If you are reading this week's IDP Report, then I would suspect you still have something to play for in your fantasy league. Congratulations are in order and I sincerely hope the information I have provided over the past 15 weeks has helped you in your quest to win your league.

The good news this week is there are more linebacker options to explore to help you in your quest to be a league champion. Of course, there are plenty of injuries to keep your eye on, and please remember that the bulk of the games in Week 16 are being played on Saturday, not Sunday, so set your lineups early.

On to the profiles of those rising IDP. Note that there are not many falling players this week, as the season winds down.

Elevator Going Up

Linebackers

Lorenzo Alexander BUF -- Alexander had a big game in Week 15, making 10 total tackles (eight solo, one for a loss), and also adding 1.5 sacks and two QH (QB hits). Granted this was against the Browns, and his Week 16 opponent is the Dolphins who are stingier against LBs, but he does have 11.5 sacks on the season and is getting snaps on both the defense and special teams.

Sio Moore ARI -- Moore has stepped into a full-time role in Arizona and has been producing. He had 11 solo tackles against the Saints, one for a loss (TFL) and a PD (pass deflection). He is well worth consideration as a LB3 so long as he is starting.

Tahir Whitehead DET -- Whitehead has been a tackling machine, with 119 on the season so far (89 solo). He is coming off a strong game against the Giants with 12 total tackles (10 solo, one TFL), and his Week 16 opponent, Dallas, is ranked 8th against opposing linebackers in allowing points.

Bruce Irvin OAK -- Irvin has collected five sacks over his past five games, and put on quite a show against the Chargers: six total tackles (five solo, two TFL), three QH, one forced fumble and two sacks. In Week 16, the Raiders take on the Colts, who give up the most fantasy points to linebackers through the first 15 weeks of the season. Snap him up off the wire immediately.

Martrell Spaight WAS -- Spaight is worth grabbing as well, but only if Will Compton is out of action against the Bears. Keep a close eye on the injury reports going into the Week 16 contest.

Kwon Alexander TB -- Our second linebacker with the surname Alexander, this one on the Bucs, is likely not someone dwelling on your waiver wire, but if he is, add him over any other LB profiled here, even Irvin. He was incredible in Week 15, making 21 total tackles (11 solo, two TFL), forcing a fumble and disrupting the Cowboys offense all game.

Jerrell Freeman CHI -- Freeman wraps up the linebacker profiles, and he is expected to resume his starting role when Chicago hosts Washington this week. His ownership percentage is modest, and he should be available in most leagues.

Defensive Linemen

William Hayes DE LA -- Hayes had a nice game against the Seahawks in Week 15, with six total tackles (two solo), as well as being credited with a sack and three QH. He has a good matchup against the 49ers in Week 16, and although he does not play a huge number of snaps, those that he is on the field for are productive. He is a decent play if you need help at DE.

Cameron Wake DE MIA -- Wake was profiled here in Week 10, and he continues to produce, with 7.5 sacks in his last seven games. His tackle numbers are not spectacular, but in big play leagues, he can certainly provide value.

Calais Campbell DE ARI -- Campbell has been steady but not eye-catching for most of the season. He seems to be building up for a big finish, however, with three sacks in the last three weeks, as well as two forced fumbles (one which he recovered in Week 15, which led to a TD for him). The Seahawks, who he faces in Week 16, are the 6th most generous team with regard to DE fantasy production.

Frank Clark DE SEA -- Clark gets to face off against the Cardinals, who allow the most points to opposing DEs this season. If you cannot add Clark, then look to add Cliff Avril, or Michael Bennett. Clark gets my vote, however, based on his nine sacks this season.

Defensive Backs

Anthony Harris S MIN -- Harris is not much for coverage skills, but he did have 15 total tackles in Week 15 (nine solo), and a PD. So long as Harrison Smith is sidelined with his ankle issue, Harris will be the starter at free safety.

Keith Tandy S TB -- There was concern that Tandy would see a dramatic drop in snaps with Chris Conte back in action, but he was on the field for 85 snaps against Dallas (73 on defense, 12 on special teams). He probably would have led the team with 14 tackles if Kwon Alexander had not collected an amazing 21 in the contest. He does put up the occasional big play, but you want him for the tackle totals he produces.

Ron Parker S KC -- Parker is someone I wrote about way back in Week 8, but he deserves another mention with Derrick Johnson going out for the season. He had nine solo tackles against the Titans in Week 15, to go along with an INT and a PD, so he has value in both tackle-heavy and big play IDP leagues.

Quintin Demps S HOU -- Demps picked up another INT in Week 15's matchup against the Jaguars, giving him three in his last four games. He is a steady tackler as Houston's starting strong safety, but also can provide big plays for his owners. His ownership is minimal in most platforms, so you can grab him while he is hot.

Kurt Coleman S CAR -- Coleman had a fine performance against Washington in Week 15, collecting 9 tackles (seven solo) with an INT and a PD. Like Parker and Demps, he has value across the board in IDP formats. He faces the Atlanta offense, which has allowed the 7th most points to opposing safeties through Week 15.

Jalen Ramsey CB JAX -- Ramsey is our lone cornerback and the 5th overall pick had himself a spectacular Week 15, picking off a pass, collecting four solo tackles, forcing a fumble and deflecting five (!) passes. He has been assigned the job of shadowing the opponent's #1 WR, and looks like someone to target in dynasty and keeper leagues.

 

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Escalator Going Down

Linebackers

Connor Barwin PHI -- Barwin is not producing much in the way of tackles, being credited with just one in Week 15. He also is not getting any sacks, with just four on the season. A LB giving you the equivalent of 2 tackles a week and no big plays is waiver wire fodder.

