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. We check out the safeties today! If you missed the other positions, take a look at the defensive ends here, the defensive tackles here, linebackers here, and cornerbacks here.
20. Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans – Even a four-game suspension could not keep Vaccaro off of this list. His 69 tackles and five turnovers created in 11 games is solid.
19. Corey Graham, Buffalo – Graham, a ten-year veteran, put up another solid campaign, playing in 16 games, garnering 88 tackles and defending nine passes.
18. Tavon Wilson, Detroit – Wilson was all over the field late in 2016, recording 6.5 tackles per game over his last seven, earning the Lions safety a top 20 finish.
17. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay – The Packers’ Pro Bowler made plenty of plays in 2016, including 80 tackles made and 5 INTs. At 24, Clinton-Dix looks to be entering his prime.
16. Daniel Sorensen, Kansas City – Sorensen was a boom or bust player in 2016. For example, he had four games with 10+ FF points but also had five games with three or less FF points.
15. Byron Jones, Dallas – Jones’ 2nd year was a big one for the former UConn Husky, racking up 89 tackles and nine passes defensed. He should be a solid IDP threat for a long time.
14. Harrison Smith, Minnesota – When healthy, Smith is a force for the Vikings. In his 14 games, the dynamic safety produced 91 tackles and had two sacks.
13. Malcolm Jenkins, Philadelphia – Malcolm Jenkins did not have that great of a season compared to 2015, but his two TD returns got him into the top 20 rankings.
12. Eric Weddle, Baltimore – The free agent signing from San Diego paid substantial dividends for the Ravens, as the former Charger recorded 89 total tackles and defended 13
11. Rodney McLeod, Philadelphia – After moving from the Rams, McLeod had a superb year with the Eagles. His 83 tackles and three INTs were both career highs.
10. Bradley McDougald, Tampa Bay – The 3rd year man out of Kansas proved he could make significant plays for the Buccaneers, providing 91 tackles and defending 10 balls.
9. Kurt Coleman, Carolina – Just another awesome year from Coleman, including 95 total tackles, four INTs, and a TD for the veteran safety.
8. Eric Berry, Kansas City – Berry put together another fantastic season in 2016, making 77 tackles and single-handedly winning the Atlanta game on a 2pt return for a TD.
7. Keanu Neal, Atlanta – The only rookie on this list, Neal dominated his first season, registering 104 tackles in only 14 games. Dan Quinn has found himself a stud secondary star for many years to come.
6. T.J. Ward, Denver – Ward made a ton of plays in 2016. The former Oregon Duck was involved in six turnovers, eight pass breakups, and 87 tackles in 14 games.
5. Morgan Burnett, Green Bay – Burnett added another top 5 IDP campaign to his already shining career in 2016. Tackling 92 ball carriers and recording three sacks were key.
4. Antoine Bethea, San Francisco – The oldest man on this list, Bethea was also extremely productive for the 49ers in 2016. 110 tackles are outstanding for the 32-year-old star.
3. Johnathan Cyprien, Jacksonville – People started to question Cyprien’s spot in the Jacksonville lineup, but he quickly quieted the skeptics by popping for 128 tackles and four passes defensed in 2016.
2. Tony Jefferson, Arizona – Jefferson started the season on fire, averaging 9.75 tackles per game the first month of the season. Not that the former Sooner wasn’t great all year, recording 13 TFLs and two sacks.
1. Landon Collins, New York Giants – I consider Collins to be the 2016 IDP player of the year, scoring 45 more points than the next best secondary player. The NY Giant safety owned opposing offenses nearly every week. 125 tackles, five INTs, four sacks, 13 passes defensed, and a TD are incredible. Collins had a special 2016 and is only 23 years old. WOW!
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