By Gary Davenport
Gary Davenport

DB Week 16
1.       Derwin James vs. BUF: Rising up the charts—now 10th among defensive backs in points
2.       Antoine Winfield vs. JAX: Leads all defensive backs in fantasy points this season
3.       Jessie Bates vs. IND: Ranks second among defensive backs in fantasy points
4.       Kyle Hamilton at SF: Sits sixth in fantasy points among DB in breakout second season
5.       Camryn Bynum vs. DET: This year’s biggest surprise star—fourth among DB in points
6.       Jonathan Owens at CAR: Has been a top-five IDP DB over season’s second half
7.       Jaquan Brisker vs. AZ: Has 22 total tackles and a forced fumble the past two weeks
8.       Xavier McKinney at PHI: Having big second half—eighth in points among DB since Week 8
9.       Josh Metellus vs. DET: Seventh among defensive backs over second half of season
10.   Reed Blankenship vs. NYG: Ranks fifth in fantasy points per game among defensive backs
11.   Kamren Curl at NYJ: Topped 100 total tackles for the first time in career last week
12.   Jalen Thompson at CHI: Ninth in fantasy points among DB over second half of season
13.   Kyle Dugger at DEN: Needs five total tackles for career-high, a dozen for 100
14.   Markquese Bell at MIA: “Loophole” guy is more a linebacker than a safety this season
15.   Dax Hill at PIT: Fantasy football’s ninth-ranked defensive back after 15 weeks
16.   Jalen Pitre vs. CLE: Browns lead the league in fantasy points allowed to safeties
17.   Budda Baker at CHI: Has at least eight total tackles in four of his last six games
18.   Kevin Byard vs. NYG: Ballhawking safety is overdue for an interception
19.   Amani Hooker vs. SEA: Coming off an eight-solo effort last week vs. Texans
20.   Rayshawn Jenkins at TB: Ranks seventh in points among safeties the past three weeks
21.   Julian Blackmon at ATL: Ranks seventh among all defensive backs this season
22.   Ji’Ayir Brown vs. BAL: Rookie is making an impression on the NFC West champions
23.   Vonn Bell vs. GB: Packers rank sixth in fantasy points given up to safeties
24.   Kenny Moore at ATL: The AFC’s highest-scoring fantasy cornerback in 2023
25.   DeShon Elliott vs. DAL: Expected to clear concussion protocol ahead of Dallas game

SLEEPER: Jordan Howden at LAR: Rookie has been productive the past couple weeks
BUST: Julian Love at TEN: Titans are dead last in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs

LB Week 16
1.       Foyesade Oluokun at TB: Two weeks from third-straight IDP scoring title
2.       Roquan Smith at SF: 140-plus tackles and another top-10 fantasy season
3.       Bobby Wagner at TEN: Sits third in the league with 143 total tackles this year
4.       Zaire Franklin at ATL: Leads the league with 149 total tackles this season
5.       Fred Warner vs. BAL: Now leads all NFC linebackers in fantasy points for the year
6.       T.J. Edwards vs. AZ: Third in points among all linebackers in first season with Bears
7.       Terrel Bernard at LAC: Even after tailing off a bit still a top-five LB for the season
8.       Azeez Al-Shaair vs. SEA: Ninth in fantasy points among linebackers since Week 8
9.       Bobby Okereke at PHI: Eagles rank third in tackle opportunities allowed per game
10.   Ernest Jones vs. NO: Has 10-plus tackles in seven different games this season
11.   Robert Spillane at KC: Fantasy football’s eighth-ranked linebacker after 15 weeks
12.   C.J. Mosley vs. WAS: Commanders lead NFC in fantasy points given up to linebackers
13.   Alex Anzalone at MIN: Vikings have allowed third-most fantasy points to linebackers in 2023
14.   Logan Wilson at PIT: Fifth in fantasy points among LB over season’s second half
15.   Ivan Pace vs. DET: Lions lead the league in tackle opportunities allowed per game
16.   Alex Singleton vs. NE: Has quietly climbed to seventh in fantasy points among linebackers
17.   Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at HOU: Texans rank seventh in FPPG allowed to linebackers
18.   Patrick Queen at SF: Has already eclipsed 100 tackles for the third time in four years
19.   Lavonte David vs. JAX: Jags are eighth in fantasy points surrendered to linebackers
20.   Tremaine Edmunds vs. AZ: Cardinals are fifth in fantasy points allowed to linebackers
21.   Frankie Luvu vs. GB: Has been a top-12 fantasy LB in second half of season
22.   Demario Davis at LAR: Third in fantasy points among linebackers since Week 8
23.   Eric Kendricks vs. BUF: Ranks seventh at the position in points over second half of the year
24.   Dre Greenlaw vs. BAL: Two stops from second consecutive 100-tackle season
25.   Cody Barton at NYJ: Averaging 10 tackles a game over the past three games

SLEEPER: Ja’Whaun Bentley at DEN: Broncos lead the league in FPPG allowed to linebackers
BUST: Elandon Roberts vs. CIN: Bengals are dead last in fantasy points allowed to LB

DL Week 16
1.       T.J. Watt vs. CIN: Has seized the NFL’s sack lead (again) with 16
2.       Haason Reddick vs. NYG: Giants have surrendered a staggering 76 sacks
3.       Danielle Hunter vs. DET: Pacing all NFC players with 15.5 sacks in 2023
4.       Myles Garrett at HOU: Still a top-10 DL even after month-long slump
5.       Maxx Crosby at KC: Ranks fourth among all defensive ends in fantasy points
6.       Nick Bosa vs. BAL: Ravens rank ninth in fantasy points allowed to DE
7.       Micah Parsons at MIA: Has tallied 46 total tackles and 12.5 sacks this year
8.       Harold Landry vs. SEA: Has posted top-12 fantasy numbers the past month
9.       Montez Sweat vs. AZ: Ranks seventh in points among DL even with team change
10.   Jonathan Greenard vs. CLE: Browns have allowed sixth-most FPPG to defensive ends
11.   Bradley Chubb vs. DAL: Presently sixth among defensive linemen in fantasy points
12.   Khalil Mack vs. BUF: Has exploded for 15 sacks in Renaissance season
13.   Jonathan Allen at NYJ: Jets lead the AFC in sacks allowed with 61
14.   Josh Allen at TB: Ranks fourth in the NFL with 13.5 sacks.
15.   Kayvon Thibodeaux at PHI: Has posted 45 total tackles and 11.5 sacks in Year 2
16.   Trey Hendrickson at PIT: Quietly having the best season of his career—15 sacks
17.   Justin Madubuike at SF: Has come from nowhere with a 12-sack explosion
18.   Andrew Van Ginkel vs. DAL: Has thrived in switch from off-ball LB to EDGE
19.   Christian Wilkins at DAL: Fantasy football’s fifth-ranked defensive tackle
20.   Aidan Hutchinson at MIN: After fast start to season, production has tailed off
21.   DeForest Buckner at ATL: Fantasy football’s highest-scoring DT this season
22.   Aaron Donald vs. NO: Has his moments, but age may be catching up to him
23.   Carl Granderson at LA: Has career highs in (65) and sacks (7.5)
24.   Preston Smith at CAR: Panthers have allowed 54 sacks—fourth-most in the NFL
25.   Denico Autry vs. SEA: Ranks third among all defensive tackles in fantasy points

SLEEPER: Bryce Huff vs. WAS: Eight sacks in less than 400 snaps
BUST: Michael Hoecht vs. NO: Saints are dead last in FPPG allowed to DE