The fantasy playoffs are in full swing, for those of you not playing in points leagues. And if you are not worried about winning your bracket games, then you certainly need to keep the pedal to the floor and make certain your lineups are producing the most points possible. So, let’s look to see who is moving on up and who is worthy of being dumped as the season winds to a close.

Elevator Going Up


Nick Bolton KC

Bolton was benefitted with Willie Gay, Jr. being out due to COVID, and he played 99% of the defensive snaps last week against the host Chargers. He turned that opportunity into a 14 total tackle effort (TT), 10 of those being solos. He also had a QB hit/hurry (QH) and a trio of passes defensed/deflected (PD), to bolster his big-play value. The Chiefs are big on rotating their LB crew but if Gay is still out in Week 16, Bolton is a fine option to fill in your IDP roster, at least on a temporary basis.

Jamie Collins, Sr. NE

Another LB who was aided by a teammate’s inability to participate on the field, Collins had a severe uptick in playing time (PT) in Week 15. Not that he put up huge fantasy numbers, gathering in five TT (two solo) but one of those was for a loss of yards (TFL). He also contributed a pair of PDs on the defensive side of the ball against the host Colts. The Bills are a great matchup for an outside LB, and the Patriot linebacking crew is beat up, so there is every possibility for continued fantasy goodness from the veteran.

Garret Wallow HOU

Round three of the LBs whose PT took an uptick due to injury/illness keeping others off the playing surface in Week 15. Wallow acquitted himself nicely filling in for Christian Kirksey and Kamy Grugier-Hill, both sidelined with the COVID protocols against the Jags in Jacksonville, with an 11 TT effort (six solo, one TFL). He also sacked the QB once and had a QH as well. As with all three of the first rising LB profiled here this week, a careful eye on the injury report is warranted before trusting Wallow in your lineup.

Jalen Reeves-Maybin DET

The Detroit defense, despite massive losses due to injury this season, has played remarkably well overall, at least they are not the main reason for the 11 losses to date accumulated by the Lions. He is lined up to be one of the starting inside LBs when Detroit heads to Atlanta and then Seattle, two not great matchups on paper, granted, but a starting LB should be able to put up decent tackle numbers. Note that he had a pair of PD in Week 15

Defensive Linemen

Charles Harris DE DET

Continuing with Detroit defenders, Harris has the makings of a productive DE that will continue to provide IDP value going forward. Against the visiting Cardinals, he collected double digit tackles (seven solo, 12 TT, three TFL) with a couple of QH and 1.5 sacks. He has been seeing significant PT the past two weeks, as well. He has his revenge game against his old team coming up on the road in Atlanta, and then has a good matchup against the Seahawks the next week.

Yetur Gross-Matos DE CAR

Some weeks, an IDP will deliver a bounty to his owners, and that is what this Panther DE did in Week 15: five TT (two solo, one TFL), three QH, a forced fumble (FF) on top of 2.5 sacks of Josh Allen. The second year high round draft pick is starting to show just why the Carolina front office decided to select him with a second round pick. He is a young player to remember for next year’s drafts.

Cameron Jordan DE NO

Jordan stepped up after sitting out a week under the COVID protocols, sacking Tom Brady at home twice in Week 15’s shutout victory over the Bucs. He also had three solo tackles (two TFL), a FF and three QH as he harassed Brady all day long. With a pair of home contests on tap, against good DE point producing offenses in the form of Miami and Carolina, he is a potential plug-in to replace an underperforming DL or deal with an injury issue.

Defensive Backs

Khari Willis S IND

Willis was featured in this space way back in Week 2, but it is time to recognize his skillset once again. He has resumed his starting strong safety role, and had a nine TT effort in Week 15 (five solo, one TFL). Missing four games with a calf injury hurts his season long stat line, but also may make him available to snatch up off the wire to run through the playoffs.

Julian Love S NYG

Presuming the Giants will continue their tendency to employ a three-safety defensive scheme, then Love will continue to see significant if not every down time on the defense. He was credited with 10 TT in Week 15 (eight solo). Despite having a pair of upcoming so-so matchups, the Giant defense spends substantial time on the field, leading to tackle opportunities for each of the safeties playing in a given week.

Andrew Wingard S JAX

Wingard has value in IDP leagues not because he is a superb talent, but due to his PT which is substantial. Over the past five contests the Jags have played, he has averaged better than seven TT per game. Steady production has its place in the IDP world. He has two strong matchups on the schedule, albeit road contests, so look for the tackle production to continue.

