Hopefully, you are still playing to win your league. It is time to bolster your lineup, and deal with the problems that late season injuries bring about by adding IDP that are heating up, either through increased playing time (injury replacements) or just getting hot at the right time. Not so many options available on the wire with regard to defensive linesmen, but plenty of defensive backs to target and a nice group of linebackers to consider as well. Plus, all should be available in most leagues as free agents.

Elevator Going Up


Jatavis Brown LAC

Robert Quinn LAR

Preston Brown BUF

Nick Kwaitkoski CHI

Brown took advantage of an injury to denzel Perryman in Week 15, being credited with eight total tackles (seven solo) against the Chiefs in Kansas City. If Perryman misses action in Week 16, look for him to continue to provide tackle goodness for another week.

Quinn picked up a pair of sacks last week against the Seahawks, as well as two solo tackles, one for a loss of yards (TFL). He also added a quarterback hit (QH) and forced a fumble to fill out his stat line. The Titans are on deck and have yielded the seventh most fantasy points to linebackers through Week 15.

The second Brown on the list this week is heading to a stadium where the stat crew is generous when it comes to crediting tackles. Brown has racked up 47 tackles over his last five games, including 10 combined tackles against Miami in Week 15 (seven solo), so look for him to continue producing this coming week.

Kwiatkoskibroke out against the Lions on the road, racking up eight combined tackles (six solo) in Week 15 and seeing significant snaps on defense. He has a great matchup in Week 16 against the Browns, who yield the fourth most points to opposing LBs though Week 15.

IDPs to consider that have been previously profiled:  Antonio Morrison IND (Weeks 7 & 8), Lamarr Houston CHI (Week 14), Matt JudonLB/DE BAL (Week 6), Zach Vigil WAS (Week 15), Wesley Woodyard TEN (Week 4), Ruben Foster SF (Week 10), Brian Cushing HOU (Week 14), Kendell Beckwith TB (Weeks 4 & 5)

Defensive Linemen

Ryan Davis DE BUF

Anthony Lanier II DE WAS

Lawrence Guy DT NE

Davis is in a time-share at defensive end in Buffalo, but even with limited playing time, snagged six total tackles (four solo, two TFL), a sack and a QH against Miami in Week 15. He has picked up a sack in each of his last two games, and will look to continue that trend against the Patriots this coming week.

Lanier has picked up five sacks over the past four games, and gets to face the Broncos at home this coming week, a team that has had its troubles protecting whoever is under center for them. He is not much in the tackle department, but in big play leagues he has tremendous value.

Guy is someone to target if you need to start a DT in your league. He is coming off a seven combined tackle effort in Pittsburgh (four sol, one TFL), with a sack and QH to pad his numbers. His Week 16 opponent, Buffalo, ranks sixth in terms of points allowed to DTs.

IDPs to consider that have been previously profiled:  Calais Campbell DE JAX (Week 2), Geno Atkins DT CIN (Week 2), DeForest Buckner DT SF (Week 4), Trey Flowers DE NE (Week 2), Kenny Clark DT GB (Week 14)

Defensive Backs

Eddie Jackson S CHI

Marcus Maye S NYJ

Andrew Adams S NYG

Adrian Phillips S LAC

Darius Slay CB DET

Marcus Peters DB KC

Xavien Howard CB MIA

James Bradberry CB CAR

Ronald Darby CB PHI

Leonard Johnson CB BUF

Jackson led the Bears in tackles with eight total in Week 15 (seven solo). Facing the Browns this coming week should allow him to continue his dominance in the Chicago defensive backfield.

Maye is severely under owned for a player that is averaging better than five tackles per game this season. Granted, the Chargers are not a great matchup for Week 16, but it is difficult to ignore his steady production.

Adams value is dependent upon the absence of Landon Collins from the Giant defensive backfield. With the Giants out of the playoff picture, it is possible that the team will just shut down Collins, and that makes Adams worth consideration against the Cardinals, known for their generosity to opposing safeties in terms of points allowed (ranked 3rd through Week 15).

