If you missed #20-11 hurry and catch up here! If you are ready to continue with the top 10 Defensive Tackles for 2017, here we go!
The Top 10
# 10 Linval Joseph (MIN): The Vikings have been taking care of their defense with contract extensions, and Joseph was the latest to get a deal, at 4 years-$50 million. He’s a big run stuffing nose tackle, who is going to give you 50+ tackles and 3 or 4 sacks.
# 9 Malik Jackson (JAX): In three of the last four seasons, he has averaged 40+ tackles and 6 sacks. Some thought that his numbers would suffer when he left Denver to join Jacksonville, but to his credit, he stayed on course. Being consistent at this position is a huge plus. This is a young defense that can only get better and they also added veteran, Calais Campbell. All of this adds up as a plus for Jackson.
# 8 Sheldon Rankins (NO): This is an intriguing player that could be a bit of a sleeper. He missed the 1st half of last season due to an injury but was a real factor once he got back to playing. He had 20 tackles and four sacks over the last eight games which projects to 40 tackles and 8 sacks for a full season. Those are top 5 numbers at his position. Plus factor in that he will be taking over for Nick Fairley, who recently had to step away due to health. Lots to like here.
# 7 Geno Atkins (CIN): If Geno is a DT in your league and sacks are scored heavily, then you can move him up a couple spots at least. He is one of the best sack options at the position as he will get you 10+ sacks. Doesn’t offer much else, but one should expect him to finish with 30+ tackles.
# 6 Gerald McCoy (TB): One of the most consistent players at the position over the last few years. He is also one of the better sack options for those whose league scores sacks more heavily. Tampa Bay has drafted and placed some talented youth around him so that he doesn’t have to shoulder such a large load but I foresee a slight uptick in production, with something like 35 tackles and 8 sacks.
# 5 Damon “Snacks” Harrison (NYG): Snacks is a lot different than the four guys ahead of him on this list, in that he doesn’t provide a lot regarding sacks (only 4 in his career) but gets a ton of tackles. He had 87 a year ago, which is a ton for a defensive tackle. He is just a great fit for that defense and gets plenty of chances to make plays.
# 4 Fletcher Cox (PHI): He had a bit of a down year last season, after coming off a 50 tackle 9½ sack performance in 2015. The Eagles drafted rookie stud Derek Barnett and that should help free up Cox for a big bounce back year. Don’t be surprised if he finishes ahead of Short in fantasy scoring. I would expect 45+ tackles and 6-8 sacks.
# 3 Kawann Short (CAR): He just signed a five year-$80 million deal in April, after finishing as the 3rd best fantasy scoring DT in the league, behind Donald and Suh. He’s going to be a good bet for 50+ tackles and 6-8 sacks.
# 2 Ndamukong Suh (MIA): Mean & nasty, just like a DT should be. He has been among the top DT fantasy scorers since he entered the league. His sacks have dropped slightly over last few years, but tackles have increased. 50+ tackles and 6-8 sacks are a realistic expectation.
# 1 Aaron Donald (LAR): He is super talented and the best DT in the league by far. He’s a lock to get you 45+ tackles and 8-11 sacks. Owners should keep an eye on his contract holdout and adjust accordingly. Grab him up if your league still has him listed as a DT. If he still carries the DE tag hold him and hope for a change to maximize his value. Note: MFL currently has him listed as a DE.
There you have it, the top 20 Defensive Tackles to target for the 2017 season. Please follow me on Twitter at @DFF_DWIN for more outstanding IDP content!