Let’s continue our series on 2016 IDP dynasty football tiers with the safety position. Here is our Defensive Tackle tiers if you missed that article recently. Safety is an interesting and evolving position in the NFL today. Several safeties have successfully made the jump to linebacker in hybrid roles so it really depends on your systems classification on whether you can use some guys as safeties or linebackers. On MFL for example, Deone Buchanon and Mark Barron have been reclassified as LBs and for our purposes here I will not be including them. If I did include them, they would be at the top of the list due to the volume of tackle opportunities they get at the LB position.
Tier 1 – Elite
Reshad Jones, MIA – He has developed into a LB type scorer from the safety position in Miami. Last year he had around 166 fantasy points depending on our IDP scoring. He’s holding out this summer but he’ll play and he’ll continue to dominate for several more years as he’s only 28 and he’s signed through 2018.
Tier 2 – Quality Young Starter
These are guys that are young enough to invest in for several years for dynasty purposes and will most likely hit the top 20 for at least 3-4 years forward or more.
Tyrann Mathieu, ARI – The only reason I don’t put him in elite status is his injury concerns. He’s young and on a great defense, when he’s on the field he scores elite points but he’s not on the field enough to get elite status. He’s only 24 years old too!
Harrison Smith, MIN – Had a bit of a down year last year due to injuries but at 27 is a young quality IDP starter on a defense that is getting better.
Johnathan Cyprien, JAX – A bit of a risk here as he’s said to be competing with James Sample for the SS role in JAX. That said, I think he will win and the Jaguars defense has built itself into a quality unit over the last few years. The free agent addition of Tashaun Gibson at FS will allow Cyprien to stay in the box more often as they play more cover 1 next year. As long as Cyprien wins this battle, he can improve on his 108 tackles from last season.
Morgan Burnett, GB – Burnett also had a down year due to injury but when he was on the field he did well. He’s only 27 so he’s in his prime with several years left to go in it.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, GB – Burnett will get the tackles at SS but Clinton-Dix had a top 10 season last year at FS, so he cannot be discounted. At 23, he’s also worth the investment in the longer term.
Landon Collins, NYG – Seriously, he had a top 10 season as a rookie, the sky is the limit for Collins. Another top 10 season this year and he could be in the Elite status next season.
Kenny Vaccaro, NOS – Steady Eddie in the NOS sieve like defense, Vaccaro will continue to get plenty of tackle opportunities this season, he’s only 25, great investment.
Kurt Coleman, CAR – At 27 he’s on a great defense which just lost their best CB so opportunities may increase and he finished strong last year.
Tier 3 – Rookies Worth Considering
This rookie crop of safeties is deep this year, it would not be a bad year to invest in a rookie safety late in rookie drafts.
Karl Joseph, Oak – He was the first safety picked and goes to a good revamped defense in Oakland with a defensive-minded head coach, Jack Del Rio.
Keanu Neal, ATL – Will play the “Kam Chancellor” role in Dan Quinn’s version of Seattle’s Legion of Boom. He’s the perfect player for that role and should thrive.
Vonn Bell, NO – Will play FS next to Kenny Vaccaro so not as appealing as him, but this is not a great front 7 here, so will get opportunities.
Darian Thompson, NYG – Word out of OTAs so far is that Thompson is a ball hawk, this bodes very well for his chances.
Miles Killebrew, DET – May not start right away but is a thumper that will play SS once he starts.
Deon Bush, CHI – In line to start with a good training camp. Wasn’t drafted super high but has the skills to succeed and the Bears need players.
Kevin Byard, TEN – Will start on special teams this year as Da’Norris Searcy and Rashad Johnson are solid safeties in Tennessee. Good upside for a deep sleeper though.
Tier 4 – Older Quality Starters
Eric Weddle, BAL – Goes to a good situation in Baltimore and even though he’s 31 this year is still an quality starter in fantasy. Probably only has 2-3 years left, but those will be good fantasy years.
Corey Graham, BUF – Finished as the #2 safety in fantasy last year on an aggressive Bills D, but going on 31 in July so nothing more than a solid 1-2 year pick up for dynasty purposes.
Malcolm Jenkins, PHI – Philly is getting more aggressive up front with Jim Schwartz’ 4-3 defensive scheme which could help Jenkins. He’s 28 so has a few years left in the tank.
Mike Adams, IND – At 35, Adams is ancient by football standards but he finished as a top five safety last year, so good if you’re trying to win now.
Ron Parker, KC – Finished in the top 15 at FS last year so a playmaker, though turning 29 this season he still has 4 years left on his contract so…
Reggie Nelson, OAK – Another top 15 finisher last year but turns 33 in September.
Barry Church, DAL – Locked into SS position in Dallas but a UFA next season if he doesn’t get a new contract so beware.
Kam Chancellor, SEA – Great in real football, solid in fantasy but never quite elite. Is 28 so has a few years left.