Top 5 Defensive Backs

1) Eric Weddle, FS, SD, 3years experience
Weddle established himself as a top fantasy player last year. His numbers rival that of a middle linebacker. His 105 solo tackles were better than all but Patrick Willis and Jon Beason, and his tackle totals keep him in the top five overall defensively. While slightly disappointing from an interception point of view, with only one all year in 2008, that number should improve with the return of Shawne Merriman and an improved pass rush causing more errant throws into the secondary. He holds down the top spot because of his speed and ability to read and react to plays and his sure tackling skills.
2) Gibril Wilson, FS, MIA, 6 years experience
Wilson's move from Oakland to Miami will allow him to move back to his natural Free Safety Position opposite Yeremiah Bell, the established Strong Safety in Miami. His 129 total tackles last year ranks him 7th in the NFL in that category, and moving back to Free Safety with a true Strong Safety lined up opposite him is going to free him up to add to that total and to his 2 interceptions from a years ago.
3) Nick Collins, FS, GB, 5 years experience
Nick Collins had an average year in 2008, but the conversion of the defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 should free him up to put up significantly larger numbers in 2009. With two of the best cover corners in the league on the outside, Collins will see more blitz packages and run support opportunities to build on his 2008 campaign.
4) Michael Griffin, FS, TEN, 3 years experience
What does the departure of Haynesworth mean to the Tennessee defense? From an NFL perspective, it leaves a big hole to fill, but from a fantasy perspective it moves the entire defensive backfield up the rankings. Without Haynesworth's ability to move the line of scrimmage, Backs will get to the next level more often, and Quarterbacks will have a little more time to throw. The primary fantasy beneficiary of this will be Griffin, with an increase in tackle deep ball interception opportunities.
5) Charles Tillman, CB, CHI, 7 years experience
The lone Corner in the top 5, Tillman leads all Corners with 93 tackles last year. Add in his 3 picks and one pick 6 and Tillman climbs not only into the top 5 Defensive Backs, but also into the top 30 IDP players, a list dominated by marquis Linebackers. Chicago is trying to assemble a patchwork secondary, with the two starting corners as the only constants. Tillman's combination of size and speed makes him a good cover corner, and an even better open field tackler. The patchwork in the secondary will virtually guarantee an increase in his productivity.

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