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Top 5 IDP Defensive Backs Under 25 (2024 Fantasy Football)

Top 5 IDP Defensive Backs Under 25 (2024 Fantasy Football)

In the second of this three-part series, I am digging deeper into the top five individual defensive players (IDP) at each position under 25 years old. Last time, I covered the top five linebackers under 25. This time, it is time to focus on the defensive backs.

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These five players might be hard to acquire in a trade. They are all, for the most part, on an upward trajectory and have had at least one significant fantasy season. However, if you can find someone willing to part with one of these players, do try and acquire them. Especially if your league values solo tackles and passes defended higher than the standard IDP scoring used for fantasy rankings here at FantasyPros.

Therefore, without further ado, let’s dive into the top five defensive backs under the age of 25.

Top 5 DBs Under 25

1. Jalen Pitre (S – HOU) — Age: 24

Jalen Pitre set the bar so high in 2022. He was the DB1 in 2022 with 99 solo tackles and 147 combined solo tackles. With those being linebacker-style numbers, Pitre was a cheat code in IDP.

2023 saw a change of defensive coordinator and, therefore, a change in scheme. He also got injured in the season opener, which hurt his availability to play. He clearly was struggling with a chest injury that hampered him. Another thing going against him is how much better the Houston Texans’ offense was in 2023. This meant less time on the field for the defense and, therefore, fewer snaps for the defense.

Having said all that, a fully fit Pitre is going to be dominant in this format for many years to come. The talent is there. The production has also been there. And he is only 24. Expect Pitre to bounce back with a top-five DB finish in IDP leagues in 2024.

2. Kyle Hamilton (S – BAL) — Age: 22

Kyle Hamilton, only 22, already has two NFL seasons under his belt. He took a significant stride forward in 2023 in terms of production, showing he is truly one of the elite defensive backs in the NFL.

Hamilton managed three sacks in a corner blitz scheme on occasion for the Baltimore Ravens. He also recorded 14 passes defended and four interceptions. Only Geno Stone and Jesse Bates managed more interceptions at the position in 2023. Hamilton also managed a significant jump in solo tackles, recording 63 in 2023.

For Hamilton to reach the upper echelon of the position he will need to contribute another 15-20 solo tackles. Interceptions are a hard metric to project for defensive players, as there is an element of luck that goes with them. Therefore, to compensate for a potential drop in interceptions, a nice gain in tackles will really boost Hamilton into the elite tier.

The fact he is only 22 and a big time playmaker means I have no doubt he will achieve this. Do not be surprised if he manages to be No. 1 on this list in 2025.

3. Jaquan Brisker (S – CHI) — Age: 24

I projected room for growth and expected growth out of Jaquan Brisker in 2023. After all, while his rookie year in 2022 was highly impressive, he only managed one interception and one fumble recovery. I expected him to better that in 2023.

Only he didn’t. He matched this production in 2023, while seeing a drop in sacks to just one solo sack and a drop in solo tackles (73 to 66). A lot of this could be down to confidence and the fact the Bears just never really got their season going.

However, with changes coming in 2024 with a new defensive coordinator — and potentially a new quarterback — we could expect better production from every position on the Bears in 2024.

Brisker has yet to hit his ceiling. He has broken out, there is no question about that. But it is about time Brisker shows the NFL why the Bears spent a high Day Two pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on him. 2024 is the year for him to prove it. While I expect him to go up another gear, this is the year that will set the tone for contract talks in 2025 if he wants to be paid as one of the league’s best safeties. There aren’t many better motivators than money, are there?

Fantasy managers are hoping Brisker can return a top-10 DB performance in 2024. If he can manage to play 17 games, that will be a big help. He also needs to produce a few more highlight reel plays in 2024 that will have a significant impact in both the box score and to fantasy managers’ weekly scores.

4. Reed Blankenship (S – PHI) — Age: 24

Reed Blankenship had an unremarkable rookie campaign in 2022. However, he was indispensable in 2023. With him missing in the Eagles’ Wild Card defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the back end for the Philadelphia Eagles looked rudderless and without anyone able to finish tackles.

Blankenship was easily a standout player on this Eagles’ defense in 2023. His 108 combined tackles (75 solo, 33 assisted) were backed up with 11 passes defended, three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

There is plenty more growth in his game. With Vic Fangio coming in and potentially some linebacker help, Blankenship can easily improve in 2024. He has shown how dependable and necessary he is to the team. Now it is time for him to really stamp home his leadership and authority on this defense in 2024 in order to earn top dollar in the form of a contract extension in 2025.

5. Dax Hill (S – CIN) — Age: 23

Dax Hill was someone who took a giant-sized leap forward in 2023. He became the recognized starter and was highly impressive in the early part of the season when partnered with Nick Scott.

However, Hill did take a back seat slightly when paired with Jordan Battle. Battle seemed to become the playmaker, while Hill became Mr. Reliable on the back end for the Cincinnati Bengals. Less than half of Hill’s passes defended and none of his interceptions came when playing with Battle during the second half of the season. He also didn’t record any sacks when partnered with Battle.

However, his tackle numbers remained consistent, bringing a safe floor for fantasy managers and a clear pathway to 10 points most weeks in IDP scoring during the second half of the season. While that is great, 2024 does bring the opportunity for Hill to continue to build on his partnership with Battle and allow for both to become one of the best young DB duos in the NFL. This is a key partnership for the Bengals, who like to set the tone of their coverage with their safeties.

If Hill can find another 10-15 tackles and add some more stats in other areas he will be chasing top a top-12 DB finish in 2024. However, as I mentioned in my IDP trade targets article, keep an eye on Battle as well. He is someone who might be quite cheep to acquire but will add significant strength and depth to any fantasy roster, for very minimal risk. Both of these defensive backs for Cincinnati have the potential to finish in the top 12 at the position. However, it will be who becomes the true leader that will most likely have that opportunity. If I had to wager on who I think that would be, my money would be on Hill.

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Adam Murfet is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Murf, check out his archive and follow him @Murf_NFL.

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