2019 Rankings: Top 40 Defensive Backs
So, you’ve decided to start playing in an IDP league.
Not to be hyperbolic, but this is probably the best decision you’ve ever made, taking your fantasy football game to the next level. If this is your first season doing IDP welcome, and I hope you enjoy playing fantasy football where you don’t ignore an entire half of the player base. If you’ve been doing IDP for a while though and are just stopping by to look at the rankings for this season and prep for your draft, welcome to you too, and I hope these rankings help you. The last in our series of three ranking sets is defensive backs, the most volatile position, and the most easily replaced if we’re being totally honest. Happy reading!
1. Landon Collins (Washington Redskins) – 2018 Stats (12 Games): 67 Solo, 29 Assists, 5 TFL, 1 FF, 4 PD
After a trio of DB1 seasons to start his career (culminating with a #1 finish in 2016) Landon Collins fell down to#29 in 2018 after missing four games, though his 16 game pace would have landed him in the top 8. In the offseason though, Collins took I-95 down to his former rivals in Washington, where his already high fantasy value has skyrocketed. The ‘Skins already had a questionable linebacking core, but the surprise release of Mason Foster means that said linebacking core is now even more spotty and inexperienced, which should lend nicely to myriad tackle opportunities for the 25-year-old superstar. It wouldn’t be at all shocking to see him post triple-digit solo tackles again, especially if Greg Manusky allows him to play as more of a box safety to take advantage of his skillset.
2. Jamal Adams (New York Jets) – 2018 Stats: 86 Solo, 29 Assists, 9 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 12 PD
Following a very good, albeit somewhat underwhelming rookie season (he finished as the DB11), Jamal Adams exploded in 2018, absolutely running away with top honors at the position despite picking off just a single pass. The signing of C.J. Mosley does shore up some of the issues at linebacker the Jets had in 2018, though Adams should still be in line for plenty of opportunities. He’ll still be just 23 years old when the Jets kick off against the Bills Week 1, and it’s scary how much better he can still get. It would be of no surprise to see him repeat as the #1 DB, and he would likely be my #1 if it weren’t for the Mason Foster news. The importance of his usage as a pass-rusher can’t be understated (similar to Derwin James), but the tackle opportunities for Collins were narrowly too much to overcome (I have Adams projected a whopping 0.25 points behind him).
3. Derwin James (Los Angeles Chargers) – 2018 Stats: 75 Solo, 30 Assists, 4 TFL, 3.5 Sacks, 3 INT, 13 PD
Unlike Jamal Adams, Derwin James wasted no time his rookie season making it known that he was a fantasy force to be reckoned with. He exploded out of the gates as the DB1 through the first five weeks, and though he slowed down somewhat after that, slowing down translated to finishing as the DB5 in his case. There’s quite literally nothing the second-year safety out of Florida State can’t do, and that includes laying claim to the #1 spot in his sophomore season, just as Jamal Adams did. In the end, the story for Derwin at three is the same as for Adams at two: Landon Collins will simply have an easier time posting huge tackle numbers. If I could rank this trio 1a, 1b, and 1c I would.
4. John Johnson (Los Angeles Rams) – 2018 Stats: 82 Solo, 37 Assists, 3 TFL, 1 FF, 4 INT, 11 PD
John Johnson had a rock-solid rookie season for the Rams in 2017 after becoming a starter, ranking as the DB24 from Week 5 on. This made him a pretty popular sleeper pick heading into 2018. Those who ended up with Johnson on their teams ended up being very happy, as he finished as the DB6 in 2018. Nothing has really changed this offseason for the Rams that affects Johnson’s 2019 outlook; he should finish in the upper echelon at the position once again.
5. Keanu Neal (Atlanta Falcons) – 2018 Stats (1 Game): 1 Solo, 1 Assist
Keanu Neal‘s short NFL career has been a spectacular one for IDP owners, finishing fifth at DB as a rookie and 2nd as a sophomore. His third campaign, last season, was cut short by a torn ACL after just 37 snaps. He’s already participating in camp drills, and will almost certainly be ready for Week 1 barring a setback. I have no particular qualm with Neal that lands him here at five, simply that his absence in 2018 gave James and Johnson an opportunity to pass him up. It wouldn’t be any surprise to see him as the top scorer this season, but for now, he caps off the top tier of defensive backs.
