Zach Sieler, DE, Dolphins
Sieler tallied 5 tackles and a sack in Sunday’s win over the Patriots. He’s had sacks in 2 of his past 3 games and 5 total tackles for loss over just his past 3 games. Next comes a Las Vegas offense that likes to lean run and has been vulnerable in pass protection at times lately. Sieler’s snap counts have been inconsistent in recent weeks, but he has posted 3 solo tackles in 3 straight games and 4 of his past 5.
Yannick Ngakoue, DE/OLB, Ravens
Ngakoue had just 1 sack and 2 total QB hits over his previous 8 games before notching a pair of sacks in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars. Was it a revenge game for the pass-rusher who fought his way out of Jacksonville this summer? Perhaps it was just an overmatched opponent. Baltimore gets another 1 of those next week, when the Ravens will host the Giants.
Dawuane Smoot, DE, Jaguars
Smoot has quietly collected 4 sacks over his past 4 games. That included 1 -- among 2 QB hits -- in Sunday’s loss to Baltimore. Smoot also forced a fumble in that contest. Smoot has notched at least 1 QB hit in 8 of the past 10 games, averaging 1.3 per contest over that span. A Week 16 matchup with Chicago finds an offense that allowed 11 QB hits to Minnesota this Sunday.
Bilal Nichols, DT, Bears
Nichols delivered a sack for the 3rd straight game in Sunday’s win over Minnesota. That span has actually seen his playing time dip vs. the previous 2 games. Nichols has also tallied just 1 solo tackle in 5 of his past 6 outings. But he added 6 solos against the Vikings and posted a season-high 3 QB hits. Week 16 brings a decent matchup vs. Jacksonville.
Todd Davis, LB, Vikings
We’ll see whether Eric Kendricks can make it back for Week 16. But he has yet to practice since suffering the calf injury that has cost him the past 3 games. Davis got his 3rd straight start in Kendricks’ place Sunday, tallying 8 tackles (4 solo), a sack and a pass breakup in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. He’d get a run-leaning matchup in the Saints if he starts again in Week 16. And the Friday kickoff gives Kendricks 2 fewer days to get back healthy.
Khari Willis, S, Colts
Willis delivered 9 solo tackles and a forced fumble in Sunday’s win over the Texans. Next comes a pass-heavy Pittsburgh offense that entered Sunday as a top-6 scoring matchup for DBs on the season.
Donovan Wilson, S, Cowboys
We had Wilson inside the top 20 DBs in our Week 15 rankings despite him having missed the past 2 games with a groin injury. If you picked him up then, he helped you with 8 tackles (6 solo) and an INT among 2 passes defensed. It was Wilson’s 3rd straight game with 8+ tackles, a stretch that started with his 1st game of 100% playing time all year.