Connect with us

Defensive Position Rankings

“James Addiction” Fantasy Football 2016 Defensive Tackle Rankings

IDP leagues have grown more popular over the last several years. While some leagues only have a position or two dedicated to “Defensive Player” other leagues have dedicated positions along the Defensive Line, Linebackers and Secondary. Some leagues take it a step farther and even separate Defensive Tackle from Defensive End and Corner from Safety. Below are my Defensive Tackle rankings for 2016.


  1. Aaron Donald (Rams) – Donald was possibly the best defensive player in the NFL over the 2015 season. He dominated from the DT position even though DE’s Chris Long and Robert Quinn struggled with sub par play due to age or health. If Robert Quinn can return to 2013 form there will be a large gap between Aaron Donald and the next best DT. Look for Donald to be in the 70 tackle and 15 sack range.fletcher-cox
  2. Fletcher Cox (Eagles) – Fletcher Cox was the only DT near Aaron Donald in Fantasy Points in 2015. The move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 Defense should be beneficial to Cox in 2016. Cox has put up 62 and 71 tackles over the last two seasons and his sacks jumped from 4 to 9.5 this past season. Look for his tackle numbers to be in the high 70’s and his sacks to once again approach double digits.
  3. Kawann Short (Panthers) – Short nearly doubled his production from 2014 to 2015. His tackle numbers increased from 40 to 55 and his sacks from 3.5 to 11. The Panthers don’t possess strong DE’s so Short could see extra attention this coming season. I look for his tackle numbers to remain around 50, but for his sack total to take a hit this season.
  4. Ndamukong Suh (Dolphins) – Suh was a disappointment at times last season in Miami, but his stats were very similar to the stats he put up the last couple of seasons in Detroit. Cam Wake is coming off an Achilles injury and Mario Williams is coming off possibly his worst season, in Buffalo. If Wake and Williams can return to previous form Suh could make a slight jump up the DT list. If not he should once again have around 50 tackles and 6 to 9 sacks.
  5.  Malik Jackson (Jaguars) – Jackson comes to the Jaguars after having been a part of the Super Bowl winning Denver Broncos last season. He is coming from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. I have Jackson ranked higher than most, but I think he will thrive in the 4-3. With the extra big bodies up front to help along the line, look for both Jackson’s tackle and sack numbers to take a jump (46 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2015).
  6. Geno Atkins (Bengals) – Atkins, after two injury filled seasons, had his second best statistical season in 2015.  His 11 sacks and 31 solo tackles were the most he’d had since his 12.5 sacks and 38 solo tackles in 2012. His low tackles numbers make him a sack dependent DT option, but if healthy he should be a safe bet for double digit tackles.
  7. Gerald McCoy (Buccaneers) – McCoy, when healthy puts up decent Fantasy stats. He’s never been a high tackle guy, but usually approaches double digits sacks. 35 tackles and 8 sacks are his average and he should be in that range once again this year.
  8. Linval Joseph (Vikings) – Joseph had 56 tackles last season through 12 games before an injury held him out the rest of the season. However in the same 12 game stretch he had only a half of a sack.  His high tackle numbers keep him relevant, but his upside is limited at 3 to 4 sacks.
  9. Cedric Thornton (Cowboys) – Thornton comes to Dallas via free agency from Philadelphia. He is also not a high sack guy, in fact he has only 1 sack in each of his four years in the NFL. He is capable of being a high tackle guy though. In Dallas he will have plenty of opportunity with all of the team’s troubles along the line. I think 60 tackles and 3 sacks is a reasonable stat line for Thornton.malcolm brown
  10. Malcolm Brown (Patriots) – Brown, if he continues to improve after a good rookie season, will be higher on this list next season. In his rookie campaign Brown totaled 48 tackles and 3 sacks. I look for his numbers to slightly improve this season, 50 tackles and 5 sacks.
  11. Marcell Dareus (Bills) – Marcell Dareus’ stats took a tumble in 2015, perhaps his worst season in Fantasy. Most of Rex Ryan’s front seven struggled in Ryan’s first season in Buffalo. The Bills are transitioning back to a 3-4 defense this season with Dareus at Nose Tackle. If 2015 was an aberration, Dareus more than anyone has a chance to leap over others on this list.  but if it’s more of the same under Rex Ryan this year, I look for Dareus to be around 50 tackles and have 4 to 6 sacks.
  12. Clinton McDonald (Buccaneers) – McDonald had 31 tackles and no sacks though six games last season before injury. The tackle pace was over 80 for the whole season. If he sets the same pace this season he will finish higher than the 12th best DT, but realistically I look for him to be 50 tackle and 3 to 5 sack range.
  13. Brandon Williams (Ravens) – Williams isn’t a household name, but he was ranked as PFF’s 3rd best tackle against the run in 2015. He is also entering a contract year. I look for 48 tackles and 2 sacks this year from Williams.
  14. Derrick Shelby (Falcons) – Shelby should see increased playing time in Atlanta after signing for $18 million over four years. Atlanta does not possess a strong pass rush though, so Shelby will see increased attention of the offensive line anytime he does well. A reasonable stat line for Shelby is 45 tackles and 3 sacks.Rankins640
  15. Sheldon Rankins (Saints) – Rankins is a rookie out of Louisville drafted in the first round. He is similar in size to Aaron Donald at 6’1″ and 299 lbs. He is also on a line with Nick Fairley and Cameron Jordan. Rankins has all the tools to have a first year comparable to Aaron Donald’s first year (47 tackles and 9 sacks), but because he has yet to play a down in the NFL, I have ranked him here at 15. However, I wouldn’t be afraid to take him over the large group of tackles above who put up similar numbers.


