Defensive backs player analysis: 13-24

by Cory J. Bonini on August 18, 2010 @ 20:00:00 PDT


Roman Harper | New Orleans Saints | 6-foot-1, 200 pounds | 5th year

Fantasy tip: Harper has improved his per-game tackle numbers the past three years, topping off at 102 combined stops in '09. He added 1.5 sacks, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles. He has at least 89 tackles each of the past three seasons, and Harper has elite IDP potential that you should look to land as a low-end No. 1 or strong No. 2.

Lawyer Milloy | Seattle Seahawks | 6-foot, 211 pounds | 15th year

Fantasy tip: The veteran strong safety started only one game last year for the Seahawks, but he figures to be a starter for the 2010 season while holding off Jonathan Babineaux. Milloy is only one year removed from a 93-tackle season with the Atlanta Falcons, which was his fourth year in a row with at least 90 total takedowns. At 36 years old, you can expect some drop-off in Milloy's play, but he can put up high-end No. 2 stats if he starts all year. Draft him as a third DB and enjoy the value pick.

Oshiomogho Atogwe | St. Louis Rams | 5-foot-11, 205 pounds | 6th year

Fantasy tip: Atogwe is coming off a 12-game season. He still posted 74 tackles, a sack, five passes defensed, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. He is coming off shoulder and hernia surgeries this offseason but should be healthy for Week 1 play. He's a No. 2 IDP defensive back due to the injuries, but he can play with the best of them when healthy. Take a chance on his elite potential.

Charles Tillman | Chicago Bears | 6-foot-1, 198 pounds | 8th year

Fantasy tip: Health is always a concern for Tillman, who has missed at least one game every season of his career since his 2003 rookie season concluded. He posted 77 total tackles last year and 93 the year before. Tillman has 10 forced fumbles and two interception returns for touchdowns in the last two seasons. He is a somewhat risky No. 2 IDP pick given his injury history, but a healthy Tillman produces.

Abram Elam | Cleveland Browns | 6-foot, 207 pounds | 5th year

Fantasy tip: In his first year as a full-time starter, Elam posted impressive numbers for the Browns last season. He compiled 91 total stops, a sack, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. Elam has only one career interception, which he returned 92 yards for a score in 2008. He's a slightly risky No. 2 IDP pick because of his limited track record, but Elam has the talent and upside to start for IDP squads.

LaRon Landry | Washington Redskins | 6-foot, 220 pounds | 4th year

Fantasy tip: Following a down year in 2008, Landry turned in a great '09 effort: 90 total tackles, 1.0 sack, six passes defensed, an interception and two forced fumbles in 15 games. His pass coverage skills are limited. Landry is a quality No. 2 choice for IDP owners, and he is still young enough to improve (turns 26 Oct. 14).

Chris Hope | Tennessee Titans | 6-foot, 204 pounds | 9th year

Fantasy tip: After he missed five games in 2007, Hope has remained healthy and has been remarkably consistent. He racked up 78 tackles in 2008 and three more in '09. Hope has tallied 3.0 sacks, seven interceptions, 15 passes defensed and one forced fumble in the past two years. He's a reliable No. 2 DB in IDP formats.

Quintin Mikell | Philadelphia Eagles | 5-foot-10, 203 pounds | 8th year

Fantasy tip: Mikell has been pretty consistent over the past two years. He notched 93 tackles in 2008 and 90 a year ago. He contributes against the pass (22 passes defensed, five interceptions the past two years). Mikell is a No. 2 for IDP owners, with the potential for greater.

Terrell Thomas | New York Giants | 6-foot, 199 pounds | 3rd year

Fantasy tip: Few cornerbacks make quality IDP performers; Thomas bucks the trend. He is coming off an 85-tackle effort in his first year as a full-time starter. The USC product has size and range. He added a sack, 13 passes defensed, five interceptions (one went to the house) and a forced fumble in '09. Thomas is a slightly risky No. 2 DB but could be had as a No. 3.

Thomas DeCoud | Atlanta Falcons | 6-foot-2, 205 pounds | 3rd year

Fantasy tip: DeCoud started every game in 2009, logging 68 stops, 2.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He has a limited track record but fits the Falcons' defensive system well and has room for improvement. Known as a heady player, he should be viewed as a low-end No. 2 or strong third DB for fantasy owners.

Bob Sanders | Indianapolis Colts | 5-foot-8, 206 pounds | 7th year

Fantasy tip: Few players have suffered more injuries over the course of a career than Sanders (biceps) has. He hasn't finished a season yet and has played only eight games during the past two years. When healthy, he's a dynamic fantasy player. In his two almost healthy years, Sanders put up 91 tackles in 14 games (2005) and 96 in 2007. He plays recklessly and has paid the price with his body. Sanders is about as risky a pick you can find for IDP leagues. He's the ultimate boom-or-bust selection as a third defensive back.

Tracy Porter | New Orleans Saints | 5-foot-11, 186 pounds | 3rd year

Fantasy tip: We will be the first to admit that we're taking a major leap of faith by ranking Porter as high as we have. He's an injury waiting to happen based off his first two pro seasons, and he has missed time this offseason with a back injury. Porter managed 57 tackles, 12 passes defensed, four interceptions (one TD) and a pair of forced fumbles in 12 games last year. He has big-play ability but also contributes enough in core stat categories to be worthy of a No. 3 flier pick. He has No. 2 - perhaps low No. 1 - potential.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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