In today’s world we like to look more at the offensive stats, as fantasy football generally will lead us in that direction. However, here lies all defensive stats for all defensive players no matter what position. Starting with the tabs on top you can drop down to see different years and also narrow down to a team if you want to see a select group of players. Starting from left to right you are going to see a player’s overall rating which is broken down by a formula based on player stats. Each position has a unique formula which adjusts for the importance of stats.
The stat table is going to look the same for any position on the defensive side, because they all accumulate the same stats. Of course some are going to accumulate more than others. Starting from the left you see how many games a player has played, which simply just means how many games they have appeared in and generated at least one snap. Next is tackles, which is broken down into total, solo, and assisted tackles. Total tackles will be both of those added up to help you see who is all over the field making plays. Getting tackles for loss is a big deal for a defender, as you want to see who is getting pressure in the backfield. That also comes with sacks, sack yards, and quarterback hits.
For cornerbacks we are going to get into pass deflections and interceptions. You will also see what players have scored interception return touchdowns and also their overall return yards on their return. The same goes for fumbles and fumble recoveries. In the dropdown you can select snaps and fantasy, which those will take you to a new table to Snaps are going to showcase how often a defensive player is on the field. It is also going to show you if they are getting special teams snaps as well. Under the fantasy dropdown you will see fantasy scoring based on site. IDP fantasy is alive and well, and you can dive into see who is leading the way in fantasy scoring.
What Stats Matter For Each Defensive Position
We generally think of the defense as three levels, you have the defensive line, linebackers, and the secondary. All three levels are going to vary in stats, because cornerbacks are never going to accumulate the same amount of tackles as a linebacker, while a defensive end is never going to have the same amount of pass deflections as a cornerback. If you are looking to see what stats tie into which position the most and what you should be looking out for, you have come to the right place.
Starting with defensive lineman and edge rushers, you are going to want to see stats that focus on putting pressure on the quarterback. Of course sacks are going to be the easy standout stat, where you can see what lineman is getting the most sacks. Sack yards are going to show how far back they are driving the offense as a result. A defender can still have an impact without recording a sack. That is why quarterback hits is shown as well as tackles for loss, where a defender can also record that on running plays as well. Now tackles are something to look at overall, but defensive lineman and edge rushers generally are not going to rack up a ton, but will find themselves around 50-60 depending on how often they play.
Linebackers are going to be looked at to provide across the board in terms of stats. They have a dynamic role these days where they have to be able to put pressure on the quarterback, play pass defense, and also stuff the opposing team’s run game. There is a lot going on and linebackers all have different roles. Linebackers are going to be the position that generates the most tackles. While looking through different linebackers you might see some with more sacks and tackles for loss while others have more interceptions and pass deflections. That is because they can be used in different ways.
Secondary players which are safeties and cornerbacks are going to have more pedestrian stat lines when it comes to the other positions. They are not relied upon to make as many tackles, and turnover stats are hit and miss. Some secondary players will play close to the line and be more involved in the run defense. You also have secondary players who look to create turnovers, which leave them a bit vulnerable at times. Pass deflections and interceptions can be a bit misleading when it comes to how good a cornerback or safety is. Just because they rank low in those stats could mean they just are not seeing a ton of volume thrown their way as they shut down that side of the field.
You might be wondering why I haven’t referenced turnover stats. They are extremely fluky, and are not going to be consistent. They also don’t give a great indicator as to how good a player is. Now of course some players are involved more in forcing turnovers and we know how to key in on them because they are consistent each year but also have the other stats to back it up.
Best Defensive Players
Aaron Donald has been the best defensive player over the last few seasons, as he plays defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams. He has put together a 20+ sack season already, but even when the stats are not there he is drawing double teams from the opposing team and helping the door open for others on the team. There are quite a few strong defensive tackles in the game, but we can shift towards the end with names like Cameron Jordan, the Bosa Brothers, TJ Watt, and Danielle Hunter. Having a pass rusher creating havoc in the backfield is always going to make a defense better, and these names here are the best at doing that. We often see names come in and out of the sack column each year, as Shaquil Barrett this past season led the league in sacks. This was a bit of a surprise, but he was also a big part of the Tampa Bay revamped front seven.
The Seattle Seahawks have an excellent linebacking crew, and it starts with Bobby Wagner. He has been an elite tackle machine over the last few seasons, and is often going to be wherever the ball is. His teammate KJ Wright is another one who has been a strong tackle machine and is also very good in coverage. Having those linebackers that are versatile can certainly help out the defense overall. Cory Littleton moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but he is a very underrated linebacker and also a great IDP play in fantasy. Lavonte David continues to put up big numbers and is coming off a strong season where he had over 100 tackles. Deion Jones of the Atlanta Falcons is one of the big time playmakers in the middle, and the same goes for Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts. Leonard was a second round pick and the Colts have their stud in the middle of the defense.
You need some shut down cornerbacks on your team in this day and age. There are a few of them in the league like Stephon Gilmore and Tre’Davious White. Both of them playing in the AFC East, good luck to those opposing quarterbacks who have to try and navigate a passing attack against them. Minkah Fitzpatrick getting out of Miami was big for him and big for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chris Harris and Casey Hayward now create one of the top secondaries in Los Angeles. With Derwin James also playing behind them at safety, this secondary is now up to the top five. Speaking of safeties, Harrison Smith and Jamal Adams are two of the top in the game. We also have a lot of rookies incoming that could be showing up in this section very soon.
Defensive Player Stats FAQ
What Player Had The Most Tackles?
Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks led all defensive players in tackles. He had 158 total tackles. 88 of them came solo and 70 of them came assisted. Wagner is considered one of the best inside linebackers in football today.
What Player Had The Most Interceptions?
Anthony Harris of the Minnesota Vikings, Stephon Gilmore of New England Patriots, and Tre’Davious White of the Buffalo Bills both had a total of six interceptions which led all defensive players in 2019. Several players tied for runner up with five.
What Player Had The Most Forced Fumbles?
TJ Watt is one of the premier defensive players in today’s game. The Pittsburgh Steeler had eight forced fumbles in 2019, which led all defensive players. Watt also had four fumble recoveries of his own. He also tacked on 14.5 sacks to a complete 2019 season.
What Player Had The Most Tackles For Loss?
Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came out of nowhere in 2019 with 22.5 tackles for loss. He had a total of 19 sacks, and was one of the top pass rushers in all of 2019. Barrett had failed to top ten tackles for loss in prior seasons.
What Player Had The Most Fumble Recoveries?
Recovering fumbles is all about being in the right place at the wrong time, and Vonn Bell of the New Orleans Saints had five fumble recoveries in 2019, which led all defensive players. Four defensive players tied for runner up with four fumble recoveries.
What Player Had The Most Defensive Touchdowns?
Marcus Peters led all defensive players in 2019 with three total touchdowns. He had three interceptions returned for touchdowns. Peters played with two teams as he was on the Los Angeles Rams and then was traded to the Baltimore Ravens.