If your league is playing out the final regular season games to determine your championship, a suggestion is tendered to re-think that setting next season, and end with the Week 16 games. While last week had its share of craziness, this week with certain teams not needing to prove anything may prove disastrous for your fantasy efforts if your stars end up sitting out or only playing limited snaps. Still, the lure of playing all 17 weeks is there, so the above suggestion is only that: a recommendation based on past experience. Have fun but realize that finding help in this week to prop up your IDP lineup is a true crapshoot. Plus, aside from injuries, there are no falling defensive players profiled below.

Elevator Going Up


Bryce Hager NYJ

The 28-year-old LB finally had an opportunity to play on defense, as he had been limited to special teams until Week 16. He broke out by collecting the most tackles in the victorious Jet effort against the Browns, with 10 total tackles (TT), five solo wrap ups. One of the tackles was for a loss of yards (TFL) and he tossed in a pass deflection (PD), too. Look for him to see snaps on defense again in the final game against the host Patriots, due to his standout performance.

Willie Gay KC

The rookie has been an inconsistent performer, but stepped up his game with nine TT in the contest (seven solo). He also forced a fumble against the visiting Falcon offense, and with the Chiefs poised to rest many of their regular players, look for him to see significant snaps on the defense heading into the season home finale against the Chargers, a good matchup for linebackers.

Defensive Linemen

Chase Young DE WFT

It seems an aberration that the rookie DL has not been featured in the IDP Report until the final week of the regular season, but he cannot be ignored after his Week 16 stat line: four TT (three solo), a sack, a FF and FR, and a PD as well. This week’s opponent should help him pad the sack numbers, as they are the top offense in terms of allowing fantasy points to opposing DEs.

Sam Hubbard DE CIN

The veteran DE sacked Houston’s QB, Deshaun Watson , and forced a fumble (FF) in the process. He also collected four TT (two solo), pushing his season total to 57 TT. The Ravens are a decent matchup, and Hubbard is playing for a team that has picked up its grit and fortitude of late.

Arik Armstead DE SF

Armstead was profiled in this article way back in Week 5, and with 13 TT over the past two games (eight solo) and a pair of sacks, he deserves mention again. Plus, the Week 17 opponent, visiting Seattle, is the 8th most favorable offense for purposes of handing out fantasy points to opposing DEs.

Vinny Curry DE PHI

With the injuries on the defensive line in Philly, the 32-year-old veteran should see significant playing time (PT) in the season’s final game against the visiting division rival from the nation’s capital, an extremely favorable matchup. He is coming off a two solo tackle effort where he also collected a sack.

Jarran Reed DT SEA

The sole DT profiled this week, the Seahawk DL picked up two more sacks last game to push his season total to 6.5. He now gets to face the 49ers who are an auspicious opponent in terms of DT fantasy production. He should toss in a couple or three tackles which makes him a worthy consideration in DT-mandatory leagues.

Defensive Backs

Vonn Bell S CIN

The five-year veteran import from New Orleans has proven to be a stalwart on defense for the Bengals this year, becoming an every down DB and averaging over 7 TT per contest. He had eight TT against the Texans in Week 16, with a FF tossed in for good measure. He has a similar matchup albeit at home this week when the Ravens come to call, and the Bengals are playing as a team with something to show the world finally.

Jahleel Addae S LAC

The veteran safety was thrust into a full-time role with the high ankle sprain to Rayshawn Jenkins in Week 16, and responded with nine TT (four solo). He also collected a sack of Drew Lock and a PD. With Kansas City on the schedule, however, and the likelihood the Chiefs will be sitting a number of starters, his production could be great or mediocre, so keep that in mind when considering whether to add him or another DB to your roster, if your league is still playing, that is.

Tracy Walker S DET

Walker is another safety whose PT shot up drastically in Week 16, where he snagged nine TT (six solo) against the visiting Bucs, who admittedly ran up and down the field without let or hinderance against the helpless Leos in Detroit last week, offering plenty of defensive tackle opportunities. He does have a better on paper matchup this week when the Vikings come into the confines of Ford Field, although neither team in this contest has anything of value to play for, save pride. Walker May feel an urge to prove his mettle, given his limited action on the turf since Week 9.