Trevon Diggs CB DAL

Diggs had another pass land in his hands against the host Giants, giving him 10 on the season. He also put up a pair of PDs in last week’s effort, to go along with four TT (three solo). A steady source of big plays is beneficial in CB-mandatory schemes, plus his next two games are at home, although the home stat team is not overly favorable in awarding tackles. But that is not why you want Diggs, it is for the big play potential, baby.

Rasul Douglas CB GB

With top CB Jaire Alexander out for the bulk of the season, the Packers have had to rely on Douglas to step up his game, and he has complied. He has slotted in as the starter in the backfield, and collected nine solo tackles against the host Ravens in Week 15. Over the past three games, he has also come up with six PD and two INT for the big play value.

Escalator Going Down


Jayon Brown TEN

Brown is the odd man out with the arrival of Zach Cunningham in town, apparently. Putting up a goose egg against the Steelers will not endear him to the coaching staff, either. 

Defensive Linemen

Gregory Rousseau DE BUF

Rousseau came on fast early this season, and was featured in the IDP Report in both weeks 3 and 6 as a rising star. He is now waning in desirability, however, and is losing PT to both Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison of late. He is a rookie, and the wear of the NFL season may be taking its toll, too. Do not give up on him for future rostering, just cut him loose for this year.

Defensive Backs

Derwin James S LAC

James’ hamstring is acting up on him recently, and while he was able to come back to the field last week, he did reaggravate the leg in Week 15, and his prospect as a full-time player going through the playoffs is dicey at best.

Kyle Fuller CB DEN

Fuller saw just six snaps on defense last week, which makes him unusable for all intents and purposes. So long as the Broncos can rely on Patrick Surtain II and Rondal Darby as the starting cornerback duo, and Bryce Callahan has returned to handle to slot corner duties, Fuller is an afterthought and not worthy of a roster slot.

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 Chargers, but certainly you will do well if you own a top DB on Washington or ILB on the Ravens or Bengals that you can plug in this week, for the most part.

Inside Linebackers

Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore

Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati 

Chicago Bears @ Seattle

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City

Outside Linebackers

Detroit Lions @ Atlanta

Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay

Tennessee Titans vs San Francisco

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina

Defensive Ends

Washington Football Team @ Dallas

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants

Tennessee Titans vs San Francisco

Minnesota Vikings vs Los Angeles Rams

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati

Houston Texans vs Los Angeles Chargers

Defensive Tackles

Tennessee Titans vs San Francisco

Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington

New Orleans Saints vs Miami

Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans


Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati

Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington

Los Angeles Rams @ Minnesota


Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston

Buffalo Bills @ New England

Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets

New England Patriots vs Buffalo

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City

Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore

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, with the exception of a certain Dallas DB, Mr. Diggs as indicated below. Happy claiming for your weekly matchups.


Nick Bolton KC

Jamie Collins, Sr. NE

Garret Wallow HOU

Jalen Reeves-Maybin DET

Defensive Linemen

Charles Harris DE DET

Yetur Gross-Matos DE CAR

Cameron Jordan DE NO

Defensive Backs

Khari Willis S IND

Julian Love S NYG

Andrew Wingard S JAX

Trevon Diggs CB DAL (owned in 52% of Yahoo leagues, 47.4% on ESPN)

Rasul Douglas CB GB


Ouch (My Aching Roster)kr

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.


