Week 16 is now in the books. There are numerous storylines to track, but perhaps the most significant is the players turning it on in time for the stretch run. There were a lot of defensive fireworks in Week 16, so there are more than a few intriguing names on the waiver wire in leagues of all sizes. Let’s take a look at some of the names that may be worth some of your free agent budget for championship week.
Haason Reddick (DE/LB – PHI): 4% rostered on Yahoo
Haason Reddick continues to stake his claim as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL, lighting up the boxscore for four solos, two sacks, and one tackle for loss in Week 16. Now up to 14 sacks, good enough to put him third in the league, Reddick has inserted himself into the Defensive Player of the Year conversation. It is still Nick Bosa‘s award to lose, but Reddick is making a push of his own. He should be long gone in every league that he qualifies as a DL in, but for those still at Yahoo, he needs to be added to rosters, weeks ago. Haason has a sack in each of his last four games and in six of his last seven and should be treated as an LB1 option for championship week. He is playing more snaps than ever, and with five sacks in his last three games alone, he should be treated as being in the T.J. Watt, Micah Parsons, Matt Judon as weekly must-start regardless of positional eligibility. Fire Reddick up as a DL1 option despite a tough on-paper matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Josh Sweat (DE – PHI): 11% rostered on Yahoo
Josh Sweat continues to roll for the Eagles, this time recording one solo, two assists, one sack, one tackle for loss, one interception, one pass defended, and one touchdown. Sweat is up to 7.5 sacks in his last five games and is one of the hottest edge rushers in the NFL. Sweat should be rostered in started in all competitive formats for championship week and has been playing well enough to warrant no-doubt DL2 consideration. Treat him as just that despite the tough on-paper matchup against the New Orleans Saints.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE/LB – HOU): 0% rostered on Yahoo
Ogbonnia caught fire in Week 16, tallying five solos, two sacks, and three tackles for loss. Now up to a sack in three of his last four games for four total, Okoronkwo is one of the hottest pass rushers in the league. He is still playing less than 60 percent of the snaps but has been too productive to ignore for championship week. Plug Ogbonnia into lineups as an upside DL3 option for a plus matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Carl Granderson (DE – NO): 0% rostered on Yahoo
Carl Granderson was excellent in Week 16, racking up five solos, one assist, one sack, and three tackles for loss. He played 78 percent of the snaps in Week 16 and could be in for another heavy workload with Marcus Davenport demoted to a clear-cut rotational role. Granderson has made two starts this season, totaling eight solos, 2.5 sacks, and four tackles for loss, putting him squarely on the DL3 radar for championship week. Start him with confidence as such for a plus Week 17 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
J.J. Watt (DE – ARI): 6% rostered on Yahoo
J.J. Watt continues to impress, especially in light of some of the frightening off-field things he has dealt with this season. Watt reeled off five solos, one assist, and two tackles for loss in Week 16. Watt has put together strong weeks in three of his last four matchups and should be leaned on as a DL3 option for championship week. Treat him as such for a tasty matchup against a spiraling Atlanta Falcons offense.
Others to consider: Michael Hoecht (DT – LAR): 0%, Leonard Williams (DT/DE – NYG): 3%, Denico Autry (DT/DE – IND): 3%, Cam Sample (DE – CIN): 0%, Darrell Taylor (DE – SEA): 1%
Devin Lloyd (LB – JAC): 12% rostered on Yahoo
Devin Lloyd was excellent in Week 16, racking up three solos, three assists, one interception, and one pass defended. Lloyd has held onto the starting job since Chad Muma returned from injury, making him a safe option for championship week. His snaps did drop below the 70 percent mark, so tap him as an LB3 instead of an LB2 for Week 17. Start him with confidence for a plus matchup against the Houston Texans.