Escalator Going Down


None, save for those listed below in the Injury Report.

Defensive Linemen

Same situation as the linebackers above.

Defensive Backs

Ditto to the above two categories of IDP; look to the Injury Report below.

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 Giants or Patriots, but certainly you will do well if you own a top Raven DE or CB, or an Eagle LB or DE that you can plug in this week, for the most part.


Washington @ Philadelphia

New York Giants vs Dallas

New England vs New York Jets

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

Defensive Ends

Philadelphia vs Washington

Cincinnati vs Baltimore

Washington @ Philadelphia

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Defensive Tackles

Dallas @ New York Giants

Los Angeles Chargers @ Kansas City

Miami @ Buffalo

Las Vegas @ Denver


San Francisco vs Seattle

Denver vs Las Vegas

Chicago vs Green Bay

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay


Cincinnati vs Baltimore

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland

Chicago vs Green Bay

Buffalo vs Miami

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. As has been the case most of this season, all the players profiled above are listed here, so this week’s rising IDP 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.


Bryce Hager NYJ

Willie Gay KC

Defensive Linemen

Chase Young DE WFT

Sam Hubbard DE CIN

Arik Armstead DE SF

Vinny Curry DE PHI

Jarran Reed DT SEA

Defensive Backs

Vonn Bell S CIN

Jahleel Addae S LAC

Tracy Walker S DET


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.