Markus Golden ARI knee

Isaiah Simmons ARI shoulder

Zeke Turner ARI shoulder IR

Tanner Vallejo ARI knee IR

Kylie Fitts ARI concussion IR

Emmanuel Ellerbee ATL knee IR

Daren Bates ATL groin IR

Pernell McPhee BAL illness IR-COVID

Justin Houston BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

Daelin Hayes BAL ankle IR

L.J. Fort BAL knee-ACL IR

Tyrel Dodson BUF undisclosed IR-COVID

Joel Iyiegbuniwe CHI undisclosed IR-COVID

Cassius Marsh CHI knee IR

Khalil Mack CHI foot IR

Danny Trevathan CHI knee IR

Jeremiah Attaochu CHI pectoral IR

Joe Bachie CIN knee-ACL IR

Logan Wilson CIN shoulder

Akeem Davis-Gaither CIN foot IR

Jordan Evans CIN knee IR

Mack Wilson CLE illness IR-COVID

Tony Fields II CLE illness IR-COVID

Montrel Meander CLE Achilles IR

Jabril Cox DAL knee-ACL IR

Malik Reed DEN illness IR-COVID

Kenny Young DEN concussion

Andre Mintze DEN hamstring IR

A.J. Johnson DEN pectoral IR

Josey Jewell DEN pectoral IR

Natrez Patrick DEN leg IR

Julian Okwara DET ankle

Alex Anzalone DET shoulder IR

Josh Woods DET shoulder

Trey Flowers DET knee IR

Romeo Okwara DET Achilles IR

Shaun Dion Hamilton undisclosed IR

Ty Summers GB hamstring

Za’Darius Smith GB back IR

Chauncey Rivers GB knee-ACL IR

Randy Ramsey GB leg IR

Kamu Grugier-Hill HOU illness IR-COVID

Christian Kirksey HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Hardy Nickerson HOU concussion IR

Dylan Moses JAX knee

Willie Gay, Jr. KC illness IR-COVID

Nick Bolton KC illness IR-COVID

Denzel Perryman LV ankle

Will Compton LV personal

Nicholas Morrow LV ankle IR

Darron Lee LV undisclosed

Nick Kwiatkoski LV ankle IR

Chris Rumph II LAC illness IR-COVID

Kyler Fackrell LAC knee IR

Justin Lawler LAR undisclosed 

Brennan Scarlett MIA knee IR

Ryan Connelly MIN knee IR

Harvey Langi NE knee IR-COVID

Cameron McGrone NE undisclosed IR-COVID

Ronnie Perkins NE undisclosed IR-COVID

Anfernee Jennings NE undisclosed IR

Josh Uche NE ankle IR

Ja’Whaun Bentley NE ankle 

Terez Hall NE undisclosed IR-COVID

Raekwon McMillan NE knee-ACL IR

Kaden Elliss NO hamstring 

Quentin Poling NO undisclosed

Justin Hilliard NYG ankle IR

Carter Coughlin NYG ankle IR

Cam Brown NYG illness IR-COVID

Oshane Ximines NYG illness IR-COVID

Blake Martinez NYG knee-ACL IR

Trent Harris NYG ankle IR

T.J. Brunson NYG knee-ACL IR

Hamsah Nasirildeen NYJ undisclosed IR-COVID

Blake Cashman NYJ illness IR-COVID

Jamien Sherwood NYJ Achilles IR

Davion Taylor PHI knee IR

Devin Bush PIT undisclosed IR-COVID

Marcus Allen PIT undisclosed IR-COVID

Buddy Johnson PIT foot

Dre Greenlaw SF groin

Azeez Al-Shaair SF elbow

Jon Rhattigan SEA knee 

Ben Burr-Kirven SEA knee-ACL IR

Lavonte David TB foot

David Long TEN hamstring

Monty Rice TEN ankle IR

Rashad Weaver TEN lower leg IR

B.J. Bello TEN ankle IR

David Mayo WAS illness IR-COVID

Milo Eifler WAS undisclosed IR-COVID

Jared Norris WAS shoulder IR

Khaleke Hudson WAS ankle IR

Jon Bostic WAS pectoral IR

Defensive Linemen


Zach Kerr ARI ribs

J.J. Watt ARI shoulder IR

Marlon Davidson ATL illness

Derek Wolfe BAL back IR

Calais Campbell BAL thigh 

Jerry Hughes BUF neck 

A.J. Epensa BUF ankle Marlon David

Bryan Cox BUF Achilles IR

Azur Kamara CAR undisclosed IR-COVID

Austin Larkin CAR groin

Bilal Nichols CHI illness IR-COVID

Mario Edwards CHI illness IR-COVID

Khalid Kareem CIN concussion

Wyatt Hubert CIN pectoral

Joseph Ossai CIN knee-meniscus IR

Takkarist McKinley CLE Achilles IR

Myles Garrett CLE groin 

Ifeadi Odenigbo CLE undisclosed IR-COVID

Jadeveon Clowney CLE illness IR-COVID

Dre’Mont Jones DEN foot

Joel Heath DET knee-ACL IR

Whitney Mercilus GB biceps IR

Derek Rivers HOU illness IR-COVID

Jake Martin HOU illness IR-COVID

Jonathan Greenard HOU illness IR-COVID

DeMarcus Walker HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Tyquan Lewis IND knee IR

