As we wind down the position by position rankings, I must admit while doing research and spending a bazillion hours in front of my computer screen has been tedious and fun, none of this would be possible without the efforts of Corey D. Roberts, his lady, Jess, and the rest of the bloggers at Major League Fantasy Sports. Not only have I expanded my horizons as a writer and learned to be a better fantasy sports player (this research helps in baseball too), I’ve come to realize that I actually do enjoy writing for people, and that I can do it. Is blogging something I’d want to do for a living? Probably not, but as a hobby and something to release stress, it has helped put some anger in words through ranking all these players. I look forward to the opportunity to continue blogging for this site, and hope that MLFS helps other people see that any ordinary citizen and fantasy junkie with too much time on his or her hands can become a blogger. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns with the rankings (I’m aware some need some updating with off-field stupidities, injuries, etc.), feel free to email me at email@example.com, or contact Corey Roberts. Once again, thank you all, and I look forward to continuing to provide fantasy entertainment and whatever cool stuff I come up with to blog on. Also, if I play in any leagues with you guys, know your rear end will be wider than the Grand Canyon when I’m done with it, and your self-esteem hiding under a rock, so bring it ladies!
Now, we were on cornerback right? That’s right we were. These corners on this portion of the rankings are ones to keep an eye on as some will vault into the top 20 rankings, but more so because these are the names that, while they won’t net you studly stats, they will provide your lineup with consistency and well-rounded stat lines. In addition to veterans you’ve heard of, there will be a few veterans you haven’t heard of, as well as a healthy number of rookies and players who are past due for a breakout season, due to their upside. The corners with the most upside could post 8 interceptions, or completely fizzle. The names to especially look to grab for your team are the ones playing opposite shutdown corners, or ones that are suspect in coverage, and thus targeted more often, leading to greater passes defensed numbers. No matter the situation your in, if you ever find yourself grasping for straws at corner, just use the draft application to look at who has been consistent, if unspectacular in the past and is starting, as it is often times the veterans that will be your most reliable options. These rankings are tailored for MLFF, but are applicable for any type of leagues.
26.) Kareem Jackson – Fourth year man, Kareem Jackson could be in for a big season. He’s been flashing potential for three seasons, and this could be the year that he puts it all together. A ballhawk who could also rack up the tackles, expect 60 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 20 passes defensed as your CB2/high end CB3.
27.) Antoine Cason – Slated to start opposite all-purpose corner Patrick Peterson, Cason will be one of your more consistent CBs, yet not net you any stud stats in any one category. He’ll continue his playing ways from San Diego, and accumulate 75 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 14 passes defensed. Paired with a high upside, big play CB on your team, he could fill out your secondary nicely.
28.) Terence Newman – As long as he beats out Dre Kirkpatrick as starter, Newman will continue his late career revival and be a rock for the Bengals secondary. A known ballhawk and hard hitter from his Dallas days, Newman will continue to pick off passes and rack up the tackles while disrupting many plays. 75 tackles, 3 picks, 1 forced and recovered fumble apiece, and 17 passes defensed should be well in line.
29.) Derek Cox – Cox is an emerging star at corner, the problem is staying on the field. If he can stay healthy in San Diego as Cason’s replacement, he’ll post 70 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 16 passes defensed. Key words: Health and If.
30.) Lardarius Webb – Grab Webb while his stock is low. Had Webb not wrecked his ACL last season, he would be in the top 15, but he did, so we must visit the buy low avenue. Easily the top corner, Webb has the potential to put up 80 tackles, 7 interceptions, and 20 passes defensed. Don’t forget about him on draft day, as he is a sleeper for all intents and purposes this season.
31.) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – DRC is so bad in coverage, he’s great for fantasy owners. Starting opposite the CB legend Champ Bailey, DRC will be targeted early and often, enabling him to rack up the tackles and passes defensed, but few picks. Denver will start DRC and Bailey at the corner, pushing Harris to full-time nickel, but DRC is the most suspect of the three defensively. Draft him as a CB3 or DP slot and he’ll net you 48 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 20 passes defensed.
