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Reading the Defense: Joey Bosa is a fantasy beast

Week 16. This is it. What you've been playing all year for. Here's your chance to take home a fantasy championship. Let's dispense with all of the chit-chat and just get right to the proceedings, shall we?

Game Balls

Defensive line: For as consistent as Calais Campbell has been throughout his career, he'd never scored an NFL touchdown until last week. He can now cross that off his football bucket list after strip-sacking Drew Brees and taking the fumble to the house. If that wasn't enough, Campbell had another sack and four tackles to boot. Just one more solid week in a Top 5 fantasy season for the veteran.

Linebacker: The battle for the top IDP linebacker spot has been a fierce one between Kwon Alexander and Zach Brown. Currently, Alexander stands atop the mountain after an 18-point fantasy performance on Sunday night. The Bucs linebacker notched 11 tackles and recovered a fumble. It would be insulting to say he's a "must-start" since you already know that. But now the talk begins about him being one of the first linebackers off the board in 2017 IDP drafts.

Defensive back: Big things were expected from the Jaguars defense this season but the actual results have been mixed. On Sunday, however, Jonathan Cyprien had one of those games we thought we'd see more of in 2016. The Jags defensive back logged 13 total tackles on his way to a 15-point outing. We'll see if the recent coaching change in Jacksonville makes any kind of impact on the defense's production.

What went wrong

» Fantasy managers didn't get much from Bobby Wagner last Thursday despite Wagner having been a stud all season. Then again, the Seahawks didn't need much from him in order to beat the stagnant Rams offense. Hopefully Wagner's 3.5 points didn't bounce you from your playoffs since there's no reason to think he won't regain the form that's made him a top five fantasy linebacker all season long.

Week 16 boomer

Joey Bosa, DL, San Diego Chargers: Bosa has been a beast since he stepped on the field for San Diego, getting constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It should be fun to watch defensive coordinator John Pagano turn the bull loose this week against a Cleveland Browns offensive line that has been awful at protecting the quarterback. Bosa and Robert Griffin III could become well acquainted before the game is over.

Week 16 buster

Kiko Alonso, LB, Miami Dolphins: Alonso has been outstanding for the Dolphins all season long, but this matchup against the run-heavy Bills doesn't seem to play in his favor. When the two teams met earlier in the season, Alonso was ineffective and limited to five tackles and just 5.50 fantasy points -- one of his lowest totals in 2016. A replay of that performance could be in the offing this week.

Week 16 sleeper

Nigel Bradham, LB, Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles defense has had its struggles in the latter part of the season, especially on the road. But this week, they have a home date against the New York Giants on a short week. Big Blue's inability to consistently run the football means Bradham should have plenty of opportunities to make plays near the line of scrimmage. It could be another quality outing for a player who has stepped up in recent weeks.

Four downs

First down: The Panthers still seem unsure as to when, or if, Luke Kuechly will return to play. The star linebacker has missed the past four games while dealing with concussion symptoms. Kuechly was cleared to play but remained inactive. Head coach Ron Rivera was non-committal when asked about shutting his star down for the rest of the season but with the Panthers having nothing really to play for, the question will continue to be asked.

Second down:Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett left last week's game with a neck injury, but appears to be doing fine according to reports. Statistically speaking, it hasn't been Bennett's best season but he remains a big part of Seattle's defense and will be integral to the game plan this week against the Cardinals.

Third down:Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne sat out practice after reportedly feeling the "lingering effects" of a "strenuous workout" last week. Claiborne is one of the top defensive backs in a unit that has been steadily improving as the season has progressed. His return would be a boon for both the Cowboys and fantasy managers in their championship games.

Fourth down: The Cowboys are also expecting more help up front as well. Pass rusher Randy Gregory is back after missing the season with multiple suspensions and owner Jerry Jones says he expects Gregory to not only play this week but to make an impact. Gregory hasn't been on the field since Week 17 of last season so you'll have to excuse us for not being as optimistic as Jones. Starting him in any IDP lineups would be the biggest of YOLO plays, so it's best to avoid this altogether.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG or on Snapchat at marcasg9.

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