2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker: Defensive Backs


We hope you enjoy this FREE article preview! In order to access our other articles and content, including livestreams, projections and rankings, stat analysis and more, be sure to sign up today. We are here to help you #ScoreMore Fantasy Points!

2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker: Defensive Backs

The Fantasy Points staff is covering every major skill player transaction from the 2023 off-season in our 2023 NFL Free Agency Tracker articles. We broke down all the important free agency signings and trades from a fantasy perspective in articles sorted by position. The articles are ordered by players changing teams ("New Homes") and by players sticking with their 2022 teams ("Staying Put"). The players are also ordered by their potential fantasy impact for the 2023 season in each section. Be sure to also check out Graham Barfield’s “Fantasy Fallout” pieces on the biggest transactions of the off-season.

We’ll also be constantly updating our Best Ball rankings if you’re looking to get an early start to draft season with our friends over at Underdog Fantasy (Promo code: FANTASYPTS). New signups to Underdog get both a deposit match of up to $100 and a Fantasy Points Standard subscription for just $5.

NOTE: Players are loosely ranked based on talent, age, plus previous and expected future fantasy relevance.

New Homes

Jalen Ramsey (Mia, 28) — Ramsey was traded to the Dolphins for a 3rd-round pick and TE Hunter Long.

Fantasy Points: Ramsey’s IDP value has waivered dramatically over his career, which is par for the course for cornerbacks. Moving to the “star” position - a CB/LB/S hybrid position - helped his tackle numbers. After hovering around 60+ tackles for most of his time in Jacksonville, Ramsey had 77 and 88 tackles over his last two seasons in his new role. That said, it’s hard to imagine his new DC Vic Fangio using him the same way. CBs do OK in Fangio’s schemes, but it’s not likely Ramsey will be a top-25 DB in Miami. The path to IDP relevance is paved with diminished coverage skills (which was the case in 2022) and Fangio’s use of disguises to put Ramsey in better positions for takeaways and big plays. Both are possible but hard to bet on.

Julian Love (Sea, 25) — Love heads to Seattle on a 2-year/$12 Million deal.

Fantasy Points: This could be the best low-key IDP move of the offseason. Love flourished last season, racking up 124 tackles on a Giants team with LB problems. Love was used in the box a ton and played clean-up often. He’ll move to a similar situation in Seattle, as Cody Barton is gone and Jordyn Brooks was exposed in coverage last season. We don’t know how they’ll use Love in Seattle — DBs are by far the most inconsistent producers in IDP due to how DCs constantly shift their roles — but if he reprises his hybrid LB role, he could push for DB1 status for the second year in a row.

Jessie Bates III (Atl, 26) — Bates finds a safety-needy suitor in Atlanta, signing a 4-year/$64 Million contract.

Fantasy Points: Bates has seen his tackle production plummet over the past two seasons. After hitting triple-digit tackles in each of his first three seasons with the Bengals, Bates had 88 in 2021 and 71 in 2022. This was mostly due to a change in defensive scheme (and better tackling in front of him). He’ll move to a similarly-mediocre scheme in Atlanta, so we’re not expecting Bates to move back into DB1 territory.

Others Changing Teams

None of note.

Staying Put

Donovan Wilson (Dal, 27) — Dallas re-signs Wilson with a 3-year/$21 Million deal.

Fantasy Points: DC Dan Quinn is keeping the band together, retaining both Wilson and Leighton Vander Esch. Wilson finished with 101 tackles as an S/LB hybrid player in Dallas. I think he got a little unlucky with tackles last season. He could be a legit DB1 next season.

Jordan Poyer (Buf, 32) — Poyer re-signs with Buffalo thanks to a 1-year/$12.5 Million deal.

Fantasy Points: Such a no-brainer here. Buffalo’s defense relies heavily on Poyer’s football IQ and athleticism. The latter has slipped a bit — injuries and age caused him to post just 63 tackles after five straight years on 90+ tackles — but he’s still a crucial piece of the back of this defense. With the Bills still firmly inside their Super Bowl window, keeping their defensive captain after letting MLB Tremaine Edmunds go was a necessary move. Let’s see if he can bounce back and a DB2/DB3.

Others Staying Put

None of note.

Justin has been holding down the IDP fort for John Hansen and the crew since 2015. In addition to projections and articles, he also hosts an all-IDP podcast called “The IDP Corner,” where he is joined by his fellow FantasyPoints IDP contributor Thomas Simons, along with other special guests.