The defensive back position is the deepest position in fantasy football. There are players who you can grab cheap who can be big producers for 2021. Lets take a look at some buy-low targets.
2020 landed some major IDP names on IR and the Covid-19 opt-out list. There were also some young players who made positive strides in their development. With a slew of names becoming free agents, we could see a changing of the guard at numerous spots a cross the NFL for defensive backs. Many of these players you can buy cheap and enjoy serious return on investment. Lets take a look here at some of the best buy-low IDP defensive back targets.
Buy Low IDP DB Adrian Amos – Green Bay Packers
2020 Stats : 83 tackles (65 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 9 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 3 QB hits.
Adrian Amos is annually counted out as a fantasy asset and will be again after his rock solid 2020 campaign. Over his first two seasons with the Packers Amos has averaged 83.5 tackles, 8.5 passes defended and 2 interceptions per season. These number are good for a solid high end DB2. Amos has some excellent qualities manning the back end of the defense. First off, he strikes fear into anybody coming across the middle. Ask Cole Beasley how he felt after this hit:
Pay Adrian Amos all the money. pic.twitter.com/TiwmCyQYvu
— sadly cooper (@StillRyanFive) March 6, 2019
Here again you see the impact he has on opposing players’ thought process about heading in his direction. He lays down some serious heat on Jerrick McKinnon in this clip:
Adrian Amos monster hit on Jerick Mckinnon pic.twitter.com/9pQdY2KL7s
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2017
Obviously you can see that Amos is a firecracker on the back end of the defense. What is underestimated about Amos is his coverage and playmaking ability. As I mentioned earlier, over the past two seasons he has averaged 8.5 passes defended and 2 interceptions. Watch here how he does a terrific job undercutting the tight end’s route to make the interception:
Adrian Amos is a trained bear killer. pic.twitter.com/8D0mS2BWI3
— GBP Daily (@GBPdaily) January 4, 2021
In 2020 Amos was top 15 among safeties in passes defended as well as tackles. He also set career highs in 2020 in sacks and QB hits while matching his career highs in interceptions and passes defended while only missing his career high by one. You could probably land Amos for virtually nothing, probably a 4th or 5th round rookie pick. Amos will produce much higher than any rookie you will take in the 4th or 5th making him a great buy-low IDP defensive back.
Buy Low IDP DB Eric Rowe – Miami Dolphins
2020 Stats: 91 tackles (66 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 11 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 2 QB hits.
Eric Rowe is another case of not getting the respect that he deserves. Rowe seemed like a lost cause after failing as a cornerback both in Philadelphia and New England. Low and behold, Rowe looks like a great safety. The Dolphins were thin everywhere just two years and decided to take a chance on Rowe. He has provided to be reliable on the backside and his tackling and run defense are better than expected. Watch here as he does a great job reading Tom Brady and jumps to make the pick six:
Tom Brady PICKED OFF. 😳
Brady intercepted by his former teammate Eric Rowe for six!
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 29, 2019
This clip shows Rowe lining up all over, including in the box shooting gaps in run support:
Some Eric Rowe to start your morning pic.twitter.com/u2wJka7p8g
— Juan C 5RSN (@exclusvty) November 12, 2020
Rowe set career highs in tackles, passes defended, interceptions and QB hits in 2020 and is settling in to look like a mainstay with Miami. Most people still do not believe in Rowe and you can get him for pennies on the dollar.
Buy Low IDP DB Julian Blackmon – Indianapolis Colts
2020 Stats: 42 tackles (35 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 6 passes defended, 2 interceptions and a forced fumble.
Julian Blackmon came into the league as a highly decorated safety out of Utah in 2020. During his time with Utah he was a 2019 All-American, a 3 time All-PAC12 selection (twice as a cornerback and once as a safety) and was the MVP of The Heart of Dallas Bowl as a sophomore. The Colts drafted Blackmon mostly for depth for Malik Hooker and he was exactly that. Hooker went down with another season ending injury and Blackmon stepped in and showed fantastic cover skills. Watch here as Blackmon made a beautiful read on this route to make the interception:
JULIAN BLACKMON CALLED GAME!!
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) October 18, 2020
Blackmon is an excellent free safety and paired up with Khari Willis seemed to be a match made in heaven. Watch this play as Blackmon gets the pass deflection and Willis comes down with the interception:
Julian Blackmon +
Khari Willis =
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 20, 2020
Blackmon does not put up gaudy tackle numbers as a free safety but his ability to come up with pass deflections and force turnovers is almost at an elite level. There is also the possibility he is on your waiver wire. Blackmon was very good as a rookie and I think he will only get better in his year-two season making him a nice buy-low IDP defensive back.
Buy Low IDP DB Amani Hooker – Tennessee Titans
2020 Stats: 51 tackles (35 solo), 1 tackle for a loss, 8 passes defended and 4 interceptions.
Amani Hooker is a guy I am planting my flag on this year. I was a big fan of his coming out of Iowa where in his final collegiate season he was a second team All-American and first team All Big-10. Unfortunately for him he was drafted into a cloudy situation behind the likes of Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro. In his second year in the NFL though Hooker found himself on the field more in passing situations. He only saw the field on average 27.88% of snaps each game though he still produced 8 passes defended and four interceptions. In the following video, Hooker watches the eyes of the quarterback and plays the route perfectly for the pick:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 3, 2021
Here again you see his understanding of coverage concepts and he is able to stay with Odell Beckham Jr.:
Here is the safety. The #Titans are in Quarters which means Amani Hooker's responsibility is to read the No. 2 receiver on his side (in this case a TE). He's got him if he comes vertical but as soon as he sees he's staying in to block, he buzzes to bracket OBJ. Perfect execution. pic.twitter.com/8ZPV1qeOoO
— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) September 13, 2019
Kenny Vaccaro is signed with the Titans through 2022 though the Titans have outs in both 2021 (dead cap of $3,000,000) and 2022 (dead cap of $1,500,000). If the Titans need to shed cap and stay competitive Vaccaro is expendable especially with how well Hooker played last season. Hooker is likely still on the waiver wire and is a guy I am scooping up everywhere as a buy-low IDP candidate.
If you are looking for some buy-low candidates who may see larger roles or just players managers still do not believe in, look no further. Defensive backs are the cheapest to buy because of the depth at the position but all of these players hold at least DB2 upside while costing virtually nothing. All of these defensive back are great buy-low IDP options.
Take a look at my first article of this series, Buy Low Linebackers here. Be sure that you pre-order our rookie draft magazines which we load with fantastic player profiles and landing spot analysis. Be sure to tune in weekly to the IDP Update and listen to some player breakdowns!