Phillipshas been playing at linebacker instead of safety for the Chargers, and looks to continue that trend with Denzel Perryman likely out of action in Week 16. He racked up eight solos against the Chiefs and will look to continue that production against the Jets in Week 16, admittedly a tougher matchup.

Slayseemed destined to leave the Week 15 contest against the Bears, but only missed three snaps on defense. He had a pair of interceptions in the game, with three passes defended (PD) and five solo tackles. The Lions will be fighting for their playoff hopes against a reeling Bengal team this coming week.

Petershad a great game, coming off a suspension by the Chiefs in Week 14, with two INT, three PD, a forced fumble and three solo tackles. He has an excellent matchup against a top-10 team in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing cornerbacks in the Dolphins in Week 16.

Speaking of the Dolphins, Howard has finally been coming on as a second year player as the season progresses, picking up four solo tackles in Week 15 (two TFL), with a sack and a QH against the host Bills. The Chiefs will be a tougher test for him, as they are the best through Week 15 at limiting opposing cornerback production, so use caution if you are going to rely on him to win your championship.

Bradberryhas been playing at another gear the past three weeks, with 19 combined tackles (12 solo), and four PD over that period as well. His Week 16 opponent (Tampa Bay) is a top-10 team as far as opposing cornerback points are concerned.

Darbyhas been racking up more than his fair share of solo tackles the past five games since returning from an ankle injury in Week 11 with 26 solo tackles, five PD and a pair of INT. Oakland is a middle of the pack team when it comes to allowing opposing cornerbacks to pick up fantasy points, though, but do not discount his abilities to provide well-rounded production as a CB.

Johnsonwould be a nice play in Week 16 if E.J. Gaines cannot take the field. Look for the Patriot offense to target him, providing him with ample tackle opportunities.­­ He collected eight solos in Week 15 against the Dolphins, and as noted above in the discussion of linebacker Preston Brown, the New England stat crew is willing to credit plenty of tackles to defensive players.

IDPs to consider that have been previously profiled:  Eli Apple CB NYG (Week 6), Jeff Heath S DAL (Week 15), Bradley McDougald S SEA (Week 15), Sean Davis S PIT (Week 6), Johnathan Cyprien S TEN (Week 12), Quandre Diggs CB DET (Week 14)

Escalator Going Down


Lawrence Timmons MIA

Timmons is losing out on snaps to younger players as Miami looks to see what the other linebackers on the roster can do for them going forward. With his snap count being reduced, his tackle numbers are hurting the past couple of weeks, and that looks to be the trend as the season winds down.

Defensive Linemen

Chris McCain DE LAC

McCain has collected just three solo tackles over the past five games he has played, and has not had a sack credited to him since Week 7. That dearth of production should tell you to drop him if you have him on your bench for someone likely to provide better stats.

Defensive Backs

Harrison Smith S MIN

Vonn Bell S NO

Smith has seen his value decline drastically since Week 10, with just 12 total tackles over the past five weeks, and limited big plays. The Minnesota defense has been dominant, and playing free safety limits his potential for picking up tackles or big plays. Not that he is a bad player, just one that is providing limited production when it matters most in fantasy.

Bell has been hit or miss this season, and it has been mostly miss the past three weeks. His usage on defense is primarily as a dime back, which limits his potential to put up tackle numbers, although the Falcons are on deck for Week 16, a team that is ranked eighth in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing safeties, so there is some hope he can break out of his funk. Do you feel lucky?

Matchups to Exploit

Remember, the second team listed is the one to use your IDPs against. Do not go crazy, and play a LB5 against the Ravens, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB on the Jacksonville or San Francisco (who play one another in Week 16, coincidentally) or a DL on Pittsburgh that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Jacksonville @ San Francisco

Indianapolis @ Baltimore

San Francisco v Jacksonville

Chicago v Cleveland

New England v Buffalo

Defensive Ends

Pittsburgh @ Houston

New York Giants @ Arizona

Washington v Denver

Baltimore v Indianapolis

Defensive Tackles

Denver @ Washington

Tampa Bay @ Carolina

Pittsburgh @ Houston

Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets


Kansas City v Miami

Buffalo @ New England

New York Giants @ Arizona


Houston v Pittsburgh

Washington v Denver

Chicago v Cleveland

Dallas v Seattle

Cincinnati v Detroit

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 commented on are necessarily here, however, as there is no need 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.


