Crunch time has begun as we inch toward the fantasy playoffs. No one is on a bye this week, which means there are a lot of options to play. We’re here to sort out those crucial decisions.
DE Olivier Vernon, Cleveland Browns
Plain and simple, Vernon can dominate when healthy and motivated. He had three sacks last week, which gave him five sacks in three games. He has so-so matchups the next two weeks, but he finishes the season against the Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants and New York Jets. All of those are tantalizing.
DT David Onyemata, New Orleans Saints
The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder has been everywhere in the stat sheet the last two weeks. He had four tackles and a pass defensed two weeks ago, and he had three tackles and two sacks last week. The Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles are great slates for him the next three weeks to continue doing damage.
OLB Nicholas Morrow, Las Vegas Raiders
Morrow has been all over the field in the last three games with 16 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and four passes defensed. He was a top-20 linebacker during the stretch and is worth consideration as an LB2 or a flex.
ILB Isaiah Simmons, Arizona Cardinals
We have been waiting for the No. 8 overall pick to emerge all season, and he had a statement game in Week 11. He had 10 total tackles and a sack in what could be a sign of things to come as he has fought to find his way into more playing time. He’s worth the speculative grab.
OLB Matt Judon, Baltimore Ravens
Judon is one of the better edge rushers in football, but he usually doesn’t tackle enough to warrant a lot of consideration. That has changed the last three weeks. He has 15 total tackles and two sacks in the last three games to scratch the surface for a pickup. The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t the best matchup this week, but he follows it up with the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants.
FS Jordan Whitehead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The 23-year-old has been a DB1 the last three weeks with his increased tackling. He had 19 tackles, a forced fumble, an interception and a pass defensed over the last three weeks. He’ll face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12, who throw a lot, and he’ll have plenty of chances to continue his tackling ways.
SS Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys
The second-year man had a huge week in Week 11 with nine tackles, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and a half-sack against the Minnesota Vikings. Even better news? He faces the Washington Football Team, which has granted the most points to DBs over the last three weeks. He’s a plug-and-play option for Week 12.