vs. HOUSTON: Hightower managed two solo tackles last week against the Dolphins while playing the highest number of snaps (42) that he had played in a game since week three. The Texans allowed 17 combined tackles to Tennessee linebackers Tim Shaw, Zach Brown and Will Witherspoon in week thirteen. Hightower still struggles in coverage but does have three sacks on the season and...
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...
It's Week 12 of the 2012 NFL season, and as you settle into your post-Thanksgiving feast sweat pants and run Icy Hot on your Black Friday bruises. It's time to get down to the business of setting Individual Defensive Player (IDP) lineups in advance of one of the most important fantasy weeks of the regular season.
Last week's recommendations went fairly well, as while Atlanta defensive end John Abraham and Jacksonville linebacker Paul Posluszny lived up to their billing, linebacker Donald Butler continued to confound me. Recommend him as a start he faceplants. Tell folks to sit him and he has a solid game. I see how it is.
So, with the knowledge that Butler is out to get me, it's time for another week of IDP "Studs and Duds," where I'll point out some individual defensive players who could be set to exceed expectations this week (studs) and some that for whatever reason are riskier plays than usual (duds).
That isn't necessarily to say that every "stud" is a must-start (it depends on your other options) or that every "dud" should be glued to your bench (just that the odds of a letdown week are greater than usual).
Finally, before we get on with the show, if you have a specific IDP start/sit question you'd like my take on you can email me at email@example.com or post the question in the "Kilroy Krystal Ball" thread in the Fantasy Sharks IDP Forum. I can't promise I'll get to every question, but I'll do the best I can.
Elvis Dumervil, DE, Denver (at Kansas City): Dumervil's shoulder injury didn't appear to be a significant hindrance a week ago, as the seventh-year pro tallied six stops, a sack and a forced fumble. Start Dumervil with confidence this week against a Kansas City Chiefs team allowing the fifth-most fantasy points this year to defensive linemen.
Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis (at Arizona): No team in the National Football League has allowed more sacks or fantasy points to the position than the Arizona Cardinals, and there's no reason to think that the turnstile will stop spinning this week when Quinn and the Rams come to town.
Justin Tuck, DE, New York Giants (vs. Green Bay): After pulling a vanishing act for most of the season, Tuck's production has picked up of late. That trend should continue as the eighth-year veteran comes out of his bye to face a Green Bay Packers squad that has been a Top 5 IDP matchup for defensive linemen in 2012.
Thomas Davis, OLB, Carolina (at Philadelphia): The eighth-year veteran exploded last...