Chris Jones KC illness IR-COVID

Joshua Kaindoh KC ankle IR

Malik Herring KC knee-ACL

Joe Gaziano LAC illness IR-COVID

Joey Bosa LAC illness IR-COVID

Danielle Hunter MIN pectoral IR

Everson Griffen MIN personal

Janarius Robinson MIN lower body IR

Henry Anderson NE pectoral IR

Payton Turner NO shoulder IR

Tanoh Kpassoagnon NO ankle IR

Leonard Williams NYG elbow

John Franklin-Myers NYJ illness IR-COVID

Vinny Curry NYJ illness

Carl Lawson NYJ Achilles IR

Brandon Graham PHI Achilles IR

Calvin Taylor PIT undisclosed

Chris Wormley PIT groin

Stephon Tuitt PIT undisclosed IR

Tyson Alualu PIT ankle IR

Dee Ford SF back IR

Kerry Hyder SEA illness IR-COVID

Pat O’Connor TB knee-PCL IR

Larrell Murchison TEN knee

William Bradley-King WAS illness

Chase Young WAS knee-ACL IR

Jalen Jelks WAS undisclosed IR


Jordan Phillips ARI knee

Jack Crawford ARI undisclosed IR

Xavier Kelly BAL Achilles IR

Justin Zimmer BUF knee-ACL IR

Daviyon Nixon CAR knee IR

Derrick Brown DAR illness IR-COVID

Khyiris Tonga CHI shoulder

Malik Jackson CLE knee

Malki McDowell CLE illness IR-COVID

Trysten Hill DAL illness IR-COVID

Osa Okighizuwa DAL illness IR-COVID

Brent Urban DAL triceps IR

Jashon Cornell DET illness

Kenny Clark GB undisclosed IR-COVID

Jaleel Johnson HOU illness IR-COVID

Maliek Collins HOU illness IR-COVID

Vincent Taylor HOU ankle IR

Antwaun Woods IND calf IR

Rob Windsor IND hip IR

Khalen Saunders KC undisclosed IR

Gerald McCoy LV knee IR

Sebastian Joseph-Day LAR illness IR-COVID

Jaylen Twyman MIN pelvis

Byron Cowart NE undisclosed PUP

Malcolm Roach NO knee

Jalen Dalton NO triceps IR

Austin Johnson NYG foot

Quinnen Williams NYJ shoulder

Foley Fatukasi NYJ undisclosed IR-COVID

Isaiah Buggs PIT ankle

Montravius Adams PIT undisclosed IR-COVID

Maurice Hurst SF calf

Javon Kinlaw SF knee-ACL IR

Bryan Mone SEA illness IR-COVID

Marcus Webb SEA undisclosed IR

Sam Renner TB undisclosed

Trevon Coley TEN foot IR

Daniel Wise WAS knee

Defensive Backs


James Wiggins ARI knee IR

Erik Harris ATL chest IR

Chuck Clark BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

Ar’Darius Washington BAL foot IR

DeShon Elliott BAL pectoral IR

Khalil Dorsey BAL undisclosed IR

Micah Hyde BUF back

Sam Franklin CAR undisclosed IR-COVID

Xavier Crawford CHI concussion

DeAndre Houston-Carson CHI forearm IR

Tashaun Gipson CHI undisclosed IR-COVID

Brandon Wilson CIN knee IR

John Johnson CLE hamstring

Ronnie Harrison CLE ankle IR-COVID

Grant Delpit CLE illness IR-COVID

Donovan Wilson DAL shoulder IR

Caden Sterns DEN shoulder

Tracy Walker DET illness

Nickell Robey-Coleman DET undisclosed

Jalen Elliott DET undisclosed IR-COVID

Corey Ballentine DET illness

Justin Reid HOU concussion

A.J. Moore HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Terrence Brooks HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Andrew Sendejo IND concussion