6. Budda Baker (Arizona Cardinals) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 78 Solo, 24 Assists, 8 TFL, 2.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 2 FR, 1 PD, 1 TD
I strongly considered making a Tier 1.5 just for Budda Baker, because while I don’t believe he has the floor of the guys in Tier 1, I think he has far more upside than anyone in Tier 2. After a humble rookie season (DB79), Baker broke out in a huge way in 2018, finishing a the DB9 in just 14 games. Baker carries top-three upside in 2019 if he can get the necessary snaps, but the Cardinals weird obsession with inexplicably bringing him off the field in 2018 is slightly concerning. Baker is a safe pick though, and one you’ll feel great about in 2019.
7. Jordan Poyer (Buffalo Bills) – 2018 Stats: 73 Solo, 27 Assists, 9 TFL, 2.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 4 INT, 6 PD
Jordan Poyer‘s career seemed doomed to irrelevance after spending 4 invisible seasons on the burning hellscape that was the Cleveland Browns. However, Poyer did what Brady Quinn and Barkevious Mingo never could: finding stardom after escaping Cleveland. In two seasons with the Bills, Poyer has finished third and fourth at the DB position, racking up nine interceptions in two years. Playing in a defensive backfield with Tre’Davious White should ensure Poyer continues to get ball-hawking opportunities, and until further notice, he should continue to be one of the best fantasy defensive backs in football. With two largely identical seasons scoring-wise though, his path to upside isn’t clear, which is why he lands here.
8. Harrison Smith (Minnesota Vikings) – 2018 Stats: 67 Solo, 17 Assists, 9 TFL, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 2 FR, 3 INT, 6 PD
Harrison Smith has been one of IDP’s most consistent performers for the better part of a decade, finishing as a top ten DB in every full season of his seven-year career. You know exactly what you’re getting with Smith: 80-90 tackles, 3-5 picks and a handful of sacks. Not a sexy pick near the top of the position, but a very reliable one.
9. Shawn Williams (Cincinnati Bengals) – 2018 Stats: 81 Solo, 29 Assists, 2 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 5 INT, 9 PD, 1 TD
For an idea of how crazy his DB3 finish in 2018 was, here are Shawn Williams‘ career finishes at DB:
Now firmly entrenched as the starting strong safety on a Bengals defense with a questionable linebacking group (what the heck is a Jordan Evans?), Williams should once again repeat his strong tackle numbers from last season. Five interceptions likely won’t repeat, but the tackles should give him a plenty high floor.
10. Antoine Bethea (New York Giants) – 2018 Stats: 100 Solo, 21 Assists, 5 TFL, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 4 PD
Antoine Bethea has largely been an incredibly consistent DB for the majority of his career, finishing on average as the DB17 since 2012 excluding a seven-game season in 2015. That number is skewed by a DB53 finish in a slightly shortened 2017 campaign though, and outside of it, he averages a top ten finish. He signed a two-year contract with the Giants in the offseason, and he and fellow new acquisition Jabrill Peppers should rack up plenty of tackles behind a suspect front seven. He should get plenty of opportunities to rack up pass defense stats as well, falling back while Peppers plays a role closer to a fourth linebacker.
11. Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia Eagles) – 79 Solo, 18 Assists, 6 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 8 PD
Malcolm Jenkins is no stranger to Top 10 finishes, picking up his third such season in 2018, and his first since 2016. The continuing dearth of linebacking talent in Philadelphia (outside of new addition Zach Brown) should once again let him post some great tackle numbers, and his propensity for big plays helps out too. He’s starting to get along in age, but Malcolm Jenkins’ may still have plenty of great seasons left in him if the Eagles keep letting the LB issue fester.
12. Jabrill Peppers (New York Giants) – 2018 Stats: 52 Solo, 27 Assists, 5 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 3 FR, 1 INT, 5 PD
After a few nondescript seasons on the Browns, the former Paul Hornung Award winner finally has an opportunity to shine under the New York lights, and clearly, I’m willing to bet on him dso. The biggest boon to Jabrill Peppers‘ outlook is a weak Giants linebacking crew, as well of the presence of excellent coverage safety Antoine Bethea. These factors should allow Peppers to play up in the box on a vast majority of his snaps while getting a decent amount of coverage opportunities matched up against tight ends. Peppers’ calling card coming out of college was his colossal versatility, and it’s that same versatility that will finally make him an IDP stud. He should get a fair share of opportunities to rush the passer with the Giants lack of depth there, and as if he didn’t already have enough things going for him, he’ll also be serving return duties, giving him a chance to secure a stray return TD or two. Peppers should be able to be had relatively cheaply, but the payoff could be very big for IDP owners. One of my absolute favorite targets this season.