Kylie Fitts ARI undisclosed IR

Dennis Gardeck ARI knee IR

Foye Oluokun ATL ankle

Jason Ferris CAR undisclosed

Logan Wilson CIN ankle

Jordan Evans CIN hamstring

Sione Takitaki CLE ankle

B.J. Goodson CLE illness IR-COVID

Tae Davis CLE ankle

Jacob Phillips CLE IR-COVID

Leighton Vander Esch DAL ankle

Anthony Chickillo DEN ribs

Bradley Chubb DEN ankle

Jamie Collins DET neck

Za’Darius Smith GB ankle

James Burgess GB hamstring IR

Whitney Mercilus HOU illness IR-COVID

Dylan Cole HAU back IR

Jordan Glasgow IND undisclosed

Damien Wilson KC knee

Ben Niemann KC hamstring

Dorian O’Daniel ankle IR

Emmanuel Smith KC hamstring

Anthony Hitchens KC undisclosed IR-COVID

Denzel Perryman LAC back

Uchenna Nwosu LAC knee IR

Drue Tranquill LAC ankle IR

Kyzir White LAC hamstring

Elandon Roberts MIA knee

Shaq Lawson MIA ankle

Troy Dye MIN concussion

Todd Davis MIN ribs

Eric Kendricks MIN calf

Anfernee Jennings NE shoulder

Terez Hall NE ankle

Shalique Calhoun NE knee

Josh Uche NE foot

Ja’Whaun Bentley NE shoulder

Brandon King NE quadriceps

Kwon Alexander NO Achilles IR

Kyler Fackrell NYG lower leg IR

Blake Cashman NYJ hamstring IR

Patrick Onwuasor NYJ hamstring IR

Shaun Bradley PHI neck

Duke Riley PHI biceps

Nate Gerry PHI ankle IR

Ola Adeniyi PIT shoulder

Ulysees Gilbert PIT ankle IR

Mark Nzeocha SF illness

Jason Pierre-Paul TB knee

Daren Bates TEN hip

Derick Roberson TEN hamstring

Kevin Pierre-Louis WFT ankle

Thomas Davis WFT knee

Reuben Foster WFT knee IR

Defensive Linemen

Defensive End

Josh Mauro ARI hamstring IR

John Cominsky ATL shoulder

Charles Harris ATL personal

Calais Campbell BAL calf

Yannick Ngakoue BAL thigh

Efe Obada CAR shoulder

Brian Burns CAR shoulder

Akiem Hicks CHI illness

Shelby Harris DEN knee

Trey Flowers DET undisclosed IR

Kingsley Deke GB concussion

Denico Autry IND hip

Josh Allen JAX knee IR

Taco Charlton KC lower leg IR

Clelin Ferrell LVR shoulder IR

Takkarist McKinley LVR groin IR

Joey Bosa LAR concussion

Ifeadi Odenigbo MIN chest

Jalyn Holmes MIN groin

Tashawn Bower NE neck

Trey Hendrickson NO neck

Anthony Lanier NO undisclosed

Derek Barnett PHI calf

Josh Sweat PHI wrist IR

Jordan Willis SF ankle

Dion Jordan SF knee

Jeremiah Ledbetter TB calf

Jeffery Simmons TEN knee

Defensive Tackle

Marlon Davidson ATL knee

D.J. Reader CIN quadriceps IR

Antwaun Woods DAL ankle IR

DeShawn Williams DEN knee

Danny Shelton DET knee IR

DeForest Buckner IND ankle

Davon Hamilton JAX knee IR

Maurice Hunt LVR calf

Adam Butler NE shoulder

Byron Cowart NE back

Lawrence Guy NE shoulder

Carl Davis NE concussion IR

Michael Barnett NE undisclosed IR

David Onyemata NO knee

Fletcher Cox PHI neck

Javon Kinlaw SF knee

Tim Settle WFT shoulder

Defensive Backs


Jalen Thompson ARI ankle

Darqueze Dennard ATL quadriceps

Terrell Bonds BAL knee IR

Deon Bush CHI foot

Karl Joseph CLE undisclosed IR-COVID

Andrew Sendejo CLE undisclosed IR-COVID

Donovan Wilson DAL illness

Xavier Woods DAL ribs

Darian Thompson DAL concussion

Steven Parker DAL ankle IR

Trey Marshall DEN quadriceps

Jayron Kearse DET hip

Will Redmond GB concussion

Raven Greene GB shoulder IR

Parry Nickerson GB hamstring IR

Eric Murray HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Khari Willis IND concussion

Daniel Thomas JAX arm IR

Lamarcus Joyner LVR thigh

Jeff Heath LVR concussion

Jahleel Addae LAC calf

Nasir Adderley LAC ankle

Rayshawn Jenkins LAC ankle

Taylor Rapp LAR knee IR

Chris Jones MIN groin

Myles Dorn MIN undisclosed IR

Devin McCourty NE shoulder

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson NO undisclosed IR-COVID

Jabrill Peppers NYG ankle

Bradley McDougald NYJ shoulder IR

Michael Jacquet PHI calf

Marcus Allen PIT neck

Tarvarius Moore SF ankle

Jimmie Ward SF concussion

Damarious Randall SEA foot

Jayson Stanley SEA hamstring

Lano Hill SEA back IR

Mike Edwards TB hip

Chris Jackson TEN undisclosed IR-COVID


Robert Alford ARI pectoral IR

Marlon Humphrey BAL shoulder

Marcus Peters BAL calf

Jimmy Smith BAL shoulder

Khalil Dorsey BAL shoulder

Cam Lewis BUF wrist IR

Troy Pride CAR hip

Jaylon Johnson CHI shoulder

 Buster Skrine CHI concussion

William Jackson CIN concussion

Greedy Williams CLE shoulder IR

Chidobe Awuzie DAL hamstring

Rashard Robinson DAL knee

Chris Westry DAL knee

Desmond Trufant DET hamstring IR

Kevin King GB groin

Dabion Ento GB undisclosed IR

Phillip Gaines HOU knee

Rock Ya-Sin IND concussion

 Sidney Jones JAX Achilles IR

Chris Harris LAC foot

Casey Hayward LAC hamstring

Cameron Dantzler MIN undisclosed

Mike Hughes MIN neck IR

J.C. Jackson NE knee

Ryan Lewis NYG hamstring IR

Javelin Guidry NYJ knee

Cre’von LeBlanc PHI ankle IR

Kevon Seymour PHI knee IR

Craig James PHI shoulder IR

Alexander Myres PIT undisclosed

Emmanuel Moseley SF hamstring

K’Waun Williams SF shin

Richard Sherman SF calf

Ken Webster SF hamstring IR

Neiko Thorpe SEA abdomen IR

Tre Flowers SEA hamstring IR

Carlton Davis TB groin

Adoree’ Jackson TEN knee

Chris Milton TEN knee IR

Greg Stroman WFT foot IR

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. 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 ia@fantasyalarm.com 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.