2018 Rankings: Top 25 Defensive Backs For Fantasy Football

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Utilize our Rankings Hub for QB List’s 2018 Positional Rankings for all of your preseason positional needs.

Defensive Backs preseason rankings are always difficult. Undoubtedly we will finish with a drastically different list that where we start today. One of the keys to building a dynamic IDP defensive backfield is paying attention to the safety position weekly, oftentimes looking at the bad defensive teams or struggling linebacker corps. Be diligent on the waiver wire and find recent gems like Barry Church, Sean Davis and Kurt Coleman. Take a chance on young players who have clear every-down roles. We will be here each week to bring you IDP articles and rankings to help hungry fantasy owners with the advice you need.

Today we take a look at the top 25 Defensive Backs for the 2018 fantasy season. All stats are based on film grades from Pro Football Focus.

Tier 1

1. Keanu Neal (Atlanta Falcons)
2. Landon Collins (New York Giants)
3. Reshad Jones (Miami Dolphins)

Tier 2

4. Harrison Smith (Minnesota Vikings)
5. Jordan Poyer (Buffalo Bills)
6. Budda Baker (Arizona Cardinals)
7. Jamal Adams (New York Jets)
8. Karl Joseph (Oakland Raiders)

Tier 3

9. Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans)
10. Micah Hyde (Buffalo Bills)
11. Tony Jefferson (Baltimore Ravens)
12. Barry Church (Jacksonville Jaguars)
13. Hasean Clinton-Dix (Green Bay Packers)
14. Tyrann Mathieu (Houston Texans)

Tier 4

15. Morgan Burnett (Pittsburgh Steelers)
16. Sean Davis (Pittsburgh Steelers)
17. Jaquiski Tartt (San Francisco 49ers)
18. Adrian Amos (Chicago Bears)
19. Eric Berry (Kansas City Chiefs)
20. Eric Weddle (Baltimore Ravens)

Tier 5

21. Kurt Coleman (New Orleans Saints)
22. Justin Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
23. Josh Jones (Green Bay Packers)
24. Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans Saints)
25. John Johnson (Los Angeles Rams)

Marc Salazar

Born and raised in San Antonio and naturally a lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. I am proud to be "Daddy" to an amazing 7-yo little girl. I love everything about the strategy and complexity of NFL football, no other sport compares. I've been playing some form of fantasy football for 15+ years and I run dynasty leagues that include individual defensive players, contracts, free agency and rookie drafts. I hope to introduce at least one of you to the joys of this format.




Harrison Smith ended the 2017 season with a final PFF grade of 98.8. The next best season by a safety EVER is Eric Weddle’s 2012, which graded out to 93.4. In fact, Smith’s 98.8 was better than any other player in football last year. His passer rating allowed was 22.0. AJ Bouye had the best passer rating allowed for a cornerback and that was a 33.8, which was the highest since 2006. So, why Tier 2 for Smith?

Marc Salazar

Absolutely Smith has a fantastic season, possibly a career year. He also tied career highs in sacks and interceptions. Still, he finished 6th in overall scoring, 50 points off the lead and 30 points off second place. He’s only topped 180 points once in his career and if he’s coming off his best season I don’t see a better season on such a great defense. To be in the top tier you have to show you can score 200+ fantasy points in standard IDP scoring. Each of the top tier player has done that once, Jones multiple times. He’s still a rock-solid option but Tier 2 he belongs after the top group.

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