13. Reshad Jones (Miami Dolphins) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 57 Solo, 15 Assists, 4 TFL, 3 INT, 9 PD, 1 TD
This ranking comes with a disclaimer: I will absolutely not be drafting Reshad Jones this season unless he REALLY falls. The last two seasons Jones has managed to play a full 16 games (2017 and 2015) he finished as the DB1, and he even managed to finish as the DB25 in only 12 games. Despite this though, things are about as bleak for Reshad as they possibly could be. The first issue is a torn labrum, which he may not be ready for Week 1 because of. The second is the trade rumors that have loomed over him and the Dolphins, though a trade seems unlikely at this point, to be fair. The fact that the seed of trade rumors has been planted though is worrying, and it could take one major injury to a contender for Reshad to be shipped out of town. The last, and most damning, is that when Reshad is healthy again, he likely won’t be on the field for every snap anymore. The Dolphins now have a duo of other good players who can play safety in T.J. McDonald and Minkah Fitzpatrick, the latter of whom had a very promising rookie season after being drafted 11th overall. This disgusting perpetual stew of factors makes it nigh impossible to recommend drafting him, and I certainly won’t be. He’ll almost certainly finish much higher than this if everything goes right, but rest assured, they won’t.
14. Bradley McDougald (Seattle Seahawks) – 2018 Stats: 66 Solo, 12 Assists, 4 TFL, 3 FF, 1 FR, 3 INT, 9 PD
Not a whole lot to say here, to be honest. This is exactly where Bradley McDougald finished last season, and very little has changed that would affect his standing within the neutered Seahawks defense. Draft with confidence as a solid if unextraordinary DB2.
15. Tyrann Mathieu (Kansas City Chiefs) – 2018 Stats: 70 Solo, 19 Assists, 5 TFL, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FR, 2 INT, 8 PD
When healthy (which is no guarantee) Tyrann Mathieu is one of the most exciting defensive players to watch in all of football, and that translates over to IDP as well. His magnum opus was a third DB season in 2015, despite missing two games. He was still able to finish at DB13 last season, and should once again be a reliable bet to finish as a strong DB2, with definite DB1 upside. Like was the case with ever Kansas City defender I’ve discussed in the previous rankings, the Chiefs prodigious offense plays right into the hands of IDP players, who should see relevance if only by pure bulk alone.
16. Justin Reid (Houston Texans) – 2018 Stats: 70 Solo, 18 Assists, 2 TFL, 1 FF, 2 FR, 3 INT, 10 PD, 1 TD
Justin Reid had an excellent rookie season, finishing as the DB15, and DB eight after becoming a full-time starter Week 6. Based on these it may seem I’m a bit low on the sophomore safety (and it’s entirely possible I am), but spots 11 through 16 are largely interchangeable as far as I’m concerned. The emergence I see from Zach Cunningham this season will likely have a slightly negative effect on Reid, but his ranking here is more a byproduct of me liking the people ahead of him than disliking Reid himself.
17. Johnathan Abram (Oakland Raiders) – 2018 Stats (College, 13 Games): 53 Solo, 46 Assists, 9 TFL, 3.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 2 INT, 5 PD
The first rookie on the list, Johnathan Abram is coming off a prodigious 2018 season at Mississippi State, making First-Team All-SEC while racking up nearly 100 tackles. He couldn’t have landed in a much better spot to contribute for fantasy right away, being drafted 27th overall by a Raiders team with question marks at LB and nobody contesting his starting spot. All reports out of Raiders camp are that Abram has been lighting it up and playing with unmatched intensity, which is exactly what I want to see from a rookie I’m drafting. He certainly has the upside to finish higher than this, but I would guess he slots in right around here as a mid-level DB2.
18. Kevin Byard (Tennessee Titans) – 2018 Stats: 62 Solo, 28 Assists, 3 TFL, 2.0 Sacks, 4 INT, 8 PD, Passing TD
Kevin Byard falls into the archetype of players who have a strong chance to finish higher than where I have them ranked, but their volatility makes me hesitant to draft them where they’ll likely go. In 2018, Byard finished as the DB18, with 1/3 of his total scoring in 2018 coming from his final 3 games. The upside for Byard is apparent, as he finished fourth at the position in 2017 on the back of 8 interceptions. His consistent tackle numbers (87 and 90 in 2017 and 2018, respectively) mean that this 18th ranking likely represents Byard’s floor, but the lack of week to week consistency makes me favor many of the guys ahead of them, though Byard will probably finish ahead of some of them when all’s said and done. Like Hannah Montana wisely said, “Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side; it’s the climb”, and the climb with Byard is a bumpy one indeed.
