Top 10 Dynasty Safetys in the 2021 Offseason
The keys to a successful fantasy football draft are choosing the right sleepers, avoiding the busts, and selecting the rookies who are best positioned to make an immediate impact for their teams. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? If only! But don’t worry, we at RotoHeat are here to help you get it done.
By now you have seen a number of our Top 10 articles and well, we couldn’t leave IDP out of the fun, now could we? Here are my top 10 dynasty safeties in the 2021 offseason.
**Please note: Rankings per year referenced are based on the scoring discussed here.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #1: Budda Baker – Arizona Cardinals
Budda just turned 25 years old, plays in a division that all have potent offenses, and has played in at least 14 games each of his first four years. He signed a four year extension at the start of the 2020 season, so he should be with Arizona through the end of the 2024 season at least. For the 2018-2020 seasons, Budda was the #7, #2 and #1 IDP safety. He also has surpassed 100 total tackles for the past three years. He has not been a big play guy (5.5 sacks, 2 INT, 5 FF, 4 FR and 20 PD over four years) throughout his career, but he is consistent and gets you a ton of tackles, which I love.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #2: Jamal Adams – Seattle Seahawks
If you have Adams as your #1 safety I don’t have an issue with that, as it is close. Turning 26 in October, Adams is more a big play guy that Baker, so if your league is more big play heavy, it would make sense to switch these two. For the 2018-2020 seasons, Jamal was the #1, #3 and #5 safety. The past three years he has had 115, 75 and 83 total tackles, but as stated, big plays are where he eats. In four seasons he has 2 INT, 7 FF, 4 FR, 28 PD and 21.5 sacks (including 9.5 with Seattle in 2020).
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #3: Keanu Neal – Atlanta Falcons
2020 will see Keanu turn 26, and he has had 3 great seasons and 2 ruined by injury. In 2016, 2017, and 2020 he averaged 77 solos, 30 assists, 5 TFL, 1.33 FR, 2.67 FF, 5.33 PD and almost an INT a season, in 15 games per season. In 2018 and 2019, however, he played a total of 4 games due to inquiry; he tore is left ACL in 2018 and only played in 1 game, and in 2019 he played in 3 games before tearing his left Achilles tendon.
Now, I do have some concern that both of these injuries were to the left leg, but as they are not of the same nature I have less concern than if it was two issues to the same knee. Neal was the #9 safety in 2020 after missing essentially two whole years. Assuming no more major injuries, he has top safety potential going forward.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #4: Jordan Poyer – Buffalo Bills
Poyer has a special place in my heart as one of my best IDP finds. A 7th round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Poyer had an inauspicious first three years in the league with Philadelphia and Cleveland. 2017 saw the Buffalo Bills hire head coach Sean McDermott, who must have seen something he liked, as they signed Poyer and he’s been nothing short of outstanding since then.
In four seasons in Buffalo, he has averaged 74.5 solos, 32 assists, 1.75 sacks, 5.25 TFL, 3.25 INT, 1.5 FF, and 1.25 FR. He has only missed 1 regular season game since the start of the 2017 season. For the 2018-2020 seasons, he was our #2, #4 and #2 safety. Turning 30 in the NFL isn’t what it used to be, but if he was a few years younger he’d be my #1 safety; I wouldn’t take issue if someone had him there anyway.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #5: Jabrill Peppers – New York Giants
Peppers was our #21 safety for 2018, #19 in 2019 and #8 in 2020. His first two years (2017 and 2018) were in Cleveland and they just couldn’t seem to figure out how to use him. 2019 was a shortened season for him, but he played great when he played. 2020 saw him play in 15 games (starting 14) with 57 solos, 34 assists, 8 TFL, 11 PD, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF and 1 FR.
The one concern with Jabrill is durability, as his four seasons he has played in resulted in 13, 16, 11 and 15 games, and he always seems to be dinged up. Add in the fact that he is a free agent after this year, and he has more uncertainty than I’d prefer here. His talent does shine through when he plays, however, and he’s done great even in his abbreviated seasons; he just oozes upside for a guy that seems to fly under the radar each year.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #6: Justin Simmons – Denver Broncos
As a rookie who started 3 games in 2016, Simmons had an ok 2017 season, starting all 13 games for Denver. A change to strong safety in 2018 served him well and he ended up as the #18 safety overall that year. He has kept improving and was #12 in 2019 and #7 in 2020. In 2020, he ended with 77 solos, 19 assists, 3 TFL, 9 PD and 1 FR.
Simmons won’t be 28 until November 2021, so he still has time to continue to improve, but if nothing else, he has been a steady presence these past few years in Denver. With the Denver defense (and team as a whole it seems) rebuilding in a division full of powerful offenses, Simmons is a great safety to add to your squad.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #7: Jessie Bates – Cincinnati Bengals
The #17 safety in 2018, #15 in 2019 and #6 in 2020, Bates has played well since being a second round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In 2020, he had a 99.06% snap share, and ended with 78 solos, 31 assists, 2 TFL, 3 INT, 1 FF and 15 PD. He has also not missed a game in his NFL career.
The Bengals defense leaves a lot to be desired, but beyond protecting Joe Burrow, improving that defense is key for the Bengals moving forward. Better play in front of him (along with an improved offense) will get Jessie more opportunities going forward. Shawn Williams is a free agent, so it looks like it will be Bates and Vonn Bell at safety for the Bengals for the near future.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #8: Antoine Winfield Jr – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Full disclosure: Winfield was my favorite rookie safety coming into the 2020 season, and clearly of that group he remains there. He ended the season tied as the #25 safety and a Super Bowl champion. He had 64 solos, 30 assists, 1 TFL, 2 sacks, 6 PD 1 INT, 2 FF and 1 FR on a whopping 97.27% snap share.
To put that into perspective, that is the highest snap share in the Tampa Bay defensive backfield by over 10%, and 2nd on the defense, behind only Lavonte David’s 99.34% (stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference). Simply put, he played great for a rookie, and I only see him improving. He has the instincts, awareness and attitude to match up for any perceived size issues (as some in the community have).
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #9: Jeremy Chinn – Carolina Panthers
Jeremy Chinn had a dream season for a fantasy football rookie, as a guy who played great behind a suspect defense. He was the #3 safety with 68 solos, 49 assists, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 5 PD, 1 INT, 2 FF, 2 FR and 2 TDs on a 91.31% defensive snap share. I do want to note that 7 solos, 6 assists, 1 FF, 2 FR and 2 TDs all came in the same Week 12 game against Minnesota.
Chinn had a better rookie season statistically and fantasy points-wise than Winfield, but Chinn played a lot of a hybrid Safety/Linebacker role due to the play of linebackers ahead of him and injuries. I expect to see less of that going forward, and if the alternative means he moves to linebacker, he won’t be on this list. Regardless, for a rookie he had a great season and I see more greatness moving forward for him.
Top 10 Dynasty Safetys #10: John Johnson III – Los Angeles Rams
Johnson was the #29 safety in a weird 2020 season, as he came back from a shoulder injury that shortened his 2019 season to just 6 games. Outside of 2019 though, he played in 16 games each of his other 3 seasons. In 2018 (his second year in the league), he was the #4 safety and was second in tackles for safeties.
Call me a dreamer, but I am of the belief that the Rams offense will be more high scoring with Stafford over Goff, which will lead to more shootouts and scoring opportunities of John. He will only be 25 this season, and I think he will make the step up we were all hoping for after his 2018 season.
Thank you for reading Top 10 Dynasty Safetys in the 2021 Offseason
We will have more of our Top 10 per position in the 2021 offseason coming up. You can catch all our video content on YouTube. Be sure to subscribe and click the notification bell to ensure that you don’t miss any of our other great content! We have free rankings of all kinds over at RotoHeat.com, and make sure to check out our 2021 Rookie Draft Guide! If you really want something to do after that, you can find me on Twitter.