Nick Kwiatkoski CHI -- Kwiatkoski was a great fill-in when Jerell Freeman was suspended, but that four game absence ends this week. It is time to move on, as his playing time will take a serious hit going forward. He is a rookie to keep an eye on in keeper and dynasty formats, though.

Defensive Linemen

Nothing to speak of this week, except those on the injury report below.

Defensive Backs

Same as with the DLs, look to the injury report.

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the first team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Colts, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Raiders, Giants or Green Bay that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Linebackers

Indianapolis @ Oakland

Philadelphia vs New York Giants

Minnesota @ Green Bay

Defensive Ends

Arizona @ Seattle

Cleveland vs San Diego

San Diego @ Cleveland

Los Angeles vs San Francisco

Buffalo vs Miami

Defensive Tackles

Arizona @ Seattle

Washington @ Chicago

Los Angeles vs San Francisco

Safeties

New Orleans vs Tampa Bay

Tennessee @ Jacksonville

Philadelphia vs New York Giants

Houston vs Cincinnati

Cornerbacks

Arizona @ Seattle

New York Jets @ New England

Jacksonville vs Tennessee

Carolina vs Atlanta

 

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Waiver Wire Targets

All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. Not all the players I comment on are here, however, as I am not going to waste your time searching for players that are heavily owned. This group consists of those that you may have a chance of locating on your league's waiver wire in that they are owned in significantly less than 50% of leagues. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.

Linebackers

Lorenzo Alexander BUF

Sio Moore ARI

Tahir Whitehead DET (owned in 38.3% of ESPN leagues, 39% of Yahoo leagues)

Bruce Irvin OAK

Martrell Spaight WAS

Jerrell Freeman CHI (owned in 20.5 % of ESPN leagues, just 12% on Yahoo)

Defensive Linesmen

William Hayes DE LA

Cameron Wake DE MIA

Calais Campbell DE ARI (ESPN ownership at 28.1%, only 17% on Yahoo)

Frank Clark DE SEA

Defensive Backs

Anthony Harris S MIN

Keith Tandy S TB

Ron Parker S KC

Quintin Demps S HOU

Kurt Coleman S CAR (31.5% owned in ESPN, only 13% on Yahoo)

Jalen Ramsey CB JAX

 

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

All the injury reports below need evaluation prior to kickoff.  Teams are notoriously sketchy about injury reports, and we often do not know a player's status until just before game time. Consider the list below as a "heads up" as to what is going on early in the week, and should not be considered definitive.

Linebackers

De'Vondre Campbell ATL concussion

Jamari Lattimore BUF nose

Lerentee McCray BUF concussion

Luke Kuechly CAR concussion

Vincent Rey CIN hamstring

Jackson Jeffcoat CLE hamstring

Justin Durant DAL elbow

Brandon Marshall DEN hamstring

Nick Perry GB hand

Jayrone Elliott GB hand

Whitney Mercilus HOU back

John Simon HOU chest

Chris Carter IND shoulder

Sean Porter JAX hamstring

Jelani Jenkins MIA knee

Jonathan Casillas NYG knee

Keenan Robinson NYG shoulder

Lorenzo Mauldin NYJ ankle

Shilique Calhoun OAK knee

Brock Coyle SEA foot

Sean Spence TEN ankle

David Bass TEN groin

Ryan Kerrigan WAS elbow

Will Compton WAS knee (PCL)

Su'a Cravens WAS elbow

Defensive Linemen

DE

Adrian Clayborn ATL knee (meniscus)

Charles Johnson CAR hamstring

Wallace Gilberry CIN calf

Benson Mayowa DAL undisclosed

Demarcus Lawrence DAL back

Derek Wolfe DEN neck

Dante Fowler JAX hip

Kendall Reyes KC wrist

Matt Longacre LA heel

Jason Pierre-Paul NYG groin

Stacy McGee OAK ankle

Stephon Tuitt PIT knee

Michael Bennett SEA neck

William Gholston TB elbow

DT

Eddie Goldman CHI ankle

Cedric Thornton DAL ankle

Tyrone Crawford DAL undisclosed

Steve McLendon NYJ hamstring

Defensive Backs

S

Robenson Therezie ATL ankle

Derron Smith CIN thigh

J.J. Wilcox DAL thigh

Don Jones HOU illness

T.J. McDonald LA wrist

Maurice Alexander LA concussion

Harrison Smith MIN ankle

Jordan Richards NE knee

Nat Berhe NYG concussion

Karl Joseph OAK toe

Sharmarko Thomas PIT concussion

Da'Norris Searcy TEN concussion

Kyshoen Jarrett WAS shoulder

CB

Marcus Cooper ARI back

Jalen Collins ATL knee

Jimmy Smith BAL ankle

Johnthan Banks CHI ankle

Bryce Callahan CHI knee

Morris Claiborne DAL sports hernia

Darius Slay DET hamstring

Johnathan Joseph HOU ribs

Jalil Brown IND ankle

Tevin Mitchel IND hamstring

Aaron Colvin JAX ankle

Phillip Gaines KC knee

E.J. Gaines LA thigh

Michael Jordan LA concussion

Chimdi Chekwa MIA hamstring

Byron Maxwell MIA ankle

Trae Waynes MIN concussion

Delvin Breaux NO shoulder

Janoris Jenkins NYG back

Buster Skrine NYJ concussion

Craig Mager SD elbow

Jude Adjei-Barimah SF undisclosed

Jason McCourty TEN chest

Greg Toler WAS concussion

Quinton Dunbar WAS concussion

As ever, good luck and Godspeed in your fantasy efforts. Make sure to read all of our great articles to help you win your fantasy match ups every week and ultimately bask in championship glory. If you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, I can be reached at ia@fantasyalarm.com.

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