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Top-five defensive backs to target and avoid in 2022 IDP dynasty fantasy football leagues

Landover, Maryland, USA; Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams (33) reacts after recording an interception against the Washington Football Team during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The defensive back position is the deepest in IDP, but value is still important, and there are plenty of traps to avoid when building a strong DB corps. Taking advantage of down years, predicting potential bounce-backs and finding lesser-known players who could be in position to start are all key when targeting the secondary in IDP. The players to avoid can be traded away based on name value and unstable production from the previous year — much like other positions.


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Be sure to check out the top linebackers to target and avoid in addition to the top defensive linemen to target and avoid. Also, stay up to date with PFF's overall IDP dynasty rankings.

TARGET

S Khari Willis, Indianapolis Colts

Willis missed six games due to injuries last season, frustrating IDP managers because he is a productive IDP safety when healthy. Over the past couple of seasons, Willis has spent the majority of his time in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage. That role should continue for Willis with Gus Bradley coming in as the Colts' new defensive coordinator.

Bradley replaces Matt Eberflus and should bring his heavy Cover-3 scheme to Indianapolis after leading the NFL in the percentage of Cover-3 snaps (66.2%) with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021. Willis could be on track for one of his best IDP seasons under Bradley if he can stay healthy, and he’s not really being valued like that at the moment, making it a perfect time to swoop in and add him to IDP rosters.


S Jamal Adams, Seattle Seahawks

Adams is still a highly ranked safety in IDP leagues, but his perceived IDP value has actually gone down compared to last offseason, when he was coming off a 9.5-sack season. Adams didn’t manage a single sack in 2021, as he was the poster child for sack regression. Judging by the in-season frustration Adams’ IDP managers were not shy about expressing, his value in IDP leagues has perhaps cooled enough that he can be acquired at a lower price tag than in previous seasons.

Still just 26 years old, Adams’ usage continues to be ideal for IDP safeties. He played 46% of his defensive snaps in the box or along the defensive line last season. There are only a couple handfuls of starting safeties that play a high volume of snaps in that area of the field, which has proven to be a premium spot for tackle efficiency and IDP production. Between injuries and sack regression, many will be hesitant to value Adams as an elite IDP safety, which should give us an opportunity to acquire him at a lower price point than in previous years while still getting similar production.

Adams is coming off his most efficient tackling season since 2019, which could be due to fewer blitzing opportunities. While his sack numbers decreased significantly, he was still among the top-10 safeties in pass-rush snaps (51), so that upside still exists.

Jamal Adams’ tackle efficiency over the past three seasons:
Season 2019 2020 2021
Tackle efficiency 7.73% 9.99% 10.60%
Pass-rush percentage 10.3% 13.2% 5.8%
Total sacks 6.5 9.5 0

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S Camryn Bynum, Minnesota Vikings

Bynum’s playing time as a rookie was pretty limited due to playing behind Xavier Woods, who was the only defensive player in the league in 2021 who played 100% of his team's defensive snaps, and Harrison Smith, who hasn’t missed more than two games in a season since 2015.

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