As Week 12 looms I can’t help but be struck at just how quickly fortunes swing during a given week of fantasy football. How many folks could have used that sack and a forced fumble that
had last week (my hand is up)? Instead we got stuck with a 15-yard penalty that helped sink San Francisco as well as my fantasy team.
The dreaded penalty that wipes out a big play impacts the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) realm just as harshly as it does the standard fantasy format. Hey, those are the breaks and we all just have to live with the officials call (isn’t that right, New England Patriots fans?) whether we agree or not.
So, this is the last week for bye weeks and rest assured that that the crack staff of the ’53 Deep’ article will continue to work 24/7 to find the best possible sleeper candidates. Ok, truth be told my daughter goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. and the cat sleeps like 18 hours a day but we think IDP sleepers 24/7!
It’s with that ‘never say die mind set’ (and lots and lots of Red Bull for yours truly) that we proudly present these Week 12 IDP under the radar sleepers to lead your team to victory …
Ernie Sims, WLB, DALLAS at New York Giants:
The injuries to
will once again see the fantasy value of Sims spike upwards. It’s likely that the Cowboys will move
to the middle in place of
as Sims struggled mightily in his brief stint there against New Orleans. Due mainly to a lack of other options, Sims will still see an uptick in snaps and take over full time as the weak side linebacker. Look for the Giants and their resurgent running game to follow New Orleans’ lead and pound the ball on the ground against one of the league’s worst defenses. That will lead to many tackle opportunities and a productive fantasy week for Sims.
Tamba Hali, OLB, KANSAS CITY vs. San Diego
: Hali has notched nine sacks on the season but hasn’t recorded one since back in Week 7 when he tallied 2.5 against Houston. Look for him to end that drought against a San Diego offense that has allowed seven sacks the past three weeks. Furthermore, three of the seven sacks were given up to pass rushing outside linebackers such as Hali and teammate
. Hali has been credited with 44 hurries this season as well as seven quarterback hits according to
Pro Football Focus. Look for Hali to get to
at least once as the Chargers are struggling to keep their quarterback upright lately.
Elvis Dumervil, OLB, BALTIMORE vs. New York Jets:
Dumervil is coming off a miserable week against Chicago in that weather delayed mess of a game in which he posted a goose egg. He was credited with three quarterback hurries and a hit last week so all was not completely lost. This week he’ll have the chance to line up against a Jets offense that has given up sacks to rush outside linebackers in three consecutive weeks. New York will also pound the ball on the ground with running backs
, allowing Dumervil the chance to rack up 3-5 tackles in Week 12.
Geno Hayes, SLB, JACKSONVILLE at Houston:
The Texans are a top-five matchup in allowing fantasy production to linebackers and Hayes is playing some of his best football in years. He has put up 62 total tackles (47 solos) while forcing one fumble and being credited with a pair of passes defended. Hayes is playing a three down role against an offense that has given up more than 70 total tackles to the linebacker position in their last four games.
(* Hayes has missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a knee injury and may not play. If he isn’t able to go on Sunday, use teammate Russell Allen here, as his snaps will increase if Hayes sits.)
Manti Te’o, ILB, SAN DIEGO at Kansas City
: Te’o has averaged 52 snaps per game the last three times out and Kansas City should look to get running back
more involved this week. Linebackers have managed to put up nice fantasy totals against the Chiefs as both
have totaled 11 tackles against them in recent weeks. Look for Te’o to put up close to the totals (four solo tackles, five assisted tackles) he had against Washington back in Week 9 and possibly hit double-digit stops for the first time in his brief career.