FTN’s positional rankings keep on rolling as we enter the summer months. So far, the FTN team has broken down offensive line ranks, defensive line ranks, pass catching units, backfields and linebacking groups. This week, we will be looking at all of the secondaries in the NFL and ranking them ahead of the 2023 season.


We had some fantastic performances in the secondary last season and an infusion of young talent coming into the league with five cornerbacks coming off the board in the first 32 picks of the 2023 NFL draft. This article will also feature an FTN stat to know for each team, pulled directly from our own FTN Advanced Data page. Subscribe and check it out to see how every team fared across the league.

Follow along with our whole position group rankings series: Quarterback | Backfield | Pass-Catcher | Offensive Line | Defensive Line | Linebacker | Special Teams (still to come!)

2023 NFL Secondary Rankings

Below is every team ranked 1-32 by how their secondary shapes up for 2023.

1. New England Patriots

CB1: Christian Gonzalez, CB2: Jack Jones, Slot: Jonathan Jones, FS: Adrian Phillips, SS: Kyle Dugger

Kyle Dugger New England Patriots Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Patriots led the NFL with the most “Interception-Worthy Plays” in 2023 (39)

The Patriots come into the 2023 NFL season with the top secondary in the NFL thanks to a key upgrade at cornerback. New England secured arguably the top cornerback in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft when they selected Christian Gonzalez out of Oregon. Gonzalez allowed just 39 receptions and generated four interceptions in his one season with the Ducks. Returning starters Jack Jones and Jonathan Jones allowed sub-55% reception percentages against them in 127 combined pass attempts last season. Kyle Dugger should see a bigger role on defense after setting a career-high in PFF coverage grade (78.3) and defensive grade (78.4). New England also has excellent depth with key returners Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant, Jalen Mills and Jabrill Peppers. All four of these players played at least 211 coverage snaps in 2022.

2. Baltimore Ravens

CB1: Rock Ya-Sin, CB2: Marlon Humphrey, Slot: Kyle Hamilton*, FS: Marcus Williams, SS: Geno Stone
*Hamilton will play SS in base defense

Marlon Humphrey Baltimore Ravens Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Baltimore was tied for the third-fewest touchdowns surrendered on deep passes (3) in 2022.

The Ravens will hope their secondary doesn’t take much of a hit moving from Marcus Peters to free-agent acquisition Rock Ya-Sin after a solid season with the Raiders. Even if Ya-Sin is a slight downgrade, Baltimore has plenty of talent surrounding him to make the difference negligible. Marlon Humphrey continued his stellar play, generating three interceptions and finishing as PFF’s 17th-ranked corner (76.8 grade). However, the real key to the defense is second-year player Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton ranked as PFF’s top-rated safety, but his real value was in his versatility. The Notre Dame product played 106 snaps as a box safety, 354 snaps in the slot, and 92 snaps at free safety. He will likely roll down from safety to the slot to sub-packages again in 2023, allowing Marcus Williams (42.9 passer rating against) and Geno Stone (73.7 PFF coverage grade) to take away deep passes.

Darius Slay Philadelphia Eagles Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

3. Philadelphia Eagles

CB1: Darius Slay, CB2: James Bradberry, Slot: Avonte Maddox, FS: Reed Blankenship, SS: Terrell Edmunds

FTN Stat to Know: The Eagles finished third in the NFL in time to throw (2.4s) and yards per attempt (6.34) last season.

The Eagles found a way to keep both Darius Slay and James Bradberry as the cornerstones of their secondary after the duo combined to force 30 incompletions and seven interceptions in 2022. The real story is how they will fill the secondary after letting Marcus Epps and C.J. Gardner-Johnson walk in free agency. The Eagles will hope that Avonte Maddux (70.3 coverage grade) and Reed Blankenship (71.6 coverage grade) can maintain solid play with expanded roles. They also added Terrell Edmunds in free agency after a solid career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Eagles also used the draft to add depth, selecting Illinois safety Sydney Brown in the third round and Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo. That depth (along with 2022 contributor K'Von Wallace) pushes the Eagles into the top three secondaries heading into 2023.

Sauce Gardner New York Jets Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

4. New York Jets

CB1: Sauce Gardner, CB2: D.J. Reed, Slot: Michael Carter, FS: Chuck Clark, SS: Jordan Whitehead

FTN Stat to Know: The Jets finished with the second-fewest yards per attempt in the NFL in 2022 (6.34).

The story of the Jets secondary is 2022 rookie sensation Sauce Gardner. Gardner secured Defensive Rookie of the Year honors (and PFF’s top cornerback rating) thanks to an absurd 45.9% reception percentage, 20 forced incompletions and two interceptions. The rookie allowed just one touchdown all season and finished with a 53.9 passer rating against. The Jets’ other three returning starters (D.J. Reed, Michael Carter and Jordan Whitehead) also had PFF grades above 70.0 and generated five combined interceptions. The real story for New York is the move to upgrade the free safety position by adding Chuck Clark in a trade with Baltimore. Clark is a sure tackler who has three straight seasons with PFF grades above 66.0 and should solidify the back half of the field alongside incumbent starter Jordan Whitehead.

5. Denver Broncos

CB1: Pat Surtain, CB2: Damarri Mathis, Slot: K'Waun Williams, FS: Justin Simmons, SS: Kareem Jackson

Pat Surtain Denver Broncos Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Denver allowed the fewest yards per pass attempt in the NFL in 2022 (6.31).

