With the 2016 fantasy season coming to a close, I decided to look back at each defensive position and publish my top players at each. What better place to start than with the defensive tackles? Today, I’ll give you notes as I count down my top 20.
20. Clinton McDonald, Tampa Bay – McDonald missed a month of 2016 due to injury, but still managed 27 tackles and 3.5 sacks. At 30, he’s still racking up the stats.
19. David Parry, Indianapolis – In his 2nd year out of Stanford, Parry is a smart, productive inside defender for the Colts. Look for him to further flourish in 2017.
18. Danny Shelton, Cleveland – Only 23 years old and already a top 20 DT, Shelton is on the rise in IDP Dynasty ranks.
17. Brandon Williams, Baltimore – In his four years in Baltimore, Williams has been a key to the Ravens defense. His 51 tackles are evidence of what he means to them.
16. Malcom Brown, New England – Brown didn’t make many splash plays, but was consistently involved in the run game, totaling 50 combined tackles.
15. Tyron Crawford, Dallas – Crawford played well in the middle for Dallas, racking up 4.5 sacks and 8 TFLs in 14 games played.
14. Dominique Easley, Los Angeles Rams – Easley easily crushed his career highs in all major categories. At 24, he has the potential to move well up this list.
13. Alan Branch, New England – The 32-year-old veteran Branch put up nearly 50 combined tackles while playing all 16 games for the Patriots in 2016.
12. Nick Fairley, New Orleans – The move to New Orleans did Fairley well this year. He put up numbers similar to his 2012 and 2013 campaigns.
11. Malik Jackson, Jacksonville – After a slow start, Jackson cranked it up in 2016. In his last eight games, Malik tallied 20 tackles (8 for losses) and had 5 sacks.
10. Johnathan Hankins, New York Giants – Hankins likely made himself some money in 2016, working in the final year of his contract, he produced top 10 DT numbers.
9. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay – As usual, another solid year for McCoy, including 35 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and four pass defenses.
8. Geno Atkins, Cincinnati – It was a Jekyll and Hyde year for Geno in 2016. He had seven games with at least one sack but also had four games with less than 1 tackle.
7. Kerry Hyder, Detroit – Hyder is the only rookie to make the list, and with five sacks in the first four weeks, he made a splash. Solid upside here.
6. Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia – Cox had a slightly down year in 2016, but at 26, he’s got plenty of productive years ahead of him.
5. Linval Joseph, Minnesota – Linval has been racking up the stats his entire career. 2016 was no exception with 77 combined tackles and four sacks.
4. Kawann Short, Carolina – After a monster 2015, Short regressed slightly in 2016. However, he’s still a top 5 DT year in and year out.
3. Damon Harrison, New York Giants – “Snacks” made the Giants look really good after signing him this offseason. 87 combined tackles is awesome for a DT.
2. Ndamukong Suh, Miami – Suh was his typical disruptive self in 2014, accounting for 71 combined tackles five sacks and six pass defenses.
1. Aaron Donald, Los Angeles Rams – 25 years old and on top of the interior lineman world. Donald finished eight sacks, five pass defenses and 17 TFLs.
You’ve seen my top 20 defensive tackles. How many do you agree with? Who is your number 1? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @FF_EvilEmpire.