It's difficult to find cornerbacks that are consistent year-to-year producers as their opportunity is often reliant on how often quarterbacks throw the ball their direction, along with their role in the defensive scheme. To help find value, many owners leverage the "rookie corner rule" strategy which targets first year players at the position. Since these players typically get thrown at early and often, they tend to see above average point scoring opportunity. Another, albeit less effective, strategy is to seek out players on winning teams. These types of teams typically have leads over their opponents and therefore see a high amount of pass attempts as opposing teams play catch up.
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. CB/S Tyrann Mathieu (ARZ) - If not for a late-season ACL injury, Mathieu would fall into the top four, elite DB tier. Apparently, he heals like "Wolverine" and is way ahead of schedule in his rehab. If all goes to plan, he should be ready for the start of the season and could provide owners with good value if he falls into the DB2+ range. He should be the first corner taken in leagues in which he is classified as such. R
2. LCB Bashaud Breeland (WAS) - Breeland was one of the more reliable fantasy corners in 2015 and found his way into starting lineups most weeks. The arrival of shutdown corner Josh Norman will likely translate to even more balls being thrown Breeland's way in 2016, so I feel pretty confident that the third year corner out of Clemson will finish around the top 20 defensive backs again this year.
3. RCB Jason McCourty (TEN) - McCourty has been a fairly consistent CB1 for a majority of his career. His 2015 season was essentially a wash as he missed all but four games due to injury. At age 28, he shouldn't have any issue getting back into playing shape and picking up where he left off as a strong tackle-generating corner who brings steady big play capability.
4. LCB Trumaine Johnson (LAR) - Johnson, a fifth year player out of Montana, has quietly emerged as one of the better fantasy options at the cornerback position. He figures to be near of the upper echelon of corners in terms of tackle production and is a good bet for three to five interceptions. He should be one of the safer selections within a position that is notoriously unpredictable. S
5. RCB Adam Jones (CIN) - After floundering around the league for several years, Jones has finally hit his stride in Cincinnati. He's averaged nearly 50 solo tackles, 10+ assists, and 3 interceptions over the last three seasons with the team. He also has kickoff/punt return duties which makes him particularly valuable in leagues that reward for return yardage. Even at age 32, Jones is a CB2-CB2+.
6. LCB Marcus Peters (KC) - Peters played extremely well in his rookie season garnering a league high 8 interceptions and winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. With Sean Smith leaving in free agency, he will move into the #1 corner slot for Kansas City. As teams begin avoiding Peters, there's an expectation that his turnover total will drop. But he is enough of a ball-hawk to have a ceiling of 5 or so interceptions.
7. SCB Prince Amukamara (JAX) - Amukamara has been a productive player when on the field and remains one of the league’s premier run defenders at his position. Health is the major question for him though as he’s only played a full 16 game season once during his five year career. He traditionally functioned as a zone corner during his time with the Giants, but will man the slot corner position in Jacksonville. Given the increasing rate in which offenses are utilizing spread formations, he should see enough snaps to stay in the high-end CB2-CB2+ conversation as long as he stays healthy. R
8. RCB Janoris Jenkins (NYG) - Jenkins agreed to a five year, $62.5 million deal in the off-season, making him the seventh highest paid corner in the league. Although he had a very strong 2015 season, his previous three seasons were more tumultuous as he gave up an above average number of big plays. Given that opposing offenses throw at him often and he plays a risky style of defense, Jenkins has nice upside in the big play department (as witnessed by the four defensive touchdowns he scored in his rookie season). He’s worth considering at a CB2+ in that format.
9. LCB Ronald Darby (BUF) - Darby was one of the better corners in the league as a rookie. He compiled 62 solo tackles in 15 games along with 21 pass deflections. The Bills like their cornerbacks to be active in run defense so I can see Darby maintaining a steady level of tackle production in 2016. He needs to improve his numbers in big play categories before jumping up into the next tier, however.
10. LCB David Amerson (OAK) - Amerson emerged as a viable starter for the Raiders last year and as a decent option in cornerback-required fantasy leagues. He had a whopping 26 pass deflections last year so keep that in mind for leagues that reward points for that statistic.
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Last Updated: August 25, 2016 Related Posts: