This should be the championship week for your fantasy leagues, unless your commissioner has set up a two-week final matchup, with the points of both this week and Week 17 combined to determine who takes the crown. If your league uses Week 17 as the sole determining final playoff week, it is a strong suggestion that you take a league vote and stop that foolishness next season. In any event, this article will wrap for the season next week, but for now, here are the rising and falling IDP options for your consideration.

Elevator Going Up


Terez Hall NE

Hall did not make his first start this season until Week 9, but really had his coming out party in Week 15 with 13 total tackles (TT), 12 of those on his own. His matchup in the coming game is not great on paper, but then again, neither was the most recent tilt against the Dolphins. He is a steal in tackle-oriented leagues for the presumably final playoff week.

Khaleke Hudson WAS

Hudson took advantage of injuries depleting the Washington depth chart, and collected eight TT (four solo, one TFL) against the visiting Seahawks, to go with a QB hit/hurry (QH). He has a home contest on tap against the Panthers, a middle-of-the-pack opponent in terms of allowing LB fantasy point production.

Dennis Gardeck ARI (Note: qualifies as DE only in ESPN system)

Gardeck has collected five sacks over the past three games, but keep an eye on his status as the Cardinals are set to play on Saturday and his knee could sideline him. Against the Eagles in Week 15’s home game, he had five solo tackles, two for a loss of yards (TFL) and a pair of QH to go with his two sacks.

Ben Niemann KC

Niemann has increased value if Damien Wilson is not able to play against the visiting Falcons Sunday, but then again, the Chief depth chart at LB is decidedly thin in any event as of the writing of this article, and Niemann should be readily available to pick up for your IDP roster. He is coming off an eight TT effort (five solo) effort in Week 15.

Defensive Linemen

Carl Nassib DE LVR

Nassib returned to his role in the rotation of Raider DLs after missing two weeks with a five TT game (two solo, two TFL). He has been racking up the PDs of late, and added another against the visiting Chargers, along with a QH. His matchup at home against the Dolphins is not great, but not terrible, either.

Carl Lawson DE CIN

Lawson has not been a consistent edge rusher for the Bengals since his first season, but now has 5.5 sacks on the year, collecting another against the Steelers to go along with forcing a fumble (FF). He only had two solo tackles, so his value comes from the occasional big play production.

Dawuane Smoot DE JAX

Smoot has been racking up the sacks recently, with four over his past four games played, turning it on at just the right juncture for his fantasy owners, who are not that numerous, to be honest. He has also had a run on FF with one in each of the past two contests and improved tackle numbers, too.

Jeremiah Attaochu DE DEN

Another sack monster, the Bronco DE has been credited with one in each of the past three games. He also has four TT in both his most recent contests (seven solo) and also produced a FF against the visiting Bills in Week 15. All this despite playing limited snaps on defense, and he has an excellent matchup on tap with the Chargers hosting the Broncos this week.

Shelby Harris DT/DE DEN

As noted above, Harris has a superb matchup lined up in Week 16 in Los Angeles against the Chargers. In an early season matchup at home against the Chargers, he collected six TT, and thus, the potential for tackle production is there. Plus, he qualifies at DT for those operating in DT-mandatory leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN platforms.

Bilal Nichols DT CHI

Nichols is on a three-game sack streak, collecting one against division-rival Minnesota last week. He also had three QH and seven TT (only one solo, alas). As with all the rising IDP this week profiled here, he is readily available on all platforms

Defensive Backs

Adrian Amos S GB

Green Bay should be in a shootout with the Titans, allowing the starting strong safety to continue to rack up the tackles. He has had seven TT in four of his last five games, making for consistent production from the DB position for his owners.

Sharrod Neasman S ATL

Neasman has had the opportunity to produce as he has filled in for the injured Ricardo Allen the past two weeks, playing the majority of snaps on defense and collecting his first sack of the season against the visiting Buccaneers in Week 15, along with eight TT (three solo, one TFL). He also had a QH to boost his big play value. Keep an eye on Allen’s status as it will impact Neasman’s time on the field.