32.) Joe Haden – Top corner in Cleveland has its advantages. The domineering corner has the tools to become a top 30 corner, but is coming off an injury-shortended season, so he may not dominate from day one. With the bigger hitting corner, Skrine, across from him, Haden will be the pick man and post 51 tackles, 5 picks, and 12 passes defensed.
33.) Desmond Trufant – One of the top corners coming out of the draft, Trufant has an opportunity to step in immediately and contribute. Atlanta’s corner unit needs help with the loss of Dunta Robinson to Kansas City, and Trufant is the leading candidate to fill the void. His appeal should be starting opposite a shut down corner, Asante Samuel, Trufant will be thrown at a ton in his rookie season, which should equate to a healthy number of interceptions and tackles. As long as he holds down the gig, look for Desmond to post 55 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 12 passes defensed in his rookie season. Worth a gamble as a CB3, DP slot, or match ups play.
34.) Sean Smith – Smith’s exit from Miami and into Kansas City should help boost his stats some. Signing a three year deal, no matter where Smith plays, he will lay the boom on opposing players and grab the occasional pick. Slated to start opposite Brandon Flowers, Smith will also be used at nickel, giving him clearer shots at running backs and passes out of the backfield. 62 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 11 passes defensed is his game this season. Any forced or recovered fumbles he’ll likely accumulate are just extras to a pretty solid corner.
35.) Chris Houston – Houston is consistent, yet unspectacular. Detroit is committed to starting him, which means he is worth monitoring fantasy-wise, and the Lions tend to produce decent fantasy corners. He isn’t going to lead your team in any particular area, but for a late round pick, 56 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 14 passes defensed isn’t shabby in the least.
36.) Morris Claiborne – SLEEPER ALERT Claiborne came into the league with lofty expectations from him, but has yet to live up to those standards. The Cowboys are committed to him as full-time starter this season, and with the reigns off, a stat line of 60 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 2 recovered fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 10 passes defensed could ensue, which would go a long way in fixing the swiss cheese Dallas corner squad.
37.) Vontae Davis – We’re waiting Davis. The 25-year-old corner has yet to put it all together, and Indianapolis provides the prime place to do so. Someone has to step up at corner for the Colts, affording Davis the opportunity to finally show why he was a first round pick in 2009. This season has breakout written all over, so expect 61 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 14 passes defensed. Don’t shy away from a late round flier on him.
38.) Tarell Brown – Brown likely goes undrafted in virtually all leagues, but he does have some fantasy appeal. With Asomugha in town, the corner targeted most in Frisco only stands to benefit. Brown will be playing angry this season, after losing out on $2M for not attending voluntary workouts. As a consequence, he should up his play, and net any willing fantasy owner 60 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 19 passes defensed.
39.) Tyrann Mathieu – A long as the Honey Badger’s party is over, and he’s no longer in outer space, Mathieu will be a beast in Arizona. Mathieu could lead all corner backs in total turnovers and sacks. Mathieu will play all over the field, and will be in the middle of a ton of plays. Corner talents like him are rare, and as long as he can keep off-field issues out of his way, he will post 75 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 5 interceptions, and 14 passes defensed. Feel free to overdraft him based upon potential alone.
40.) Brandon Browner – Browner is a threat to take every interception he grabs to the house as one of the better press corners in the NFL, but he regressed last season after nabbing 6 picks, including 2 returned for scores in 2011. A quality starter, the time to buy low on him is now. He will redeem himself this season for a loaded Seattle defense, and you won’t get anything less than 50 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles, and 20 passes defensed. The third year corner just had a slip up last year, and coming off a pay raise will come back with a vengeance.
41.) Tracy Porter – Best remembered for picking off Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV (2010), Porter seems to still be basking in the play as his numbers are on the decline. Once seen as a future elite corner in New Orleans, Porter now is starting in Oakland where he will not sniff the Super Bowl, much less the playoffs, but will be granted a starting role to resurrect his career. A successful year for him on his comeback would be 50 tackles, 2 interceptions, and passes defensed. There’s upside, just be cautious.