Julian Blackmon IND Achilles IR

Rayshawn Jenkins JAX ankle IR

Armani Watts KC illness IR-COVID

Chris Lammons KC ankle IR

Johnathan Abram LV shoulder

Tyree Gillespie LV hamstring IR

Kemon Hall LAC illness IR-COVID

Tevaughn Campbell LAC illness IR-COVID

Trey Marshall LAC illness IR-COVID

Alohi Gilman LAC quadriceps

Derwin James LAC hamstring 

Mark Webb LAC knee IR

Jordan Fuller LAR illness IR-COVID

Antoine Brooks Jr. LAR undisclosed IR-COVID

JuJu Hughes LAR illness IR-COVID

Dayan Ghanwoloku LAR undisclosed

Jevon Holland MIA illness

Elijah Campbell MIA toe IR

Jason McCourty MIA foot IR

Jonathan Jones NE shoulder IR

Keion Crossen NYG undisclosed IR-COVID

Nate Ebner NYG ankle IR

J.R. Reed NYG illness IR-COVID

Joshua Kalu NYG pectoral IR

Jabrill Peppers NYG knee-ACL IR

Elijah Riley NYJ concussion

Sharrod Neasman NYJ illness IR-COVID

Justin Hardee NYJ illness IR-COVID

Marcus Maye NYJ Achilles IR

Lamarcus Joyner NYJ triceps IR

Nathan Meadors PHI illness

Tarvarius Moore SF Achilles PUP

Tavon Wilsom SF foot IR

Jaquiski Tartt SF ankle

Talanoa Huanga SF knee

Jason Verrett SF knee ACL IR

Gavin Heslop SEA lower leg IR

Jamal Adams SEA shoulder-labrum IR

Marquise Blair SEA kneecap IR

Antoine Winfield Jr. TB foot

Curtis Riley TB Achilles IR

Chris Jackson TEN foot IR

Maurice Smith undisclosed 

Darrick Forrest WAS undisclosed IR-COVID

Kamren Curl WAS undisclosed IR-COVID


Robert Alford ARI pectoral IR

Isaiah Oliver ATL knee IR

Tavon Young BAL concussion

Jimmy Smith BAL illness IR-COVID

Chris Westry BAL undisclosed IR-COVID

Marlon Humphrey BAL pectoral IR

Iman Marshall BAL knee IR

Marcus Peters BAL knee-ACL IR

Tre’Davious White BUF knee-ACL IR

A.J. Bouye CAR foot IR

Donte Jackson CAR groin IR

Jaycee Horn CAR foot IR

Troy Pride CAR knee-ACL IR

Duke Shelley CHI hamstring IR

Jaylon Johnson CHI undisclosed IR-COVID

Vernon Hargreaves III CIN illness

Chidobe Awuzie CIN undisclosed IR-COVID

Darius Phillips CIN shoulder IR

Greg Newsome II CLE concussion IR-COVID

Troy Hill CLE knee IR-COVID

A.J. Green CLE illness IR-COVID

Maurice Canady DAL concussion IR

Reggie Robinson II DAL toe IR

Jerry Jacobs DET knee-ACL IR

Jeff Okudah DET Achilles IR

Jaire Alexander GB shoulder-AC joint IR

Jimmy Moreland HOU illness

Terrance Mitchell HOU undisclosed IR-COVID

Rock Ya-Sin IND illness

Rashad Fenton KC illness IR-COVID

Charvarius Ward KC illness IR-COVID

Trayvon Mullen LV toe IR

Nate Hobbs LV undisclosed IR-COVID

Asante Samuel Jr. LAC concussion

Ryan Smith LAC knee-ACL IR

Robert Rochell LAR chest IR

Justin Coleman MIA undisclosed IR-COVID

Jamal Perry MIA knee IR

Keith Washington NO wrist

Aaron Robinson NYG illness IR-COVID

Adoree’ Jackson NYG illness IR-COVID

Darnay Holmes NYG ribs IR

RoDarius Williams NYG knee-ACL IR

Micael Carter II NYJ illness IR-COVID

Zane Lewis NYJ knee-MCL IR

DeMarkus Acy PIT knee-ACL IR

Emmanuel Moseley SF ankle IR

D.J. Reed SEA illness IR-COVID

Tre Brown SEA knee IR

Jamel Dean TB illness

Richard Sherman TB Achilles

Rashard Robinson TB hamstring IR

Elijah Molden TEN undisclosed IR-COVID

Caleb Faley TEN knee-ACL IR

Willaim Jackson WAS ankle

Kendall Fuller WAS illness IR-COVID

Benjamin St-Juste WAS concussion IR

Torry McTyer WAS knee-ACL 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. 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.