Fantasy football sleepers: DT - Week 12

by Tim Heaney on November 23, 2010 @ 18:44:00 PDT


In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Note: All statistics are from Week 8 to Week 11, unless otherwise stated.

Fantasy football sleepers: Defensive teams

Cleveland Browns vs. Carolina Panthers

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1

    Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers
    Willis should terrorize Arizona
  • The Browns have quietly been an effective fantasy unit, rattling off 2.33 sacks, 2.00 interceptions and 1.33 fumble recoveries per game. They averaged those numbers against the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars - not an easy schedule.
  • Cleveland lines up against the Panthers, who will be led by a fantasy-friendly quarterback one way or another in Brian St. Pierre (shoulder), Jimmy Clausen (concussion) or Tony Pike. The Panthers' offense has helped defenses by giving up 3.00 sacks, throwing 1.50 interceptions and losing 0.75 fumbles per game since Week 7.
  • When you note their Week 13 dance with the Miami Dolphins, who might still have Tyler Thigpen taking snaps, the Browns make for at least a productive two-week rental off your waiver wire.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Fantasy value: Midrange No. 1

  • It's easy to scoff at a defense when they're coming off a 21-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but San Fran has kept the pressure on quarterbacks with 3.00 sacks per game. In the four-week window, they brought down the Denver Broncos' Kyle Orton four times and the St. Louis Rams' Sam Bradford three times.
  • Enter Derek Anderson, who has been sacked 13 times in the last three games. Arizona has also yielded 1.25 interceptions and 0.50 lost fumbles per contest.
  • The Niners aren't an every-week play from here on out: They have the Green Bay Packers (Week 13) and San Diego Chargers (Week 15) on the docket, but they also squeeze in a Week 14 meeting with the Seattle Seahawks that makes them a free agent to look at acquiring, if you're playing matchups.
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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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