19. Jessie Bates III (Cincinnati Bengals) – 2018 Stats: 73 Solo, 38 Assists, 3 INT, 7 PD, 1 TD
Overshadowed by Derwin James meteoric rise to fantasy stardom last season was Jessie Bates III‘s rookie year, in which he racked up 111 total tackles and finished as a DB1. My problem with Bates is that even though his tackles (likely to regress with a full season of healthy Nick Vigil) give him a rock-solid floor, he just couldn’t stuff the stat sheet with the additional stats needed last year to crack the Top 10. No fumbles forced or recovered, no sacks and not even a single tackle for loss is a shame and had he shown an ability to consistently put up those stats in college, I would be less concerned about them in his second NFL effort. Rock-solid DB2 to own, but not one that I’m particularly excited about.
20. Hasean Clinton-Dix (Chicago Bears) – 2018 Stats: 80 Solo, 13 Assists, 1 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR, 3 INT, 6 PD
Hasean Clinton-Dix, or Ha-Ha as he’s better known, has been a solid fantasy DB most of his career, balancing out a pair of DB1 seasons in 2015 and 2018 with DB3 seasons in 2014 and 2017. Now with the Bears after 4 1/2 seasons in a Packers uniform, Ha-Ha will try to make the post vacated by Adrian Amos fantasy relevant, which he definitely has the skillset to do. Playing in the stellar Chicago Bears defense should give Ha-Ha a solid floor, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him top his three interceptions from last season.
21. Damarious Randall (Cleveland Browns) – 2018 Stats (15 Games): 72 Solo, 13 Assists, 2 TFL, 1 FR, 4 INT, 9 PD
A former first-round pick of the Packers, Damarious Randall made the most of his position switch to safety in 2018, finishing as the DB17 while also having by far the best real-life season of his career. Now in a vastly improved Browns defense that includes former teammate Morgan Burnett, Damarious Randall should be in for another solid season, and replacing Jabrill Peppers with the also coverage challenged Burnett should ensure the hyper-athletic Randall also gets plenty of opportunities to drop back and ballhawk.
23. Earl Thomas III (Baltimore Ravens) – 2018 Stats (4 Games): 16 Solo, 6 Assists, 3 INT, 5 PD
Earl Thomas got off to a blistering start last season, ranking as the DB10 before going down with a broken leg. Now the former Legion of Boom maestro will start anew in Baltimore, continuing his Hall of Fame career in black and purple. Eric Weddle was able to post a pair of Top 15 seasons in Baltimore before a poor 2018 campaign, and there’s no reason to believe Earl Thomas cannot also be a solid DB2, health allowing. He hasn’t played a full season since 2015, but he continues to play at a Pro Bowl level when he is on the field, even heading into his ninth season. He makes for a risky DB2 or a good lottery ticket DB3 in drafts.
24. Clayton Geathers (Indianapolis Colts) – 2018 Stats (12 Games): 61 Solo, 28 Assists, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 3 PD
Clayton Geathers might be one of the best examples of great on-field production marred by an inability to remain on said field. He was able to post 89 tackles despite missing four games, and his 16 game pace would have placed him as the DB14. Geathers lands here because, in theory, a full season of production from him would yield very good results, but 23 games missed in four seasons doesn’t bode well for that happening.
25. Justin Simmons (Denver Broncos) – 2018 Stats: 71 Solo, 26 Assists, 3 INT, 4 PD
Justin Simmons is about as boring of a pick as they come, and there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily. Just don’t expect much from him besides being a solid low-end DB2 or high-end DB3, and you’ll be perfectly satisfied.
26. Minkah Fitzpatrick (Miami Dolphins) – 2018 Stats: 51 Solo, 29 Assists, 2 TFL, 2 INT, 9 PD, 1 TD
I don’t know that I struggled with the placement of any player more than with Minkah Fitzpatrick. He’s been everywhere from Top 20 to barely within the Top 40 on this list in the span of me writing it, and I’m sure I’ll want to place him somewhere besides here as soon as the article goes up. He flashed brilliance at times his rookie year, especially over the last four games where he ranked as the DB14. How much value Minkah returns is dependent on where and how he gets deployed, and especially whether Reshad Jones has his trade wish granted. If that were to happen, Fitzpatrick would immediately become a high upside DB2, which he might still be even with Jones’ presence. At the end of the day, Fitzpatrick represents an exciting lottery pick: a young, versatile defensive player with the talent to crack the DB1 ranks, while also having the situational downside to finishing outside the Top 40 once again.