Ja’Whaun Bentley (LB – NE): 3% rostered on Yahoo
Bentley was excellent in Week 16, tallying nine solos, three assists, and one pass defended. Bentley has started to heat up over the last couple of weeks and should be started for championship week. He has 15 solos over his last two contests and has chipped in a sack, a tackle for loss, and a pass defended for good measure. Fire him up as an LB3 option for a plus Week 17 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Jaylon Smith (LB – NYG): 1% rostered on Yahoo
Jaylon Smith was impressive in Week 17, posting three solos, seven assists, one sack, and one tackle for loss. Jaylon has started to get hot at the right time and is a strong option for those looking for LB3 cover for championship week. Start him with confidence as an LB3 option for a plus matchup against an Indianapolis Colts team surrendering the 16th most fantasy points per game to the position.
Christian Harris (LB – HOU): 1% rostered on Yahoo
Christian Harris was excellent in Week 16, reeling off five solos, one assist, one interception, and two passes defended. Harris remains locked into the every down role and has been hot enough over the last few weeks to tap as a surefire LB3 option. Treat him as such for a plus matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars team allowing the 16th most fantasy points per game to the position.
Nicholas Morrow (LB – CHI): 7% rostered on Yahoo
Morrow was excellent in Week 16, racking up five solos, three assists, one interception, and one pass defended. Morrow has provided LB3-level value over the last few weeks and should continue to be afforded plenty of tackle opportunities with Jack Sanborn out for the season. Tap Morrow as an LB3 option despite a neutral at best matchup against the Detroit Lions.
Others to consider: Jack Gibbens (LB – TEN): 0%, Quincy Williams (LB – NYJ): 5%, Luke Masterson (LB – LV): 0%, Elandon Roberts (LB – MIA): 0%, Kaden Elliss (LB – NO): 3%
Eric Rowe (S – MIA): 0% rostered on Yahoo
Eric Rowe was excellent in his return to the lineup, racking up six solos, one sack, one tackle for loss, and one pass defended. He has been hot over his last two games and should be included in the DB2 conversation for championship week. Rowe has a sack in each of his last two contests, with 13 solo tackles and three tackles for loss to boot. Start him with confidence as a DB2 despite the neutral at best matchup against the New England Patriots.
Grant Delpit (S – CLE): 8% rostered on Yahoo
Grant Delpit was excellent in Week 16, tallying five solos, two assists, one interception, and one pass defended. Delpit has posted back-to-back strong weeks, getting hot at the perfect time for fantasy managers. Tap him as a strong DB2 option for Week 17 despite a tough on-paper matchup against the Washington Commanders. Delpit will see a value boost to borderline DB1 territory if Carson Wentz gets the start over Taylor Heinicke.
Jevon Holland (S – MIA): 13% rostered on Yahoo
Jevon Holland was surprisingly productive in Week 16, racking up eight solos and one tackle for loss. He managed the production despite moving back to the deep safety role, putting Holland on the DB3 radar for championship week. Holland has disappointed fantasy managers who hoped a DB1 breakout season was coming but is still teeming with upside on a weekly basis. The floor has been proven when he is in the deep role, so keep him as a DB3 for a neutral Week 17 matchup against the New England Patriots.
Ifeatu Melifonwu (S – DET): 0% rostered on Yahoo
Ifeatu was excellent in Week 16, piling up seven solos, one assist, and one tackle for loss. He made the best of the starter snaps he received with DeShon Elliott sidelined and could be a strong DB3 option if DeShon is out again. The Tracy Walker role has proven to be a valuable one, regardless of who is plugged in there, giving Ifeatu a high floor for Week 17. If DeShon is ruled out with the shoulder injury as expected, start Melifonwu as a strong DB3 option despite the neutral on-paper matchup against the Chicago Bears.
Mike Edwards (S – TB): 5% rostered on Yahoo
Mike Edwards was back in his every down role in Week 16 and responded with six solos, one assist, and one tackle for loss. Edwards is no longer playing at the DB1 level we saw from him early in the season. He has been too inconsistent to trust as a DB2 for championship week but makes for an elite DB3 with obvious and proven DB1 upside for Week 17. Treat him as such for what should be an interesting battle for the division against the Carolina Panthers.
Others to consider: Jalen Thompson (S – ARI): 7%, Adrian Amos (S – GB): 11%, Landon Collins (S – NYG): 0%, Rayshawn Jenkins (S – JAC): 11%, Juan Thornhill (S – KC): 0%
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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.