The pickings are a little bit slimmer in the secondary then at the linebacker position when it comes to dynasty football IDP. There were some solid CBs and Safeties taken this year but what is important to a dynasty team owner is having guys that will be on the field for the majority of the time.
One of the keys to having a good dynasty football secondary is making sure you don't load up on shutdown corners. This is key due to the fact that, yes, they might get you a couple INT's throughout the course of the season but the CB's that help in stopping the run, i.e. racking up tackles, will eventually get you more points on a weekly basis.
Some examples of the top CBs with regards to IDP are Cortland Finnegan in St. Louis and Charles Tillman in Chicago. Both guys will get you INT's but they both rack up tackles and force turnovers. Some examples of top safeties are Morgan Burnett in Green Bay and Kam Chancellor in Seattle, hard hitting safeties that can create turnovers.
Now that we have an idea of what we are looking for let's take a look at 5 rookies that could help your IDP fantasy football team be successful this year.
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings
At 6'1" 210 Rhodes fits the model of the more modern CB. Xavier is a big physical corner that likes to jam up receivers at the line which usually results into forcing bad routes and that equals turnovers. Rhodes will fill the gap at corner that is now there due to Antoine Winfield leaving. Rhodes should be a week 1 starter for the Vikings and as long as he can work on covering the weak side run he should be able to rack up a good amount of tackles.
"He's a long, powerful corner." -- Mike Mayock
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Johnthan Banks, Tampa Bay Bucs
Banks is another corner who likes to jam up the WRs at the line. The report on Banks is that he has great hands for a corner and is pretty good at going up and getting jump balls. A BIG reason i'm a fan of picking up Banks for your dynasty team is the fact he will be lining up on the other side of Darrelle Revis. Typically whatever CB has lined up on the other side of the field from Revis Island has seen a lot of passes go his way in IDP that isn't a bad thing at all. Banks won the Jim Thorpe Award for the top defensive back in the nation. He also received first-team All-American honors from the Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and Scout.com, and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection. Johnthan Banks could definitely be a later round sleeper for you in your dynasty draft.
"He fits. He fits exactly what they do, and the fact he ran 4.55 doesn't really bother me. He's a press corner. I don't know if he's got vertical skills, but he's so long and disruptive. He fits what today's NFL's turning into on the edge." -- Mike Mayock
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Matt Elam, Baltimore Ravens
The first safety to make the list Elam is a hard hitting safety out of Florida that should be a week 1 starter for Baltimore. With the loss of Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard Baltimore has some holes to fill at the safety position. Elam loves the big hit and Baltimore will love him for that. IDP wise Elam is a good pick up due to the fact he loves to creep up in the box and either be blitzing or stuffing the run that equals tackles. Matt is also extremely fast so he is a great last line of defense for any defense. The only real knock on Elam is he is a bit on the shorter side for a NFL safety (5'10") but I wouldn't mind having him on my dynasty squad.
"The junior thrives when his number is called, and Elam was very visible since he frequently lined up in the box at strong safety" ~ NFL.com
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Robert Alford, Atlanta Falcons
Coming out of a smaller school (SE Louisiana) not to many people know about Robert Alford. Alford made himself know at the senior bowl right before the draft showcasing his skill set as a physical corner who can cover the outside WR in the NFL. Alford is known to be very active in helping stuff the opponent's run game and if your league gives points for punt and kick returns there is a good chance that Alford ends up being Atlanta's return man. The report on Alford says that even though he is under 6 feet tall he has no problem staying with bigger WR and has the leaping ability to go up for the ball with taller guys. Due to his speed Alford should also be used in a couple of different blitz packages for the Falcons and getting sack points out of your corners is never a bad thing.
"So they've doubled down on the corners: Desmond Trufant and now Alford. We really liked this kid at the Senior Bowl. He's a quick-footed competitor. He can help in the return game and can compete for a starting spot as a corner or as a return man." -- Mike Mayock
Dynasty Fantasy Football: Kenny Vaccaro, New Orleans Saints
Vaccaro was one of the lone bright spots for the Texas Longhorns last season (92 tackles, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defensed) and has a lot of experts predicting that he will come in and be a week 1 starter for the Saints. Heading into the draft Kenny was being compared to Morgan Burnett and was being praised for his open field tackling abilities and his aggressive natural with regards to ball hawking (going for INTs). The only knock on Vaccaro that I have seen is that sometimes he can be to aggressive and that is not what you want from your last line of defense. The fact that Vaccaro can line up in the nickel is a big thing with regards to IDP because he'll have more of an opportunity to defend and hopefully intercept passes.
"You finally have a safety that can play with Malcolm Jenkins as far as an athlete." -- Mike Mayock
Those were 5 guys to keep on eye on for your upcoming dynasty fantasy football draft. A big week from your secondary, couple picks maybe even a pick 6, can be a huge boost for your team on any given week.
Here are a couple of other guys to keep your eye on....
Dee Milliner, New York Jets
Desmond Trufant, Atlanta Falcons
Shamarko Thomas, Pittsburgh Steelers