2021 IDP Rankings Breakdown: Defensive Back

May 14, 2021
2021 IDP Rankings Breakdown: Defensive Back

It’s that time of year - the dust has settled on the NFL Draft and the rookies' landing spots have been settled. Free agency is just about finished, with a few stragglers lurking. So, that means it's time for the initial IDP Rankings for 2021! Rankings for IDP can be a bit subjective with a few different scoring settings available, so that's why I also like to break down rankings into tiers and some of my favorite targets in each tier.

More 2021 IDP Rankings: Defensive Line | Linebacker

The defensive back position has a few elite options and is pretty deep. The position is volatile season to season, so I'm not entirely all-in on the idea of drafting the top guys early. Let's be honest, they're the Hawkeye of the IDP positions. Sure, he'll hit a few his targets with some well-timed arrows. But I don't think they make or break your squad. Would Hawkeye really have prevented the snap in Infinity War? He did his job in Endgame, but it was the big boys - Captain America and Iron Man - that helped bring the title home.

So, with that said, here is the breakdown of the defensive back ranks into tiers and some of the favorite targets in each tier.

Tier 1

This season, I have five Tier-1 DBs. This group should be among the top-five defensive backs who drafted in IDP leagues. The DB position is volatile and changes frequently from season to season. If you want to land any of these guys, you’re probably looking at spending an eighth or ninth-round pick.

Tier 1 Defensive Backs
Rank Player Team
1 Jeremy Chinn Panthers
2 Jamal Adams Seahawks
3 Budda Baker Cardinals
4 Derwin James Chargers
5 Jordan Poyer Bills

Jeremy Chinn finished as the DB3 in 2020 and while it’s rare for DBs to repeat that feat, I don’t see why Chinn can’t in 2021. Chinn played 392 snaps up in the box and another 230 in the slot. He recorded a 12.1% tackle rate, resulting in 117 tackles. Chinn needs to clean up his missed tackles, but he should be involved heavily and have his share of tackle opportunities. I’ll be curious if his involvement in the blitz will continue. He was in on 76 rush snaps and produced an 18.4% pressure rate.

Jamal Adams missed four games and still finished as the DB19 thanks to a 0.24 fantasy points per snap rate. Once Adams returned in Week 9, he compiled 60 tackles and 7.5 sacks in the final nine games. Adams was deployed on 106 pass-rush snaps, generating a 32% pressure rate. He’s a consistent source of tackles, producing a 10.6% tackle rate over the last two seasons. He’s still one of the top safeties in IDP.

Budda Baker has finished among the top-10 DBs over the last three seasons.

Budda Baker
Year DB Rank Tackles Points Per Snap
2020 DB2 118 0.23
2019 DB1 147 0.24
2018 DB9 102 0.22

With the additions of Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons over the last two seasons, could we start seeing a decline in Baker's production? Last season, he saw 368 box snaps and another 128 in the slot. He played deep on 443 snaps and managed to record 118 tackles. Although 2019 might prove to be an outlier, Baker's been more than productive in Arizona’s defense. Over the last three seasons, he’s produced 0.23 points per snap and a 12% tackle rate. I think there’s one more season of elite production.

Can we please, please, please get a healthy season out of Derwin James? James missed the entire 2020 season thanks to a knee injury he suffered during practice. In 2019, he missed 11 games. I just can’t help but look back at his 2018 season, and the production is there. He finished with 105 tackles and was the DB5. He finished 2019 strong after missing the first 11 games, recording an 11.3% tackle rate and 0.19 points per snap.

Jordan Poyer continues to produce as a top-five DB and I’ll continue to rank him as such. He’s proved time and time again that he’s a top-tier DB and someone you can plug into your lineup and forget it.

Jordan Poyer
Year DB Rank Tackles Points Per Snap
2020 DB1 124 0.24
2019 DB4 107 0.22
2018 DB6 100 0.21
2017 DB3 95 0.20

His numbers have gone up as he’s been more involved in the defense and he’s missed just one game since 2017. I’d like to see him cut down on missed tackles and get under double-digits.

Tier 2

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