42.) Leodis McKelvin – His main value will come as a kick returner, but if he can show the Bills he can also play defense, that would go a long way in justifying the $20 million the Bills gave McKelvin over four years. With that type of money, you bet your first born child the Bills will start him and expect defensive contributions. He’s only started 10 games over the past two seasons, but money has strange ways of talking. No less than 50 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 10 passes defensed should be contributed by McKelvin for the Bills and fantasy owners alike, just tread softly.
43.) Buster Skrine – Skrine is a one-trick pony, as he’ll get you tackles and a handful of tackles, and not much more. He has secured a starting spot in Cleveland, meaning another 80 tackle, 14 passes defensed season is right around the corner for the hitting CB.
44.) Champ Bailey – Training camp and pre-season are like taking candy from babies for Bailey. The Broncos aren’t going to play Bailey that much, if at all in the pre-season games, as he has earned his right to a starting gig by name alone. The 15 year vet is in the twilight of his career, and may play some safety as well this year to cover for his loss of speed in the pass game. But no matter the situation, Bailey will give fantasy owners a solid, yet declining, line of 55 tackles, a forced fumble, 3 interceptions, and 11 passes defensed. Nothing wrong with trotting out a future Hall of Famer in your lineup.
45.) Brandon Flowers – The transitioning to a new system, and rebuilding starts on defense, and Flowers will be relied upon to help anchor the Chiefs’ secondary. Flowers has consistently been middle of the pack cornerback-wise for his career, but a slight production boost could be due this season. He could potentially lead your team in passes defensed, so expect a line of 56 tackles, 1 forced and recovered fumble apiece, 3 picks, and 20 passes defensed. Funny how he tends to be on most of my teams.
46.) Nnamdi Asomugha – Yes, I am actually recommending you draft the NFL’s best shut down corner. Teams will have to choose how to attack the 49ers defense, and since they have so many playmakers, Asomugha is bound to see some more action than he did in his years in Oakland and Philly. Don’t expect elite stats, but Asomugha will contribute to your team as a match ups player, or bye week filler. 40 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 15 passes defensed wouldn’t be surprising. only question is how many times per game will teams be forced to throw against him?
47.) Xavier Rhodes – Like many of the rookie corners on this list, Rhodes will be a fantasy contributor on a rebuilding NFL team that needs better quarterback play. AllDay can’t be the only offense, and with a young quarterback, and new look receiving core, Minnesota’s defense could be on the field a ton. Opposing teams are going to throw early and often on the Vikings unit, and Rhodes could be the one teams hate the most by season’s end. The FSU product was one of the most highly regarded corners in the draft and should have no problem stepping in any immediately contributing. Accounting for an adjustment period, and plays missed early on, a prospective fantasy owner is looking at a 50 tackle, 5 interception, 10 passes defensed season.
48.) Captain Munnerlyn – Like the Cowboys corner corps, the Panthers’ corners need help, but until it arrives, Munnerlyn is the safest bet to stay in the starting lineup of any corner they have on the roster. He’s a step or two behind the guys on the list, but as a bye week filler, he’ll net you 60 tackles, 2 picks, and 8 passes defensed.
49.) Prince Amukamara – Early camp reports are that Prince’s skill set has improved, and if he can translate those improvements to the field, someone will get an absolute steal on draft day. If he truly is going to take the next step this season, the end result will be 64 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 12 passes defensed. He wants to be the top corner on the GMen unit, and he very well may make a strong case with a strong showing this season. His upside is that of a top 20 corner.
50.) Dwayne Gratz – When in Rome, do as the Romans do, or is it, When in rebuild mode, don’t mess around, just do, from the bottom up? That is exactly what the Jaguars appear to be doing. In with the new out with the old. The Jaguars are going to be hard to watch offensively this season, which is only good news for fantasy owners and Jaguars fans alike, as they’ll get to see their youth on display. Gratz is hands down the best corner on the Jaguars going into this season, but he will get some help being eased in from veteran Marcus Trufant. The UCONN product will be thrown into the fire in his rookie season, and while the learning curve could be a long one, the end result this season could be 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, a recovered fumble, 4 interceptions, and 10 passes defensed. Yeah it’s gonna be another long season for the Jaguars, so grab the starters on defense.