27. Jaquiski Tartt (San Francisco 49ers) – 2018 Stats (8 Games): 32 Solo, 10 Assists, 4 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PD
Jaquiski Tartt has graded out as a sub-elite box safety for the 49ers thus far, and he should be able to rack up great tackle totals and a handful of picks covering tight ends, especially with the Niners’ lack of linebackers who truly move the needle (no, I didn’t forget about Kwon Alexander). The main issue for the NFL’s best-named man is staying on the field, as he’s missed 15 games over his last two seasons. Combining his two half seasons gives you a solid DB2, but the problem is you can’t exactly do that for fantasy. Tartt will be productive when he’s on the field, but drafting him expecting him to do so is likely a fools’ errand.
28. Sean Davis (Pittsburgh Steelers) – 2018 Stats (15 Games): 59 Solo, 21 Assists, 1 INT, 7 PD
Sean Davis has been all over the place, finishing sixth at DB in 2017 but failing to crack the Top 40 in either 2016 or 2018. Where he finishes in 2019 will likely come down to how many big plays he’s able to execute on, as his single interception and no tackles for loss in 2018 couldn’t match up with three and seven of each in 2017, respectively. He’s a solid bet for 80-90 tackles, and assuming he gets some of those big plays back in 2019, he should hopefully be significantly better than last season.
29. Justin Evans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – 2018 Stats (10 Games): 43 Solo, 16 Assists, 1 TFL, 1 FR, 1 INT, 2 PD, 1 TD
Justin Evans had a very good second season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was on pace to finish as the DB20 had his season not been cut short by injuries. Evans has the upside to far exceed this ranking, but having missed time in both of his NFL seasons thus far, coupled with his pretty slight frame and aggressive style of play aren’t a great combo for him playing a full 16 in 2019. Solid lottery ticket type player, and could be reliable enough as your DB2 if you decide to wait, but beware the injuries.
This tier comes with a fun disclaimer. Defensive back is an incredibly volatile position, and more likely than not a handful of complete rando’s will sneak their way into this group because DB is insane (Brian Poole, anyone?). You could largely rank the rest of these guys in any order and I wouldn’t argue, and there’s a decent bunch who didn’t make the Top 40 who very easily could have been interchanged with someone who did. The difference between the DB30 and DB40 in 2018 was just 6 points, which is about half the gap between DB20 and DB30, and 1/4 the gap between DB10 and DB20. Even the distance between DB30 and DB50 is only very slightly higher than that between DB20 and DB30. Don’t crucify me for having a guy in this range “too low”, and don’t crucify me for not writing essays about these guys either.
30. Morgan Burnett (Cleveland Browns) – 2018 Stats (11 Games): 17 Solo, 13 Assists, 1 TFL, 6 PD
Morgan Burnett was not a full time player for the Steelers last season, but figures to be this season in Cleveland. He’s certainly not being pushed for the spot in Cleveland and should be able to have a nice season racking up tackles playing up in the box for Cleveland, while Damarious Randall roams the backfield. His days as a Top 3 safety are over, but he can still be a solid DB3 at least. A small consolation prize, but it’s something.
31. Juan Thornhill (Kansas City Chiefs) – 2018 Stats (College, 13 Games): 62 Solo, 36 Assists, 4.5 TFL, 6 INT, 7 PD
A two-time All-SEC teamer at Virginia, Juan Thornhill now brings his incredible ball-hawking skills to Kansas City, replacing the ineffective Daniel Sorensen. Like Jessie Bates III, Thornhill’s lack of stat sheet stuffing in college is slightly worrying for his fantasy prospects now, but 13 interceptions in his three seasons as a starter at Virginia show that Juan can more than makeup for that flaw. It’s also possible though that the Chiefs experiment with Thornhill at corner at times, which wouldn’t be ideal for IDP players.
32. Adrian Amos (Green Bay Packers) – 2018 Stats: 59 Solo, 14 Assists, 2 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 FR, 2 INT, 9 PD
While an excellent real-life player and one of the best at his position, Adrian Amos has never been able to turn that into fantasy relevance though. His best fantasy season was a DB51 finish last year, but increased tackle opportunities in Green Bay may be enough to make the former Bear into a usable fantasy asset.
