Who would have guessed at the beginning of the season that Terrell Thomas, Mike Brown or Jordan Babineaux would finish in the top 10? No one, that's who.
Maybe a few of us saw Tyvon Branch or Dashon Goldson coming. Maybe.
Don't get too attached to any of them. It's always easy to replace the DBs you keep or draft with better ones off the waiver wire. In the four IDP leagues I'm in where there's no cost to replace players, every single DB save one on my teams at season's end were picked up off the waiver wire during the year.
Even the one exception who stayed on my roster wire to wire was a waiver wire product from last year.
The nice aspect of this situation is that impatient dynasty owners will drop a stud at any time if they feel they can chase some points. Always be monitoring your waiver wire for top DBs who have hit a patch of bad luck.
Tier 1 - The only guys I truly believe in
1. Eric Weddle, 25, Chargers - Unless he gets injured, Weddle simply does not have off games. He's good for at least five tackles a game, which is pure money in IDP leagues.
2. Oshiomogho Atogwe, 29, Rams - Until he missed the last four games due to injury, Atogwe was on track for yet another season of about 70 solo tackles and five or more interceptions.
3. Roman Harper, 27, Saints - Harper just keeps getting a little better every year. If the Saints can keep all their DBs healthy next season, he could break 90 solo tackles.
Tier 2 - OK, these guys are pretty good too
4. Bernard Pollard, 25, Texans - Pollard misses the top tier, and probably the top spot, only because the Texans' defense is still being built. Still, odds are very high that Houston has found their run stopping tackle machine for the next several years.
5. Louis Delmas, 23, Lions - Delmas represents everything that is right and true about the game of football. According to his Wikipedia page, he is only the second player ever to have scored a safety, a fumble return touchdown and an interception return touchdown in the same season. And he's still pretty raw.
6. Yeremiah Bell, 32, Dolphins - Gibril who? Bell has two seasons in a row of more than 90 solo tackles.
7. Charles Tillman, 29, Bears - Tillman has averaged a little over 5.5 tackles a game for seven years running. He could keep this up for another seven years.
8. Antoine Bethea, 26, Colts - He's topped 70 solo tackles for two years running now. He's only a liability if you are in a league with a 17-week regular season.
9. Tyvon Branch, 23, Raiders - Again, who is this Gibril fellow people were talking about? The only reason why Branch isn't in the top tier is the development of Mike Mitchell right behind him on the bench.
10. Dashon Goldson, 25, 49ers - Goldson came out of nowhere to record 77 solos, four interceptions and three sacks. He wilted a little towards the end of the season, but his big plays make up for those three=tackle games.
11. Charles Woodson, 33, Packers - Yes I did start Woodson on multiple teams for every one of his three monster games this season. That felt great. Only problem is I also started him in every one of his five games where all he got was one to three tackles.
12. Richard Marshall, 25, Panthers - Marshall disappointed those who had extremely high expectations of his first year as a starting cornerback. But he closed the season very strong and should be able to string together a few more dominant games next season.
Tier 3 - Talent and job security
13. Brian Dawkins, 36, Broncos - Dawkins didn't suffer one bit moving from Philadelphia to Denver. He probably still has one or two more solid years left in him.
14. Troy Polamalu, 29, Steelers - The Madden Curse is laying down on the job. His nagging injuries which kept Polamalu off the field most of this season should not linger into training camp.
15. Bryan Scott, 29, Bills - The Bills can't be so snakebitten with injuries two years in a row. Scott came out of the gate fast in 2009 and showed me enough then to make me believe he can rack up tackles and add the occasional big play most consistently if allowed to stay at his natural position all the time.
16. Jordan Babineaux, 28, Seahawks - After a few years of being decent waiver wire material, Babineaux started looking like a dominant DB1 in the last half of the season. The fact that he had already shown solid improvement in the first half of last season indicates he may well keep getting better.
17. Antoine Winfield, 33, Vikings - I have a little less faith that Winfield's body will hold up, but when he plays a full season he is good for 80 solo tackles and four or five big plays.
18. Erik Coleman, 28, Falcons - Here's another guy who will get you another boringly consistent 80 solos a year. I like how he didn't lose tackles to Curtis Lofton this year.