Honorable mention: Bennie Logan, Sharrif Floyd, Johnathan Hankins and Eddie Goldman.

Please check back as I’ll be updating the list again closer to the start of the season.


(Click the RED link to listen)

Major League Fantasy Football Radio: Join Ej GarrCorey D Roberts, and Coach Jeff Nelson live Saturday July 30th from 1-3pm EST for episode #65 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. This week we will break down the NFC South from an NFL and fantasy perspective.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”


(Click the RED link to listen)

Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio: Join Corey D Roberts, Calvin Martin, and Coach Andy Macuga live on Sunday July 31st, 2016 from 7-9pm EST for episode #74 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. This week is ALL about the trade deadline deals and how they effect us in fantasy.

Andy is the Head Baseball Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in So Cal, and Calvin is a veteran owner in MLFB leagues as well as the commish of MLFB3.

You can find our shows on I-Tunes. Just search for Major League Fantasy Sports in the podcasts section. For Android users go to “Podcast Republic,” then download that app, and search for “Major League Fantasy Sports Show”

I grew up a Dallas Cowboy's fan in Washington Redskins' country, but I currently reside in Florida. I have played fantasy sports since 1999, but have narrowed it down to football only over the last few years. I have a beautiful daughter that keeps me busy and feeling young, and in my free time I write for Major League Fantasy Sports, play golf and spend time on outdoor activities.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Help Support Our Growth!

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #160 5/16/2019 Host Cole Freel, Co-Host Kyle Amore

Major League Fantasy Baseball Show Episode #161, 5/19/2019 Host Cole Freel, Guest Joe Iannone, Guest Bryan Luhrs

Radio Show Feed

Blog Authors

Ben WardiBen Wardi

I am a recent college graduate from a small liberal arts school in Atlanta, GA. I'm a sports junkie and a diehard Atlanta sports fan.

Brandon ZimanBrandon Ziman

Grew up playing baseball since I could hold a bat. Played baseball through high school and college. Somehow became a Yankee fan even though I ...

Brian Roach, JrBrian Roach, Jr

Baseball fan through and through. Follows every team, every player and every transaction. Graduated Lasell College in 2013. Covers high sc...

Bryan LuhrsBryan Luhrs

Faith, Family and Fantasy Sports.These are the three words that best describe me. I am a faithful husband and father of 6 amazing children. I ...

Cole FreelCole Freel

Bachelors in English and History from Indiana University. Borderline-Obsessed Fantasy Baseball Writer who also dabbles in Football, Basketball...

Corey D RobertsCorey D Roberts

Owner and creator of Major League Fantasy Sports. We will provide you with the best tools to be successful in your leagues no matter if ...

Geordie EasterbrookGeordie Easterbrook

I’m a former pitcher from upstate New York, and a proud Demon Deacon. Go Deacs! I’ve been playing fantasy football and baseball for the be...

James WilkJames Wilk

I grew up a Dallas Cowboy's fan in Washington Redskins' country, but I currently reside in Florida. I have played fantasy sports since 1999,...

Joe IannoneJoe Iannone

I'm an accountant and an amateur writer of fiction and sports commentary, mostly baseball. I've been a student of the game of baseball since...

John GozziJohn Gozzi

Intense sports lover . a writer who specializes in creative non- fiction almost always challenging the status quo. I've suffered but rema...

Josh HoukJosh Houk

Certified Sports Fanatic: Everything Cleveland sports and all the happenings around classic sports. Full time program manager in construc...

Kevin BzdekKevin Bzdek

I've been playing fantasy baseball for 14 years. I am also an auditor and CPA, where I analyze information on a daily basis. Combined, my pas...

Kyle AmoreKyle Amore

I'm a former collegiate and semi-pro baseball player. I underwent successful Tommy John Surgery in 2008, and can give a wide-range of tips on...

Mark RushMark Rush

Unrepentant Red Sox fan and all things Boston. Deflategate was a joke. Boston Latin School is awesome. Harvard and Johns Hopkins alma mater...

Matt BarkmanMatt Barkman

A/S/ the old school AOL instant messenger days...
Elementary Physical Education by day, chasing around my 1 and 2 year old boy...

Mike RiggallMike Riggall

I've been coaching lacrosse since 2002 and playing fantasy football since 2006. I've racked up several championships over the years includi...

Nick GehlbachNick Gehlbach

Husband and father of three. Have a love of all things baseball. When not burying myself in baseball (especially fantasy) I enjoy fish...

Todd NevinTodd Nevin

A business analyst by day, pursuing all things baseball by night. My favorite day of the year is opening day and my favorite sound is the crac...

Help Support Our Growth!

More in Defensive Position Rankings