Welcome back, IDP Nerds. It’s the biggest week of the season, and I hope you are all with me. We are so close to that dynasty championship final game that we can almost taste it. Well, have no fear. Your favorite IDP Nerd is here to give you the goods you need for a huge weekend of games. We came in at 64% last week and started the week hot with three straight hits on Saturday. Our season hit rate stands at 58%, and we have been very hot as of late; let’s try to keep that going in the last two weeks of the season. It’s time to take a look at the games in Week 16.
Check out the teams putting together the start/sit columns this season. Follow us, friend us, and tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!
- QB: Mike Hicks (@DroptheMikeFF) – Changing the Call
- RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback
- WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern
- TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation
- FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Let’s Talk About Flex
- IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit
NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Germaine Pratt LB, Cincinnati Bengals
The weekend kicks off with a matchup in the AFC North that could have been one of the week’s games had it not been for injuries. Both teams have injuries all over their roster, including their franchise quarterbacks. This isn’t a favorable matchup with uncertainty at the defensive back position for the Steelers.
When in doubt, go with one of the most underrated linebackers over the past few years, Germaine Pratt. The unsung hero for the Bengals’ defense has been on a hot streak with at least 18 fantasy points in each of his last three games. Pratt has recorded double-digit points in three of his last four against Pittsburgh. I’m a little nervous that the Steelers offense will struggle to stay on the field, but Germain Pratt has averaged 11 tackles per game over the last month and should remain hot for IDP managers.
Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Chargers
Eric Kendricks LB, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers veteran linebacker struggled with injuries to start the season, opening the door for a bounce-back season for Kenneth Murray. He returned in Week 6 and, since that time, has scored at least 11 fantasy points in all but one game. The former UCLA Bruin has 27 stops and three sacks over his last 12 quarters. The Buffalo Bills offense looks unstoppable running the ball as of late. This could be a positive game script for Kendricks to notch his third double-digit tackle game in his last four games. The Buffalo Bills have allowed seven LB1 weeks this season. IDP managers with Eric Kendricks have the green light this week to start the LB with ultimate confidence.
Indianapolis Colts @ Atlanta Falcons
Samson Ebukam DL, Indianapolis Colts
Finding valuable defensive line production seems next to impossible this time of year. Hopefully, you’ve been paying attention to the Colts defensive line and have Samson Ebukam on your roster. The former Eastern Washington product is having his best season on limited snaps with the Colts this season. This season, he has set career highs in fantasy points, tackles, sacks, and forced fumbles.
I love Samson Ebukam this week against the Atlanta Falcons, who rank as the most favorable matchup for the DL position this season. Atlanta has surrendered the most tackles (308) to the position this season, allowing nine DL1 weeks. Ebukam has 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles over his last four games. This is a great matchup for the Indianapolis EDGE rusher in Week 16.
Green Bay Packers @ Carolina Panthers
Jonathan Owens DB, Green Bay Packers
Jonathan Owens steps back into a full-time role this week with no injury limitations. The Packers defensive back has been a monster over his last seven games, averaging 17.5 fantasy points per game. The return of Darnell Savage set him back slightly, along with a nagging injury. Owens has only failed to record ten fantasy points in one of his last seven games. Darnell Savage has already been ruled out this week, so Owens should be in line for a big game—the Carolina Panthers rank as the 8th most favorable matchup to safeties this season. The Carolina offense has allowed eight DB1 weeks this season.
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB, Cleveland Browns
IDP managers have serious concerns about starting Cleveland Browns linebackers this season, and for a good reason. The inconsistency at the position for Cleveland has been beyond frustrating for one of the best defenses in the NFL this season. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has stepped up as of late with four 20+ point games since week 10. The former Notre Dame LB has recorded at least six stops in six straight games. The matchup this week with the Houston Texans offense is heavily in his favor. The Texans allow the 10th most tackles (241) to the LB position this season. They have also surrendered a league-leading twelve LB1 weeks this season. That is enough justification for this one alone.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Josh Metellus DB, Minnesota Vikings
Josh Metellus continues his breakout season for the Minnesota Vikings defense. The former Michigan Wolverine has thrived in Brian Flores’ system, and he’s showing it with career highs in every statistical category. He’s scored double-digit fantasy points in 86% of his games this season. Metellus is used in multiple roles for the Vikings, who have IDP studs at DB in Camryn Bynum and Harrison Smith this season.
Josh Metellus continues to produce at least 11 fantasy points in seven straight games. The Vikings’ defensive backs have a nice matchup this week against a Detroit offense that has allowed nine DB1 weeks this season. Josh Metellus averaged 24 fantasy points per game in two matchups with the Lions last season. I’m comfortable with him in my lineup in a big moment this week.
Washington Commanders @ New York Jets
Jartavius Martin DB, Washington Commanders
IDP managers, I have your back. Don’t make the mistake of Jartavius Martin in your lineups this week. The rookie defensive back for the Commanders has been solid over the past two weeks, with nearly 40 fantasy points over his last two games. He’s been forced into an every-down role with injuries in the Secondary for the Commanders and has proven he can produce.
I’m excited to see if the Illinois product can keep the starting job heading into next season, but this week, he will be on my bench. This is a bad football game and an even worse matchup for the Commanders safeties. The New York Jets have allowed the least amount of tackles in the NFL to the safety position. As exciting as getting high-volume production from a late rookie pick is at this time of the year, this one feels like a trap game. This is an easy fade to me, especially given it’s the DB position, which you can stream much easier than others.
Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans
Harold Landry, DL, Tennessee Titans
This one hurts me because I’m a fan of the Titans’ top EDGE rusher. This time of year, tough decisions must be made if you are looking to put yourself in the best position to win a dynasty fantasy football championship. This boils down to just being a bad matchup for Harold Landry. The Titans host the Seahawks offense, which allows the fifth-fewest tackles to the DL position. This would be a matchup you’re banking on a sack or impact play. Harold Landry is undoubtedly capable of that at any time, but as of late, his tackle production has been carrying him. He’s averaged 6.3 tackles per game over his last three games. If you can afford to look elsewhere this week, I would try to do that to put yourself in a position to potentially start someone in a better matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carlton Davis DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It wouldn’t be a ‘Man Coverage’ article without showing the cornerback position some love. Carlton Davis is the CB-required start of the week for you. The Tampa Bay cover man missed last week but is a full go for a big matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars this week. The Tampa Bay DB has been a bit inconsistent this season, with injuries playing a factor, but he has serious boom-bust potential. We like to look at matchups, and there’s no better matchup for cornerbacks this week than this one. The Jacksonville Jaguars are tied for the most tackles per game (14.9) allowed to the CB position in 2023. Carlton Davis has combined for 60 fantasy points over his last three starts. If your league requires you to start a cornerback, then Carlton Davis could be your guy this week.
Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears
Owen Pappoe LB, Arizona Cardinals
When I tell you this one was tough, I’m not underselling it at all. This game has the potential for some real offensive fireworks, and we know for certain the Chicago linebackers will show up as they always do. We are digging deep here, and I don’t fault you for fading this matchup. The Arizona Cardinals have nearly nothing left at the linebacker position, and I have little faith that I know what rotation they will use. However, if there were a time for Owen Pappoe to shine, this would be it.
The speedy LB will step into a huge role due to injuries and have a chance to slow down Justin Fields and the Chicago offense. I like the Cardinals to see what they have in the young rookie LB, and he will face a Chicago offense that has allowed 10 LB1 weeks this season. This might be a desperation play only for some of you and given the stakes, I can’t say I blame you. I will say start at your own risk on this one.
Dallas Cowboys @ Miami Dolphins
DaRon Bland DB, Dallas Cowboys
DaRon Bland and the Dallas Cowboys defense are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills. It was a game where they held Josh Allen under 20 passing attempts simply because they couldn’t stop the run. I expect the Cowboys defense to come ready to play against a very explosive Miami passing attack that will get Tyreek Hill back this week.
The Cowboys DB has been very good this year with a safe tackle floor, and his impact plays have made him a viable streaming option. I assume he will see a large volume of targets with one of the league’s best WR combinations. I would look to start Bland if you need a spot start, even in non-CB-required leagues. The Miami Dolphins have allowed 13.3 tackles per game to the position this season while surrendering six DB1 weeks.
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Mack Wilson LB, New England Patriots
Mack Wilson has been extremely consistent over the past three weeks for IDP managers desperate for LB production with all the injuries this season. The former Alabama defender has 40+ points combined over his last three games. He’s producing on very limited snaps. He hasn’t played more than 28 snaps in any of those games. I must always remind IDP managers that New England players are just as inconsistent in fantasy football on defense as they are on offense. The matchup against Denver is favorable to linebackers this season, but with Wilson in a rotational role, this is a fade with so much risk in a win-or-go-home scenario. I’m betting on Mack Wilson’s double-digit fantasy points streak to end this week.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
Nate Hobbs DB, Las Vegas Raiders
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Nate Hobbs will match up with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense for the second time in the last five weeks. Hobbs has played the nickel position for the Raiders this season. He recorded eight stops in the last matchup with the Chiefs this season. The Raiders defense is playing inspired football under interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce. The Chiefs offense hasn’t been a favorable matchup to IDP managers this season, but the one thing they do allow is defensive back scoring. They have allowed six DB1 performances this season. Opposing cornerbacks have collected the fifth-most tackles (13.9) against the Chiefs offense this season. If you’re looking for defensive back production this week, this is a solid matchup to take advantage of.
Jason Pinnock DB, New York Giants
This one is shaping up to be a blood bath with a struggling Eagles team desperately needing a win as the season ends. The Eagles have been a friendly matchup to opposing safeties, allowing the third most tackles (213) to the position. The Eagles offense has allowed eight DB1 weeks. Jason Pinnock has scored 20+ points in back-to-back games and has been a tackle machine for the Giants secondary. The veteran DB has averaged 10 box snaps per game over his last three games. His safe tackle floor and his registering an impact play in each of his past two games make him a safe start with your season on the line.
Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers
Ji’Ayir Brown DB, San Francisco 49ers
Let’s put some faith in a rookie in the last game of the weekend. Unfortunately, this game is full of studs, so it’s a bit of a stretch to find a depth start here. I’ll go with the Penn State product, who has not been posting crazy numbers, but he’s bringing consistency. Ji’Ayir Brown has played an every-down role after the injury to Talanoa Hufanga and has recorded at least six tackles and 10 fantasy points in three straight games.
The Baltimore Ravens have allowed the second most tackles (225) to the safety position this season. The young DB has a nice matchup in this potential Super Bowl preview and should provide IDP managers with a safe tackle floor in their lineups. If you’re searching for DB production this week, there’s some value and strategy in having a player playing in primetime in the last game of the week. The Monday Night Miracle is real, and sometimes, it’s not a bad idea to have that in your back pocket.
Alright, IDP Nerds, that wraps up our week 16 coverage from an IDP perspective. The pressure on this week is the best and worst part of fantasy football. You’ve all worked all year round for the results of this week, and it seems unfair that one or two bad performances can prevent you from winning that elusive dynasty championship. No matter what happens this week, we don’t take losses; we learn from them and will bounce back even stronger if we fall short. I appreciate every one of you who supports the Dynasty Nerds brand and wish you the best of luck this week.