Morgan Burnett's all-around game makes him our top choice for No. 1 fantasy DB in 2013
NFL training camps open up this week, meaning we are that much closer to the start of the regular season and fantasy football. While kickoff may still be nearly a month away, it's never too early to start preparing for your draft.
Chris Tillman put together one of the finest IDP seasons by a defensive back in 2012. The veteran cornerback not only produced solid tackle totals (85), he recorded 16 passes defended, forced an impressive 10 fumbles, collected five takeaways and scored three touchdowns. Tillman was the No. 1 fantasy DB for the second straight year, one of the reasons why he's in our top 10 for 2013.
Also in our top 10 is Morgan Burnett, another NFC North DB, who is our pick for No. 1 because of his all-around production. A safety who plays more like a linebacker, Burnett is not afraid of doing the dirty work (123 total tackles in '12) and is just as capable of getting the job done in coverage (11 passes defended in 2011) as well. Others in the Tillman-Burnett mold who make our top 10 include second-year players Mark Barron and Harrison Smith, as well as more seasoned options like Eric Berry, Eric Weddle, Richard Sherman, Tyvon Branch and Cortland Finnegan.
Several fantasy stalwarts changed teams during the offseason, but should remain productive options in their new surroundings. The old faces in new places include LaRon Landry (Indianapolis), Bernard Pollard (Tennessee), Dawan Landry (New York Jets) and future Hall of Famer Ed Reed (Houston).
Lastly, some of the rookies to watch this season include Eric Reid in San Francisco, Matt Elam with Baltimore and Jacksonville's Johnathan Cyprien. As the aforementioned Smith and fellow 2012 draft pick Janoris Jenkins showed last season when they both ended up as top-five DBs, offensive rookies aren't the only ones who can have a fantasy impact.
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Fantasy Football 2013: Defensive Back (DB) Rankings
Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER (IDP) SCORING
Solo tackle = 1 pt
Tackle assist = 0.5 pts
Sack = 3.5 pts
Interception = 3.5 pts
Forced fumble/recovery = 2 pts
Defensive TD = 8 pts
Safety = 2 pts
Pass Defended = 0.5 pts
Blocked Kick = 4 pts
Additional Fantasy Football Rankings: