With the 2016 fantasy season over and done with, I decided to look back at each defensive position and publish my top 20 players at each spot. This article will focus on the cornerbacks! Check out the linebackers here, defensive tackles here, and the defensive ends here.
*The cornerback position is very dependent on league rules, this list is based on 3 points per INT, 1 point per pass defensed, 1 point per tackle, and 0.5 points per assist.
20. Artie Burns, Pittsburgh – In his rookie campaign out of Miami, Burns put together a strong showing with 65 tackles, 3 INTs, and 13 passes defensed.
19. Chris Harris, Denver – Harris is as consistent as they come, adding a strong 2016 to his career totals. Last season marked his 6th straight year with over 50 combined tackles.
18. Jason McCourty, Tennessee – After an injury plagued 2015, McCourty bounced back brilliantly in 2016, racking up 60 solo tackles, 3 turnovers, and defending 12 passes.
17. Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota – Rhodes took a step forward in 2016, becoming one of the elite CBs in the league. His 5 INTs and a TD helped him become a top 20 IDP CB.
16. Robert Alford, Atlanta – Playing Corner for the Falcons (the #1 offense) meant a lot of passing to play against for Alford, who proved up to the task, defending 19 passes and scoring a TD.
15. Deshawn Shead, Seattle – The Portland State standout did great things for the Seahawks in 2016, producing 81 total tackles and defending 14 passes.
14. Marcus Peters, Kansas City – Peters’ aggressive playing style makes him a strong IDP CB, so it’s no surprise that in his 2nd season, Peters produced 6 INTs and 20 passes defensed.
13. Steven Nelson, Kansas City – Kansas City’s nickel corner, Nelson was solid each week, producing 65 tackles and 16 passes defensed in his 2nd NFL season.
12. Vernon Hargreaves, Tampa Bay – Hargreaves rookie year was filled with IDP points, including 68 solo tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 turnovers, and 8 passes defensed.
11. Janoris Jenkins, New York Giants – Jenkins was on pace to be a top 5 IDP CB through the first 14 weeks, but missing time the last 3 weeks dropped him slightly. Still, 49 combo tackles and 17 passes defensed is not too shabby.
10. Jalen Ramsey, Jacksonville – The fifth overall pick of the 2016 draft, Ramsey had a very nice year in the NFL, stacking up 65 total tackles, 14 passes defenses, and scoring a TD.
9. Daryl Worley, Carolina – Worley, a rookie 3rd round pick, got targeted often in 2016, which meant excellent IDP stats. Worley had 88 total tackles and 8 passes defensed in his rookie campaign.
8. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, New York Giants – DRC, the 30-year-old veteran, continued to perform well in 2016, intercepting six balls and defending 21 passes in his 9th NFL season.
7. Marcus Cooper, Arizona – Cooper had a couple rough games in 2016 but also put together some very strong outings. Overall, his 69 total tackles, 4 INTs, and a TD were career highs for the 26-year-old.
6. Josh Norman, Washington – Norman had an interesting 2016. He was let go by the Panthers, signed a huge contract with the Redskins, and agreed to a FOX pregame contract all before the season. Once the season started, Norman played well, producing 67 combo tackles, 5 turnovers, and 18 passes defensed.
5. Malcolm Butler, New England – Butler had another stellar season in 2016, recording 63 tackles, 4 INTs, 17 passes defensed as the Patriots #1 corner.
4. Bashaud Breeland, Washington – Playing opposite of Josh Norman put a lot of pressure on Breeland, and even missing 2 games, Breeland put up 73 tackles, 6 TOs, and 11 passed defensed.
3. Brent Grimes, Tampa Bay – Grimes played more like a 23-year-old than a 33-year-old in 2016. The former Rutgers star registered a career-high 24 passes defensed and scored a TD in 16 games.
2. Casey Hayward, San Diego – After leaving Green Bay as a free agent, Hayward dominated for his new team, corralling seven INTs and defended 20 passes while scoring a TD in 2016.
1. Logan Ryan, New England – Not many corners lead their team in tackles, but that’s exactly what Ryan did in 2016, racking up 92 total tackles. He also defended 11 passes and produced 4 takeaways for the Super Bowl bound Patriots.
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