Defensive backs have the most variability in point production from year-to-year. In other words, your top 20 defensive backs in 2014 could be quite different from your top 20 defensive backs in 2013 (especially in "big play leagues").
Much of this variability is because a defensive back's production is often times heavily tied to the performance of that specific team's front seven. Their production is also heavily tied to how they are used in the defensive scheme (especially safeties).
In addition, the defensive back position, more than any other position, typically has top-notch fantasy producers available on the waiver wire. This is due to the relatively large amount of DBs that unexpectedly emerge as viable fantasy options throughout the course of the season (e.g. Barry Church).
With this being said, I find it hard to use one of my first defensive picks on a defensive back. In reality, there are very few "locks" at the fantasy DB position. Therefore, I usually try to grab a solid veteran fantasy producer like SS Bernard Pollard or FS Eric Weddle and get riskier at this position with my later picks. This strategy affords me the luxury of using higher draft picks on other defensive positions where their projected performance is more accurately predicted.
Solo Tackle = 1 point
Assist = 0.5 point
Sack = 3 points
Interception = 4 points
Forced Fumble = 2 points
Fumble Recovery = 2 points
Pass Deflection = 1 point
Defensive TD = 6 points
S = Sleeper/Undervalued Player
B = Bust/Overvalued Player
R = Injury Risk
|1. SS Harrison Smith (MIN) - Smith was on pace for another top 5 fantasy finish before a turf toe injury robbed him of eight games. With Chad Greenway continuing to decline and big holes at the other two linebacker positions, Smith could very well top 100 solo tackles this season. Add in his big play capabilities and you have the makings of the #1 fantasy DB.|
|4. SS Barry Church (DAL) - For a player that led all defensive backs with 135 total tackles (20 more than the next nearest back) and was the #1 point producer at the position, this ranking will likely seem a bit low. However, the devil is in the details as they say. First off, Church had never registered more than 28 total tackles in any of his previous three seasons before last year. Secondly, Church greatly benefited from Sean Lee and Bruce Carter both missing large chunks of time throughout the season and with the Cowboys defense struggling mightily in nearly all facets of the game, he was afforded the opportunity to sell out against the run on a majority of plays. With Sean Lee once again out for the season, Church should see solid tackle opportunity. I just don't know if his production is sustainable enough to warrant his current ADP. B|
|10. SS Jonathan Cyprien (JAC) - The combination of a target-rich environment and little to no tackle opportunity in the Jacksonville secondary aided Cyprien in finishing 3rd in solo tackles behind Barry Church and Eric Weddle. The big plays were few and far between, but he should continue to produce 80-85+ solo tackles and be a solid DB1- in tackle-heavy leagues.|
|11. SS Mark Barron (TB) - Despite missing two games, Barron was still able to finish as a top 20 performer and built upon the success he enjoyed as a rookie. As long as Lavonte David is in the picture, 80 solo tackles and handful of big plays seem to be his ceiling, but those are still viable DB1- numbers. I wouldn't overreact too much to the arrival of Lovie Smith and the Tampa 2 defense as Barron's role is likely to remain largely unchanged.|
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Last Updated: August 17, 2014 Related Posts: