Are you still in the hunt for your league’s championship trophy? If so, congratulations, dear reader. If not, there is always nextTahir Whitehead Detroit Lions season, right? Let us see who can help those of us still fighting to be the top dog in your league. Still a ton of injuries to keep an eye on, although the IR placements were up this week, with the season wrapping up for a number of teams.

Elevator Going Up


Sam Barrington GB

Craig Robertson CLE

Tahir Whitehead DET

Connor Barwin PHI

Terrell Suggs BAL

Gerald Hodges MIN

Dont’a Hightower NE

Dont'a Hightower New England PatriotsBarrington has been playing full time lately, and he had 10 total tackles last week, with nine of those being of the solo variety. Be wary of his production this week, however, as Tampa Bay is among the best at limiting linebacker fantasy production. Robertson, on the other hand, gets to face the Panthers, where he should have an easy time building off his 10 tackle (only six solo) Week 15 effort, where he also grabbed an interception. Whitehead broke out of his slump, registering 10 total tackles as well (seems to be a trend here). He has been up and down, but should do well against the struggling Bears, who have been allowing nearly 15 solo tackles per game over the past five weeks. Barwin had a sack to go along with his seven total tackles in Week 15’s matchup against the Cowboys, and this week’s opponent, Washington, is prone to giving up quarterback takedowns. Suggs has quietly been accumulating sacks of late, although his performance has been overshadowed by the resurgence of teammate Elvis Dumervil and his 17 sacks on the season. Facing Houston with an inexperienced QB under center should provide good tackle and sack opportunities. Hodges had nine total tackles in Week 15, seven of those being solos, but also heads to Miami which has not been a particularly lucrative spot for linebackers the past five games. Temper your enthusiasm this week. If you league plays in Week 17 (get out and find a league that ends on Week 16 for your sanity), he does get to face Chicago at home and that has not been exactly a fantasy gold mine lately. Hightower rounds out our linebackers, and coming off a six tackle, one sack, and one forced fumble Week 15 endeavor, he is well worth a pick up, especially since he was injured in Week 14 and could be available on your wire.

Defensive Linemen

Chandler Jones DE NE

Jason Jones DE DET

Frostee Rucker DE ARI

Corey Liuget DE SD

Johnathan Hankins DT NYG

Timmy Jernigan DT BAL

Chandler Jones was questionable for Week 15, but put up huge numbers for those willing to take a chance on his playing time: seven total tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble. He is largely available due to his prior injury, and should be a top waiver wire gem this week. The other Jones who plays for the Lions has been coming on the past couple of weeks, too. He had a sack in each of the past two games, and also blocked a fourth quarter field goal attempt by Minnesota in Week 15’s matchup. Getting Chicago and the potential to sack Jay Cutler makes him a nice play this week. Frostee the defensive lineman is back for another week on the list. He put up a sack and a forced fumble last week, along with four tackles, and gets to face Seattle who are known to allow sacks. If he is still on your wire, and you ignored my advice to snap him up last week, go for it now. Liuget is a steady performer who gets to take on the 49ers, a team that allows both solo tackles and sacks. He should build upon his five total tackle effort from Week 15. Hankins was a beast last week, gathering 2.5 sacks and also contributing five solos as part of his six total tackles. St. Louis is a middle of the pack team for overall defensive line production by the opponent, but they are near the top in solo tackles allowed over the past five weeks. Jernigan has been extremely productive lately, being credited with three sacks over the past three weeks. It is a good time to grab the DT, especially with him facing the essentially quarterback-less Texans in Week 16. Well, not exactly quarterback-less, just inexperienced at the position.

Defensive Backs

Glover Quin S DET

George Wilson S TEN

Ryan Mundy S CHI

Pierre Warren S NO

Bradley McDougald S TB

Patrick Chung S NE

Corey Graham CB BUF

Quin and James Ihedigbo have proven to be a potent combo at safety for the Lions this season. Either one seems to grab an INT every week, and Quin is now coming off a three solo tackle, one INT and one PD week. I really like both of the Lion safeties this week in Chicago. Wilson is having a great December, with 27 total tackles and a sack over the past two weeks. Jacksonville is ranked 8th in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs over the past four weeks, so slot him into your lineup in possible in Week 16. Yes, Mundy plays on a bad team, and thus is generally available on the wire. He was strong against Detroit in their first matchup this season, collecting 12 tackles, so take the plunge and cross your fingers. Warren should be a tackle machine against the Falcons this week, and an interception would not be out of order. Atlanta ranks third in the points allowed to DBs in the past five games. McDougald will be filling in for Major Wright this week, assuming Wright’s ribs keep him sidelined again. He had 15 total tackles while manning the strong safety position, and Tampa Bay has been extremely generous in providing tackle opportunities to the opposition’s defensive backfield the past five weeks. Chung had 11 total tackles (seven solo), and also tossed in an INT and a PD in Week 15. He also made nine tackles the last time the Pats faced the Bills. Graham is readily available on the wire, and faces the Raiders this week, a team that really likes to provide fantasy points to opposing DBs. I like most of the starting Bills defensive players, but Graham is a great option in Week 16 just because of the opponent.

Escalator Going DownRyan Shazier Pittsburgh Steelers


Ryan Shazier PIT

Shazier may be active now, but he only played four snaps in Week 15. A great grab for keeper or dynasty leagues, he is not worth playing until his snap count increases dramatically.

Defensive Linemen

Cameron Wake DE MIA

Kyle Williams DT BUF

Wake is suffering as his snap count has decreased, and this sack numbers over the past several weeks are horrid (one sack in the past five games). Avoid him as the season winds down. Williams is one player I am not targeting from the Buffalo defense, especially coming off a zero tackle game in Week 15.

Defensive Backs

LaRon Landry S IND

Byron Maxwell CB SEA

Lardarius Webb CB BAL

Landry has been hurt by the Colts’ defensive scheme, using three cornerbacks and one safety a lot of the time. He has been a disappointment since his return to action, due to a less than 50% snap count as a defensive player. Maxwell playing opposite shutdown corner Richard Sherman seemed a no-brainer to start, but he was shut out of the stat sheet in Week 15. Arizona is favorable overall to DBs, so maybe Week 15 was just an aberration. Webb over 11 games is averaging just over three tackles per game, and only has three pass deflections and NO interceptions this season. Chalk him up as another Buffalo IDP I am not rostering, a very select group to be honest.

Ouch (My Aching Roster)

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

Danny Trevathan Denver BroncosLinebackers

Donald Butler SD (elbow-IR, out for season)

Brandon Marshall DEN (foot)

Danny Trevathan DEN (dislocated left kneecap-IR,out for season)

Koa Misi MIA (hamstring)

Sio Moore OAK (hip-IR, out for season)

Chris Borland SF (ankle)

Brandon Magee TB (chest-IR, out for season)

Trent Cole PHI (hand)

Emmanuel Lamur CIN (hamstring)

Defensive Linemen

Allen Bailey DE KC (concussion)

Brian Robison DE MIN (ankle)

Jason Hatcher DE WAS (knee)

Gerald McCoy DT TB (knee-IR, out for season)

Defensive Backs

William Moore S ATL (foot)

Da’Norris Searcy S BUF (hamstring)

Louis Delmas S MIA (knee-IR, out for season)

Major Wright S TB (ribs)

Troy Polamalu S PIT (knee)

Joe Haden CB CLE (shoulder)

Kyle Arrington CB NE (hamstring)

Ike Taylor CB PIT (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