Jatavis Brown LAC

Robert Quinn LAR

Preston Brown BUF

Nick Kwaitkoski CHI

Defensive Linesmen

Ryan Davis DE BUF

Anthony Lanier II DE WAS

Lawrence Guy DT NE

Defensive Backs

Eddie Jackson S CHI

Marcus Maye S NYJ

Andrew Adams S NYG

Adrian Phillips S LAC

Darius Slay CB DET

Marcus Peters DB KC

Xavien Howard CB MIA

James Bradberry CB CAR

Ronald Darby CB PHI

Leonard Johnson CB BUF

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.


Josh Bynes ARI ankle

Karlos Dansby ARI calf

Gabe Martin ARI hamstring

Shaq Thompson CAR foot

Pernell McPhee CHI shoulder

Nick Vigil CIN ankle

Vincent Rey CIN jaw

Vontaze Burfict CIN concussion

Jordan Evans CIN forearm

Justin Durant DAL concussion

Ahmad Brooks GB back

Vince Biegel GB groin

Nick Perry GB ankle

Jelani Jenkins HOU concussion

Kevin Pierre-Louis KC shoulder

Denzel Perryman LAC hamstring

Mark Barron LAR knee

Brandon Watts MIA back

Ben Gedeon MIN ankle

Kyle Van Noy NE calf

J.T. Thomas NYG groin

B.J. Goodson NYG ankle

Corey Lemonier NYJ foot

K.J. Wright SEA concussion

Bobby Wagner SEA hamstring

K.J. Alexander SEA concussion

Lavonte David TB hamstring

Devante Bond TB neck

Derrick Morgan TEN knee

Zach Brown WAS Achilles

Ryan Anderson WAS knee

Defensive Linemen


Josh Mauro ARI ankle

Robert Nkemdiche ARI wrist

Carl Davis BAL leg

Jarvis Jenkins KC elbow

Andre Branch MIA knee

Trey Henderson NO ankle

Leonard Williams NYJ concussion

Mario Edwards OAK ankle

Treyvon Hester OAK ankle

Robert Ayers TB neck


Andrew Billings CIN leg

Anthony Hitchens DAL knee

David Irving DAL concussion

Quinton Dial GB chest

Corey Liuget LAC knee

Alan Branch NE knee

Corbin Bryant NYG elbow

Nazair Jones SEA ankle

Gerald McCoy TB biceps

Terrell McClain WAS toe

Defensive Backs


Anthony Levine BAL thigh

Chris Prosinski CHI concussion

Adrian Amos CHI hamstring

George IlokaCIN shoulder

Ed Reynolds CLE knee

Peyton Thompson JAX foot

T.J. McDonald MIA shoulder

Michael Thomas MIA knee

Andrew Sendejo MIN ankle

Nat BerheNYG hamstring

Landon Collins NYG ankle

Adrian Colbert SF concussion


E.J. Gaines BUF knee

Dre Kirkpatrick CIN concussion

BrieanBoddy-Calhoun CLE knee

Orlando Scandrick DAL back

Davon House GB shoulder

Demetri Goodson GB hamstring

Chris Culliver IND undisclosed

Rashaan Melvin IND hand

Condrea Tankersley MIA ankle

Mackensie Alexander MIN ribs

Tramaine Brock MIN foot

David Amerson OAK foot

Patrick Robinson PHI concussion

Joe Haden PIT upper leg

Justin Coleman SEA chest

Greg Mabin SF calf

Vernon Hargreaves TB hamstring

Logan Ryan TEN ankle

Bashaud Breeland WAS shoulder

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.