In Fantasy Football IDP leagues when drafting for your secondary, more often than not you’re going to be looking at what safeties you think will best fill the two spots you have available. However, more and more leagues are separating the safety and corner spots and having requirements for each. For leagues that have one or two positions at the corner slot, I find it is generally best to draft at least one more than needed and play the best match-ups because when researching corners you will find they are not consistent scorers. Of course, this also leads to some frustration when your bench corner has a two interception game and your starting corner finishes with three tackles and no other stats. So the strategy for some is to plug in their best corner and forget about the position. Whichever strategy you choose, hopefully, the list below helps you in the coming season. Here are my top 12 corners for the 2017 Fantasy Football season.
- Jalen Ramsey (Jaguars) – Ramsey had a slow start to his rookie season but progressed as the season went on to finish among the Top 10 corners despite only scoring double digit points once in his first six games. He is capable of big outputs with 4 and 5 passes defended in single games, but still, has moderate tackle numbers to get points when facing teams that are run heavy.
- Daryl Worley (Panthers) – Worley is also coming off of his rookie season and also finished as a Top 10 corner. Worley finished the season with 9 passes defended and 1 INT, but lead this rookie group with 63 solo tackles.
- Vernon Hargreaves (Buccaneers) – Hargreaves, to continue with the theme, also is coming off of his first season. When I check scoring in my leagues he is anywhere from 8th to 16th but had a great 2nd half. His scoring went up with his playing time and he will easily improve upon last year’s stats. Like Worley, Hargreaves finished with 9 passes defended and 1 INT, but an increase in both of these categories is what should catapult him up the rankings.
- Logan Ryan (Titans) – Ryan Logan signed a 3 year deal with the Titans this offseason after having been a solid starter in New England the last two seasons. He is not spectacular, but he is a steady performer and the change in scenery shouldn’t affect his fantasy outlook this season. At only 26 years old, Logan’s stats do not come in the passing game per se, but his tackles with career his value. This past season he had 74 solo tackles and 18 assists which led most tackle heavy leagues at corner.
- Josh Norman (Redskins) – Norman was one of the more consistent performers last season, finishing top 5 in many leagues. If not for a 3 game stretch where he totaled 2 tackles and 2 assists he may have finished as the top fantasy corner. He should again be a candidate to finish first this season. Now 29 years of age he hasn’t slowed down and is as competitive as ever.
- Casey Hayward (Chargers) – Hayward just an off-season ago found himself not wanted by the Green Bay Packers where he had played for 4 seasons. When San Diego corner Jason Verrett went down with an injury in game 6 last season, Hayward made the move over to Verrett’s position from slot corner and played like one of the best corners in the league. In fantasy football, he did well in both positions, but his tackle numbers did take a hit after the move. However, with 7 INT’s and 20 passes defended Hayward proved himself to be a good all around player and finished near the top of last season’s corner standings. I see no reason this should change in 2017.
- Bashaud Breeland (Redskins) – Breeland struggled at times last season in coverage, but was his dominant self on the fantasy football field. If not for an injury in game 3, which caused him to miss the next two weeks, and a slow return to form, Breeland may have been at the top of the corner list. His average points per game were 1st or 2nd in the majority of my leagues, and he is still has a lot of football ahead of him at only 25 years of age.
- Brent Grimes (Buccaneers) – We are still waiting for the decline of Brent Grimes, but Miko won’t allow it. Truth is, Grimes is still playing at a high level. Last season’s 4 INT’s and 24 passes defended combined with 51 solo tackles kept him near the top of the corner rankings. He is 34 years old entering the 2017 season, and at some point soon will show signs of decline, but I think he’ll manage to give us one more good season.
- Brandon Williams (Cardinals) – Williams is also coming off his rookie season with the Arizona Cardinals, but unlike the other three on the list, Williams did not finish near the top 10 corners for IDP. He had a rough start to the season and was replaced by Marcus Cooper who went on to finish as a top 10 fantasy corner. Cooper is no longer with the team this year and the job opposite Patrick Peterson belongs to Williams. One thing you can expect with Peterson on the other side of the field is a lot of targets coming your way, and Williams will be put to the test often. He did not have a good rookie season, but Marcus Cooper also had a poor season, and this still translated to fantasy success for Cooper. There is not much competition in the Arizona secondary so Williams will be on the field, and whether he plays well or poorly, the opportunities he will see playing opposite Peterson is a formula for fantasy success.
- Janoris Jenkins (Giants) – Jenkins has established himself as one of the premier corners in the NFL. Last season he finished in the 10-15 range in fantasy points for corners even though he was slowed over a three game stretch due to injury (weeks 15-17). This season I’d expect a slight uptick in his fantasy stats in his second year in Steve Spagnuolo’s 4/3 system. His 3 INT’s and 18 passes defended should both increase this season along with his 44 solo tackles with a full schedule played, but I’d also expect an increase in his average fantasy points per game in his second year in the system.
- Malcolm Butler (Patriots) – Butler has been a great find for the Patriots and a quality corner over the last two seasons. That has also translated to fantasy success for Butler who has finished among the top 15 corners in each of the last two seasons. He is a good all around player and is able to put stats on the board in all categories. He’s not a player I’d expect to see among the top 5 in fantasy, but his all around play will put him in the 8 – 15 range.
- Artie Burns (Steelers) – Burns over the final 9 games of 2016 had one of the top scoring averages among all corners. In his rookie season his playing time was limited over the first month of the season, and still, he finished among the top 20 corners in fantasy scoring. If you project the 35 solo tackles, 3 INT’s and 9 passes defended he attained in those last 9 games over a full season he easily finishes close to the top 10 range.
As you can tell in my comments under most of the corners listed above, there is not a lot separating the top 12 or even top 15 corners in Fantasy Football. One small injury that affects play over a few game stretch is enough to knock them down several spots in the final rankings. You will need to have depth to cover the spot during injuries and definitely keep up with all the news that’s available to maximize your fantasy success.
Check back next week when I’ll be putting out my 2017 IDP Safety rankings. I wish you much success this fantasy season!
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Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join Corey D Roberts, and Kyle Amore live on Sunday July 16th, 2017 from 7-9pm EST for episode #94 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Joe Iannone. Joe is a writer with majorleaguefantasysports.com and he focuses on spot starting low owned pitchers. His articles publish every Sunday morning.