Karl Joseph S CLE

Leading the Browns with 10 TT (eight solo, one TFL) against the host Giants, Joseph also pitched in on defense by breaking up a couple of passes. One of those broke up a potential TD to Evan Engram , helping to seal the road win for the surging Browns.

Donovan Wilson S DAL

Wilson has regained an every down role for the Cowboys since his return from his groin strain, and contributed with eight TT (six solo), a pair of PD and an INT against the 49ers. He is averaging 9 TT per game over his last three played, and had a decent matchup against the division-opponent Eagles in store.

Marcus Allen S PIT

Allen has been playing at inside linebacker with Vince Williams sidelined on the COVID list. Getting a DB with LB snaps is an IDP bonus that should not be missed, and he is readily available on all platforms with just minimal ownership. He is a definite add in tackle-oriented leagues if you need a LB2 to flesh out your roster.

TreDavious White CB BUF

White’s tackle production has been inconsistent, but his big-play value has been improving of late. He has collected seven PD and three INT over his past six contests played. He had a sack in Week 15 and while the Patriots are not an ideal matchup, his recent production makes him worthy as in CB-mandatory leagues.

Lonnie Johnson CB HOU

Johnson shifted to safety due to injuries in the Houston secondary, and is racking up significant tackles playing in the box on defense. He has collected 23 TT over the past three weeks, nine at Indy in Week 15 (seven solo). He gets to face the Bengals this week, and while that would be best for him as a cornerback, it is not exactly a terrible matchup, either.

Nickell Robey-Coleman CB PHI

If he continues to start for the Eagles, his production should continue to be prolific as the starting right cornerback on defense. He had 10 TT (seven solo) against the host Cardinals, along with a FF, a fumble recovery (FR) and half a sack. He has a prime matchup this week with a trip to Dallas on tap.

Escalator Going Down


A.J. Klein BUF

Klein’s playing time (PT) has been cut in half with Matt Milano ’s return to active status which is impacting his influence on the defensive side of things. He has collected just 13 TT over the past three games, which is not worthy of cluttering up your LB slots at this important time in the season. Cut him for a better option, four of which are profiled above.

Leighton Vander Esch DAL

It is due to his injury-prone condition that the Cowboy LB has ended up on this part of the Report. He had just three TT in his last effort, and also appeared to suffer a high-ankle sprain in Week 15’s contest. That is not a ringing endorsement for his presence in your lineup.

Anthony Walker IND

Walker’s PT is diminishing as the season progresses and he saw just 22 snaps on defense last week, although he did collect six TT (five solo). This week’s opponent, Pittsburgh, is also not a favorable matchup.

Anthony Hitchens KC

His teammate, Ben Niemann (profiled above) appears to be in favor at Hitchens’ expense these days. He collected just three TT last week against the Saints, and that is not starting material for a playoff fantasy team.

Defensive Linemen

Chase Winovich DE NE

Winovich is falling out of favor in New England, with a serious decline in on-field presence over the past two contests. He had a big goose egg in production in Week 15, with no tackles whatsoever, and only five TT over the past three weeks. Drop him and stop the bleeding.

Brandon Graham DE PHI

He is not listed as an injured player, and his snaps are not diminishing, but he has provided just four TT over the past three games combined. That is a mystery, but you are not working that case any longer if you have a modicum of fantasy wherewithal. Cut him and find a replacement immediately.

Defensive Backs

Troy Hill CB LAR

As with Graham above, his productivity has fallen off the charts of late. Two TT (one solo) over the past two contests with a single PD while still playing full time is a serious funk and worthy of being dropped from all rosters in competition.

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 Washington, but certainly you will do well if you own a top LB or DE on the Cowboys or Panthers, or a Jacksonville DB that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Washington vs Carolina

New York Giants @ Baltimore

New England vs Buffalo

Minnesota @ New Orleans

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Defensive Ends

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Cincinnati @ Houston

Atlanta @ Kansas City

Washington vs Carolina

Defensive Tackles

Los Angeles Chargers vs Denver

Dallas vs Philadelphia

Las Vegas vs Miami

Miami @ Las Vegas


San Francisco @ Arizona

Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers

Atlanta @ Kansas City

Chicago @ Jacksonville


Cincinnati @ Houston

Pittsburgh vs Indianapolis

Chicago @ Jacksonville

Buffalo @ New England

Dallas vs Philadelphia

Waiver Wire Targets

This section is intended to serve as a shortened cheat sheet listing those waiver wire targets you should be considering if you need to plug a hole in your starting lineup. All these players are spotlighted above, and you can read my comments about them in the "Elevator Going Up" section of this article. 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.


Terez Hall NE

Khaleke Hudson WAS

Dennis Gardeck ARI

Ben Niemann KC

Defensive Linemen

Carl Nassib DE LVR

Carl Lawson DE CIN

Dawuane Smoot DE JAX

Jeremiah Attaochu DE DEN

Shelby Harris DT/DE DEN

Bilal Nichols DT CHI

Defensive Backs

Adrian Amos S GB

Sharrod Neasman S ATL

Karl Joseph S CLE

Donovan Wilson S DAL

Marcus Allen S PIT

TreDavious White CB BUF

Lonnie Johnson CB HOU

Nickell Robey-Coleman CB PHI

L’Jarius Sneed CB KC

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.


Dennis Gardeck ARI knee

Haason Reddick ARI shoulder

Kylie Fitts ARI hamstring

Deion Jones ATL toe

Pernell McPhee BAL knee

Kristian Welch BAL foot

Otaro Alaka BAL knee IR

Jason Ferris CAR undisclosed

Logan Wilson CIN ankle

Malcolm Smith CLE hamstring

Sione Takitaki CLE knee

Rashan Gary GB hip

Za’Darius Smith GB ankle

James Burgess GB hamstring IR

Dylan Cole HOU back IR

Jordan Glasgow IND undisclosed IR-COVID

Anthony Hitchens KC undisclosed IR-COVID

Damien Wilson KC knee

Emmanuel Smith KC hamstring

Tanner Muse LVR toe IR

Nicholas Morrow LVR concussion     

Kyzir White LAC undisclosed IR

Uchenna Nwosu LAC knee

Emeke Egbule LAC undisclosed

Drue Tranquill LAC ankle IR

Micah Kiser LAR knee IR

Shaq Lawson MIA ankle

Jerome Baker MIA knee

Kyle Van Noy MIA hip

Todd Davis MIN ribs

Eric Kendricks MIN calf

Troy Dye MIN concussion

Ja’Whuan Bentley NE arm

Brandon King NE quadriceps PUP

Kyler Fackrell NYG lower leg IR

Frankie Luvu NYJ back

Harvey Langi NYJ back IR

Patrick Onwuasor NYJ hamstring IR

Jordan Jenkins NYJ shoulder-labrum

Duke Riley PHI biceps

Nate Gerry PHI ankle IR

Ola Adeniyi PIT shoulder

Ulysees Gilbert PIT ankle

Jason Pierre-Paul TB knee

David Long TEN neck

Jadeveon Clowney TEN knee-meniscus IR

Shaun Dion Hamilton WAS elbow IR

Cole Holcomb WAS concussion

Kevin Pierre-Louis WAS ankle

Reuben Foster WAS knee IR

Defensive End

Josh Mauro ARI hamstring IR

Jordan Phillips ARI hamstring IR

Steven Means ATL hand

Calais Campbell BAL calf

A.J. Epenesa BUF head

Brian Burns CAR knee-ACL

Austin Larkin CAR shoulder

Akiem Hicks CHI ankle

Trey Flowers DET undisclosed IR

Da’Shawn Hand DET ankle IR

Al-Quadin Muhammad IND ankle

Josh Allen JAX knee IR

Taco Charlton KC lower leg IR

Clelin Ferrell LVR shoulder

Joey Bosa LAC concussion

Jalyn Holmes MIN groin

Ifeadi Odenigbo MIN ankle

John Simon NE hamstring

Carl Granderson NO neck

Trey Hendrickson NO neck

Anthony Lanier NO undisclosed

John Franklin-Myers NYJ thigh

Josh Sweat PHI wrist

Stephon Tuitt PIT back

Dion Jordan SF knee

Jeffery Simmons TEN knee

Defensive Tackle

Marlon Davidson ATL knee

Bravvion Roy CAR knee

Anthony Rush CHI illness

D.J. Reader COM quadriceps IR

Sheldon Richardson CLE neck

Antwaun Woods DAL ankle

DeShawn Williams DEN hand

Danny Shelton DET knee IR

DeForest Buckner IND ankle

Maurice Hurst LVR calf

Maliek Collins LVR hamstring IR

