Fantasy Football Defensive Backs (DB)

Fantasy Football Defensive Back

What is DB in Fantasy Football?

A defensive back (DB) is a player who plays in the secondary of a defense. This includes both cornerbacks and safeties. Most NFL teams play two safeties and two cornerbacks on the field at a time. Defensive backs are typically only used in fantasy football leagues that use an IDP scoring system.

Different Defensive Backs in Football


There are two safeties on a football team, the free safety and the strong safety. Strong safeties play on the strong side of the field, which is the side the tight end is lined up on; they have good tackling skills and can rush the passer. Free safeties are better in pass coverage; they read the quarterback's eyes to try and break up a pass, and are positioned on the weak side of the field.


Cornerbacks cover the offense’s wide receivers. They try to break up passes or intercept the quarterback before any significant yardage can be achieved. A cornerback needs to be fast and strong so that they can stay with a receiver one-on-one.

How to Draft Defensive Backs

Cornerbacks offer very little fantasy value outside of interceptions. Cornerbacks make pretty much the entirety of their points from interceptions, which is not a good thing in IDP leagues. Tackles are far more valuable, and the picks are too far in between.

It is easy to get caught up taking a big-name cornerback, but that is not a smart decision. The best cornerbacks tend not to get the ball thrown their way. With that comes fewer counting stats like interceptions, passes defended, and tackles. You’ll want to look at a player’s stats before getting swept up in the bias of a big name.

A better choice is to pick a safety, more specifically, a strong safety. Strong safeties get the most tackles on average, but there are some elite free safeties that are strong fantasy plays. Safeties are the second-best position in defender leagues behind linebackers, and the best safeties are actually as good as many linebackers.

Defensive Back Scoring

Since most of a cornerback’s scoring comes from interceptions, they are a high-risk, high-reward fantasy option. The chances of an interception occurring are rare, but they are so valuable if they do happen.

Safeties are much more versatile, racking up points in tackles, sacks, interceptions, fumbles, and passes defended. Safeties earn their points in more ways than cornerbacks, typically making them a more appealing fantasy option.

Point values for IDP leagues can vary by platform and commissioner. Below is an example chart showing the possible point values for defensive players in fantasy football. All defenders can earn points for the same things, but we’ve narrowed down the most common scoring actions for each position to make things easier.

ActionPoint value
Solo Tackle1
Assisted Tackle.5
Forced fumble2
Fumble recovery2
Defensive Touchdown6
Pass defended1


What is a DB in fantasy football?

In fantasy football, DB stands for defensive back. Besides being very valuable players on a fantasy team’s roster, defensive backs are divided into two categories: safeties and cornerbacks. Each subtype of defensive back has their own advantages and scoring opportunities, so it’s important to learn about each one before drafting.

What does a DB do in fantasy football?

In fantasy football, a defensive back tries to stop passes and interrupt quarterbacks and running backs from running the ball. There are three different positions within the DB position: free safeties, strong safeties, cornerbacks. Each of these three have specific qualities and responsibilities unique to their position.

How do defensive backs score points in fantasy football?

In fantasy football leagues using Individual Defensive Player (IDP) scoring, defensive backs score points primarily by defending passes, making tackles and sacks, forcing and recovering fumbles, and intercepting passes. Defensive backs can also score points for making a defensive touchdown. However, the most common ways that defensive backs rack up points is through tackles and successful pass defenses.