As we come to the conclusion of the Razzball IDP Sleepers and Busts series, we get to the toughest position to project. For that reason, it is imperative that you avoid picking a bust, especially early. There is just too much depth every year at DB to reach for a guy like Morgan Burnett or Harrison Smith. Don’t get me wrong, I love those guys, but unless they fall well below their current ADP, they likely won’t be on any of my teams.
The love for Moore has reached a level that he isn’t too much of a sleeper anymore, as he’s currently going 23rd among DBs in early drafts. I’m advocating drafting him as a DB1 because, when healthy, that’s exactly what he is. Injury risks among DBs worry me less than other positions because there are always waiver wire options out there, and guys with the Injury Prone label tend to come at a discount. If his ADP continues to climb, I may be priced out, but for now I’m like that AT&T girl: I just want Moore.
Reunited and it feels so good (at least I didn’t say Everybody Pat Chung Tonight). Chung will work with his former college coach, and hopefully a clean bill of health, as he takes over as the starting SS on Chip Kelly’s defense. Chung is a great example of a cheap DB option that has the ability and situation to be an every-week IDP starter in 2013. Health is the big question mark here, but Chung looked like a future Pro Bowler in 2011 with the Patriots before injuries derailed his last two seasons. It won’t cost much to take a flier on Chung, and you won’t feel too bad dropping him if he gets hurt again, unless you have severe separation issues.
Continuing the theme of these DB sleepers, Webb is coming off an ACL tear after just 6 games last season. Another reason to target recently injured DBs is that Quarterbacks tend to pick on them more than if they were 100% healthy. Webb was never a shut-down corner, and he racked up an impressive (for a corner) 74 total tackles in 2011, so if anything his tackle numbers should increase in 2013. Webb is a must-own in CB-required leagues, but when he’s in the lineup he’s startable in more standard leagues as well.
Gilmore is a DB target that will literally cost next to nothing. You can likely take him with one of your last picks, or even wait and pick him off the waiver wire, but either way his production figures to out-produce his price. Working as a nickel back in 2012, Gilmore racked up 60 total tackles, and 16 passes defended. Solid numbers for a rookie who didn’t play every down. This year, with incumbent starter Aaron Williams moving to safety as possible Byrd insurance (not to be confused with Bird Law), Gilmore will take over as the starter. As a second-year corner, QBs will continue to target him, which will only increase his ability to put up stats. By the end of the season, I have a feeling that Gilmore owners will be doing the bull dance, feeling the flow, workin’ it.
Shut Down Cornerbacks
Guys like Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis and Joe Haden bring a ton of value to their NFL teams. They eliminate the best receiving option on the opposing team, and make QBs pay for testing them. That’s precisely why you should avoid having them on your fantasy team. To get points you need stats, to get stats you need targets, and these guys just aren’t targeted enough to justify their current ADP. If anything I like to throw their names into the discussion at the draft with something like, “I wonder if Revis will have a Peterson-like ACL recovery?” or “Do you think Sherman is related to the Civil War general?” or “My friend once partied with Haden and said he was wearing purple pants (true story)”. That not only makes for good draft banter, but also may get your league-mates to overpay for lesser players.
Any DB Before The Rest Of Your Roster Is Set
Defensive backs are not quite on the level of Kickers, but they are still extremely unpredictable. In all likelihood, the guys ranked at the top of the rankings in August will have good seasons, but they can just as easily be usurped by no-name schmoes on the waiver wire. DBs should be drafted after the rest of your starters, and most of your offensive bench, are already in place. You may sleep better at night knowing you have Charles Tillman and Eric Berry patrolling your fake secondary, but you can just as easily take a Lunesta and wait for Da’Norris Searcy and Glover Quin.