2013 Season Review: Cornerbacks

Richard Sherman

This week we move onto Cornerbacks, who are pretty undervalued in Fantasy. Whilst Cornerbacks gernerally score fewer points than other positions, in the Big Play Scoring that we use, they can offer up some big weeks with INTs and especially if they can return it for a TD in the process. The baseline for Cornerbacks has to be tackles though, as it’s the only statistic we can project to some extent – there’s no use having a Cornerback who gets 5 INTs in a season if he only averages 2 tackles per game. Here is a review of last years best and worst at the Cornerback position in fantasy.

Top 5s:

DeAngelo Hall, WAS 148.50 points

Richard Sherman, SEA 138.50 points

Tramon Williams, GB 136.50 points

Corey Graham, BAL 135.0 points

Brandon Boykin PHI 131.50 points

Almost made it: Captain Munnerlyn (CAR), Josh Wilson (WAS), Tim Jennings (CHI)

 

#

Name

T

TFL

As

Hit

Sck

FF(R)

PD

INT

TD

FPT

FPPG

1

DeAngelo Hall

57

1

21

0

0

3(1)

13

4

3

148.5

9.3

2

Richard Sherman

38

0

11

1

0

0

16

8

1

138.5

8.7

3

Tramon Williams

61

4

22

3

2.5

2(2)

11

3

0

136.5

8.5

4

Corey Graham

56

5

18

1

1

1

12

4

0

135

8.4

5

Brandon Boykin

42

0

5

2

0

2

17

6

1

131.5

8.2

6

Captain Munnerlyn

48

4

25

2

3

1(1)

12

2

2

128.5

8

7

Josh Wilson

68

5

24

3

2

2(2)

7

1

0

128

8

8

Tim Jennings

48

0

8

0

0

2(1)

13

4

2

124

7.8

9

Alterraun Verner

49

0

8

0

0

0(2)

23

5

1

124

7.8

10

Tracy Porter

53

5

13

2

1.5

0

13

2

1

120

7.5

Stats Breakdown:

T: Tackle, TFL: Tackle For Loss, As: Assisted tackle, Hit: Hit on the QB, Sck: Sacked the QB, FF(R): Forced Fumbles (Recovered), PD: Pass Defended, INT:  Interceptions, TD: Any defensive touchdown, FPT: Fantasy Points in Total, FPPG: Fantasy Points per Game (On Average)

No stand-out performer this year, but as usual lots of depth at CB. Corner is really a position that you cannot turn real NFL quality into fantasy value – the best CBs shut down the opponent and get few stats at all. That’s why you won’t see Revis or Rodgers-Cromartie up here. However you will notice that most players listed here are by virtue of tackles, though all have interceptions. Tackles are a stat you need in CBs to have that base value, because every year a few ball-hawks turn up with 6+ INTs and we never hear from them again. Solid CBs here would be Williams, Graham and Porter, as they have a nice spread of tackles, PDs and INTs. Saying that, Richard Sherman is an undoubted stud at the position – he isn’t like Revis in that he shuts down a player or one side of the field, he attacks the ball and makes plays whenever they are thrown near him, though his prowess at cornerback makes me wonder if he has long-term value at the position Another CB stud is DeAngelo Hall, who has been a top 6 CB for the last 3 years. Hall has great all round play and is a seriously underrated CB in the NFL, let alone fantasy. Finally, Jennings is a player who has been in the top 10 before (finished 3rd last year), showing rare consistency for this position.

Disappointments:

It’s really tough to call any player a disappointment as the depth at CB means a poor season from one of your CBs wouldn’t derail your championship gallop, but Cortland Finnegan is a CB I would have recommended last year, as he gets an outstanding number of tackles each year for a CB, however this year he was hurt for a lot of the time, and his numbers suffered also. Finnegan averaged just 4.9 pts per game this season and will certainly want an improvement next year. Jason McCourty also had a down year, but without the excuse of injuries. McCourty was my CB2 last year but he finished in 50th come the end of the season. This was not down to McCourty’s poor play, just a lack of opportunities as the balls did not get thrown his way. McCourty also failed to grab an Interception, which really hurt his final score (2 INTs would move him from 50th to 20th) Clearly his teammate Alterraun Verner benefitted. Patrick Peterson is another player who fell short of my predictions, though he had a pair of TDs on his way to scoring just 80 total points. Peterson had just 42 total tackles on the season, which is too low to build any fantasy value. Before you start hating on these guys and labelling them as busts, remember that the spread of points at CB is such, that the 50th best CB isn’t so much worse than the 20th best.

Patrick Peterson

Patrick Peterson had a down year after initial promise – photo from Wikipedia.org

Overachievers:

Corey Graham and Brandon Boykin exceeded their expecations this year, finishing 4th and 5th respectively. No doubt that their INTs (4, 6) helped them to a top 5 berth, but they also got plenty of PDs, which may only be worth a single point, but can be a vital indicator as to their ability to make plays and get to the ball before their WR. You can see how a high number of PDs translates to INT numbers on the stat list above, and Boykin’s 17 PDs is excellent. I don’t believe either of these CBs are elite in NFL terms, which makes their fantasy value more retainable. Nobody will be saying ‘don’t throw near Boykin’ this coming season, so expect a top 20 finish from both of them once more.

Summary:

Cornerback is not going to win or lose you games in fantasy unless you get extremely lucky. It’s difficult to find trends in CBs as very few players are truly elite in fantasy – not many stay in the top 10 for more than a year. The trick is to predict which players will get those opportunities to make plays, and which ones have the ability to turn an increase in looks to an increase in tackles, PDs and of course INTs.

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Find Matt on Twitter @FFMattLane or leave comments on the article below!

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