19. Donte Whitner, 25, Bills - Like Scott, Whitner also started out the season as a top five DB until he was injured. If two safeties from the same team can be top 10 DBs next year, it will be these two guys.
20. Darrelle Revis, 25, Jets - All season I asked myself, why do people keep throwing towards Revis? And yet they do. Unlike other true shutdown corners, Revis maintains some decent fantasy value.
21. Bob Sanders, 29, Colts - I have to include him here because of his talent, although I despair of him ever playing a full 16 games.
Tier 4 - High risk, high reward
22. Darren Sharper, 34, Saints - Note that the last time Sharper had more than four interceptions was 2005. He's probably only good for at most 60 solo tackles a year.
23. Mike Brown, 32, Chiefs - This ranking is only in deference to his top 10 showing this year. Like Sanders, don't expect he'll be available every game you'll need him.
24. Kenny Phillips, 23, Giants - We have no guarantee Phillips will be able to play again after damaging his knees so much. Coach Tom Coughlin claims Phillips is on schedule with his recovery. I'm pulling for him because he has the potential to be a truly special player.
25. Tanard Jackson, 25, Bucs - I'm picking Jackson to keep this job over Jermaine Phillips, even though Phillips' broken thumb is healed. Healed enough, apparently, to get arrested for trying to choke his wife earlier this month. Jackson's partial season stats translates into 75 solo tackles, and he still has room to grow.
26. LaRon Landry, 25, Redskins - I turned my back on Landry after expecting too much of him as a rookie. But he's back on my radar after a 77 solo tackle-campaign. It may just take another year for him to fulfill his potential.
Tier 5 - Slightly overhyped
27. Adrian Wilson, 30, Cardinals - Wilson had a couple of incredible seasons not too long ago, so we know what he is capable of. It's more likely he's leveled out at 60 solos and seven to 10 big plays a year.
28. Dawan Landry, 27, Ravens - Will Landry match his season totals of 69 solos and four interceptions again? I don't know that he can do much better.
29. Brandon Meriweather, 26, Patriots - Meriweather did close the season strong, but I expected so much more from him this year.
30. Cortland Finnegan, 26, Titans - If you could add the 79 solos Finnegan had in 2007 to the five interceptions he had in 2008 and 2009, you'd have a pretty fantasy option.
31. Chris Hope, 29, Titans - While his other teammates in the Titans secondary get drafted higher, Hope consistently produces enough tackles to carry you between his interceptions. The truth is Hope is slightly underhyped, but shouldn't be rated any lower.
32. Antrel Rolle, 27, Cardinals - While Rolle added interceptions to his game this year and thus began to justify his hype, he's still not worth the $8.1 million the Cardinals are slated to pay him for 2010. Bill Bidwell scoffs at your uncapped year.
Tier 6 - The Bills have too many good safeties
33. Jairus Byrd, 23, Bills - If Byrd can get some tackle numbers to go with his league-leading nine interceptions, you will want to have him on your team.
34. George Wilson, 29, Bills - With Whitner and Scott going back into the starting lineup, Wilson is a great trade candidate. At least I hope so. I'd hate to see so much talent stuck on Buffalo's bench.
Tier 7 - Definitely overhyped
35. Terrell Thomas, 25, Giants - Thomas is the supreme bad coverage, high tackling cornerback in the league. Guys like that don't keep starting jobs for long.
36. Danieal Manning, 28, Bears - This goes for safeties who can't cover as well.
37. Cedric Griffin, 27, Vikings - The thrill is gone with Griffin now that he did not register over 80 solo tackles for a third straight season.
38. Nick Harper, 35, Titans - You have to like Harper's three games with nine solos after returning from shoulder woes in Week 11. But Harper is a free agent and I'm not convinced the Titans want to keep him.
39. Quintin Mikell, 29, Eagles - Mikell suffers from being surrounded by too much talent. But he is probably good for another 70 solo tackles in 2010.
40. Michael Lewis, 30, 49ers - Goldson's emergence did not take away from Lewis' stats. He'll keep racking up the tackles for you, just don't expect him to do anything that will make you stand up and cheer.