Jaleel Johnson MIN knee

Hercules Mata’ala MIN back

Armon Watts MIN ankle

Carl Davis NE concussion IR

Malcom Brown NO calf

Quinnen Williams NYJ neck IR

Fletcher Cox PHI neck

Javon Kinlaw SF knee

Bryan Mone SEA ankle IR


Jalen Thompson ARI ankle

Jordan Miller ATL oblique

Keanu Neal ATL hamstring

Darqueze Dennard ATL quadriceps

Ricardo Allen ATL concussion

Anthony Levine BAL abdomen

Terrell Bonds BAL knee IR

Jaquan Johnson BUF ankle

Deon Bush CHI foot

Andrew Sendejo CLE concussion

Xavier Woods DAL ribs

Deante Burton DAL shoulder IR

Daniel Thomas JAX arm IR

Erik Harris LVR undisclosed IR-COVID

Julu Hughes LAR undisclosed IR-COVID

Taylor Rapp LAR knee IR

Clayton Fejedelem MIA thumb

Bobby McCain MIA ankle

Myles Dorn MIN undisclosed IR

Marcus Williams NO undisclosed

Bradley McDougald NYJ shoulder IR

Marcus Allen PIT neck

Tarvarius Moore SF knee

Jimmie Ward SF concussion

Damarious Randall SEA foot

Lano Hill SEA back IR

Justin Evans TB foot

Antoine Winfield, Jr. TB shoulder

Chris Jackson TEN undisclosed IR-COVID

Dashazor Everett WAS pectoral IR


Dre Kirkpatrick ARI hamstring

Robert Alford ARI undisclosed IR-COVID

Davontae Harris BAL thigh IR

Jimmy Smith BAL shoulder

Marcus Peters BAL calf

Khalil Dorsey BAL shoulder IR

Cam Lewis BUF wrist IR

Tre’Davarious White BUF shoulder

Daryl Worley BUF undisclosed IR-COVID

Troy Pride CAR hip

Buster Skrine CHI concussion

Jaylon Johnson CHI shoulder

Trae Waynes CIN pectoral IR

Denzel Ward CLE calf

Kevin Johnson CLE groin

Greedy Williams CLE shoulder IR

Rashard Robinson DAL knee

Chris Westry DAL knee

Saivion Smith DAL hand

Bryce Callahan DEN foot IR

Darryl Roberts DET hip

Kevin King GB groin

Chandon Sullivan GB hip

Kabion Ento undisclosed IR

Cornell Armstrong HOU hamstring

Phillip Gaines HOU knee

John Reid HOU neck

Sidney Jones JAX Achilles

C.J. Henderson JAX groin IR

Damon Arnette LVR concussion

Chris Harris LAC foot

Cameron Dantzier MIN foot

Mike Hughes MIN neck IR

Stephon Gilmore NE quadriceps IR

Darnay Holmes NYG knee

Ryan Lewis NYG hamstring IR

Javelin Guidry NYJ knee

Kevon Seymour PHI knee

Craig James PHI shoulder IR

Cre’von LeBlanc PHI ankle IR

Avonte Maddox PHI knee IR

Richard Sherman SF calf

Quinton Dunbar SEA knee IR

Neiko Thorpe SEA abdomen IR

Carlton Davis TB groin

Chris Milton TEN knee

Adoree’ Jackson knee

Greg Stroman WAS foot IR

As always, 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. FANation Chat is now live on the site, to help you work through your fantasy football dilemmas. Or if you have any fantasy football questions, especially about IDP leagues, you can also send a message to for a personal response from the writer of this article. Naturally, the more detail you can send about your league, such as number of teams, platform you play in (Yahoo, ESPN, etc.), scoring and roster system, the better the ability to provide accurate advice.