33. Eddie Jackson (Chicago Bears) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 41 Solo, 10 Assists, 2 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 FR, 6 INT, 15 PD, 2 TD
Firmly on fantasy radars ever since a 28.5 point explosion against the Panthers in 2017 (In which he scored the Bears’ only 2 TD’s), Eddie Jackson was a terrific fantasy contributor last season, finishing as the DB21 despite missing two games. While his 116 game pace would have placed him at DB13, those two TD’s Jackson scored helped him out substantially. Jackson could very well finish higher than this in 2019, but his low tackle totals and almost complete reliance on big plays make him an incredibly consistent week to week, as his 2018 season illustrated (42.2% of his points last year came in his last 5 games). He’ll have some huge games that make for very happy fantasy owners, but you’ll likely end up pulling your hair out more often than not.
34. Tony Jefferson (Baltimore Ravens) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 53 Solo, 21 Assists, 6 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 6 PD
Tony Jefferson‘s two seasons since coming over from Arizona have resulted in an average finish of DB38, though his 2018 16 game pace placed him in the Top 20. Jefferson could honestly land anywhere in that range and I wouldn’t be surprised, though the addition of Earl Thomas should secure Jefferson a few more targets underneath; and a few more opportunities for big plays.
35. Ronnie Harrison (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 24 Solo, 8 Assists, 3 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 INT, 3 PD
With Barry Church out of the picture, Ronnie Harrison should have a vice grip on a starting spot in Jacksonville. He was very highly touted coming out of Alabama in 2018 and should be an invaluable member of a Jaguars run defense that just lost Telvin Smith. He’s the only guy in this tier who I could really see taking a leap forward into an elite territory in 2019. Definite sleeper.
36. Kyle Fuller (Chicago Bears) – 2018 Stats: 45 Solo, 10 Assists, 7 INT, 21 PD
Our first cornerback, this is almost exactly where Kyle Fuller finished in 2018. Nothing has changed that should affect his outlook: he’ll be heavily targeted, and thus rack up plenty of interceptions and passes defenced once again. A lucky TD going his way could boost him further up the standings, but betting on TD’s is a no-go.
37. Eric Reid (Carolina Panthers) – 2018 Stats (13 Games): 50 Solo, 21 Assists, 3 TFL, 1.0 Sacks, 1 INT, 5 PD
The controversial former 49er Eric Reid was respectable enough in 2018, and should once again be able to put up low-end DB3 numbers. If you need to roster four DBs for whatever reason, you could do a lot worse than Reid. He does need to stay healthy though, which hasn’t been easy for him.
38. Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans Saints) – 2018 Stats: 49 Solo, 10 Assists, 1 TFL, 4 FF, 3 FR, 2 INT, 12 PD
Marshon Lattimore is a guy whose end of season stat line will likely look pretty different than this season, but he’ll finish right about the same. It’s doubtful he repeats seven combined FF+FR, but I’d also be surprised if he picked off only two passes in 2019. Let Marshon stay on your waiver wire and stream him when needed. Otherwise, he’s a low upside option without the high floor to make him relevant.
39. Quandre Diggs (Detroit Lions) – 2018 Stats: 64 Solo, 14 Assists, 3 TFL, 3 INT, 8 PD, 1 TD
The position swap from corner to safety in 2018 worked out well for Quandre Diggs, finishing as the DB23. A stray TD alone boosted him 10 spots though, and the Lions now somewhat daunting front seven will limit opportunities for the former Texas Longhorn in 2019.
40. T.J. McDonald (Miami Dolphins) – 2018 Stats (14 Games): 63 Solo, 23 Assists, 1 TFL, 1 FR, 3 INT, 5 PD
The least valuable of the Dolphins’ three-headed safety monster, you know exactly what you’re getting with T.J. McDonald, and it’s uninspiring at best. 80-90 total tackles, a couple of interceptions, and not much else of note. If you need a piece of the Miami defensive backfield, grab Minkah, or even Reshad if he falls.
That wraps up our defensive back rankings. With that, our series of IDP rankings is finally concluded. If you have something you’d like to see from me going forward, feel free to leave a comment down below to ask a question or comment on these rankings singing my praises and telling me how amazing these rankings are. Or, if you want more personal engagement, feel free to shoot me a Tweet @Quack2Back. Thanks for reading!
(Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)