Consistency in the secondary pushes the Broncos into the top five thanks to them returning all five starters from a solid unit a year ago. Pat Surtain has continued his ascent to one of the top corners in the league, finishing with PFF’s third overall defensive grade among cornerbacks in 2022 (86.8) by allowing just a 59.4% reception rate in 2022. Denver also got solid seasons from corners Damarri Mathis (11% forced incompletion rate) and K'Waun Williams (4.7-yard average depth of target against) last season. Denver will hope that Justin Simmons can put together a healthy season after he generated a team-leading six interceptions in just 12 games played. This is a solid all-around unit that can climb into the top-3 with a fully healthy season from Simmons on the back end.

6. Cleveland Browns

CB1: Denzel Ward, CB2: Greg Newsome*, CB3: Martin Emerson, FS: Juan Thornhill, SS: Rodney McLeod
*Slot in sub packages

Denzel Ward Cleveland Browns Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Cleveland finished 2022 with the 11th-best passer rating against (86.0).

The Browns got strong play from all three starting cornerbacks last season, which is excellent news because all three players return in 2023. The combination of Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome and Martin Emerson finished 2022 with an average PFF score of 69.2 and allowed a 58.3 reception percentage last season. This unit could take a step forward though if their two new safeties can gel quickly in this unit. Juan Thornhill arrives in Cleveland after four seasons where he generated eight interceptions and 12 pass breakups in his career. Rodney McLeod moves to Cleveland after a career-best season with the Colts. The veteran safety finished with PFF’s second-highest coverage grade among safeties (87.9) thanks to a career-high six pass breakups. Cleveland also still has a 2022 starter and solid safety Grant Delpit to provide help on the backend of the defense if needed.

7. Seattle Seahawks

CB1: Tariq Woolen, CB2: Devon Witherspoon, Slot: Coby Bryant, FS: Quandre Diggs, SS: Jamal Adams

Tariq Woolen Seattle Seahawks Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Seahawks allowed the fifth-lowest deep pass completion percentage in 2023 (26.23%).

Sauce Gardner may have won Defensive Rookie of the Year, but some could argue Tariq Woolen’s accomplishments as a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft were even more impressive. Woolen finished his first season with Seattle with 13 forced incompletions, six interceptions and a 55.3% reception rate against. He finished his first season as PFF’s 25th-ranked corner in coverage grade (74.2). Seattle will hope for similar results from the fifth overall pick out of Illinois Devon Witherspoon. Witherspoon is known for his tenacity as a tackler, but he was exceptional in coverage in 2023. He finished second in all of college football in forced incompletions (18) and had just a 25.3 passer rating against. The Seahawks also got another stellar season out of Quandre Diggs at free safety (four interceptions) but will need a healthy season out of Jamal Adams after he played just eight snaps in 2022. This unit isn’t quite as good as the old Legion of Boom, but they have plenty of pieces to make noise on defense again in 2023 if Witherspoon hits and Adams stays on the field.

Carlton Davis Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

CB1: Jamel Dean, CB2: Carlton Davis, Slot: Zyon McCollum, FS: Antoine Winfield, SS: Ryan Neal

FTN Stat to Know: Quarterbacks had the ninth-least time to throw against Tampa Bay in 2022 (2.48).

The Buccaneers’ secondary is hoping that a stellar safety group can make up for a questionable cornerback group outside of Jamel Dean. In four professional seasons, Dean has never had a PFF coverage grade below 75.6 or an overall defense grade below 74.0 while racking up seven career interceptions. Carlton Davis is a solid complement to Dean, but the loss of Sean Murphy-Bunting could be big. The Buccaneers will need to see growth from Zyon McCollum in the slot (127.8 passer rating against 147 coverage snaps in 2022). Thankfully, the Buccaneers have one of the best safety duos in the NFL in Antoine Winfield (PFF’s 10th-rated safety with a 78.7 grade) and free agent acquisition Ryan Neal (PFF’s 4th-rated safety, 82.0 PFF grade). Neal had his best season filling in as a starter for Jamal Adams in 2022 and should provide a solid complement as a tackler to free up Winfield to make plays in the passing game.

9. Miami Dolphins

CB1: Jalen Ramsey, CB2: Xavien Howard, Slot: Kader Kohou, FS: Jevon Holland, SS: Brandon Jones

Xavien Howard Miami Dolphins Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Miami finished with the second-best “Time Until Pressure” in the NFL in 2022 (2.51).

The injury to Byron Jones put the Dolphins' secondary in a bind during the 2022 season. They’ve seemingly fixed that problem by acquiring Jalen Ramsey, PFF’s third-ranked cornerback in 2022 (86.4 grade), to replace him. Ramsey wasn’t as dominant as in years past in 2022, allowing a 98.6 passer rating against, but he’s still quite effective. His presence will not only help Xavien Howard (career-worst 66.7% receptions allowed) but also the continued development of slot man Kader Kohou after a rookie season that saw him finish with 10 pass break-ups and an interception. Stronger cornerback play will hopefully help Jevon Holland (65.7 PFF grade) and Brandon Jones (52.4) rebound from subpar seasons on the backend of the defense. This defense has the talent to finish as the best secondary in the NFL if they stay healthy and hit their potential. 

Tashaun Gipson San Francisco 49ers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

10. San Francisco 49ers

CB1: Charvarius Ward, CB2: Deommodore Lenoir, Slot: Isaiah Oliver, FS: Tashaun Gipson, SS: Talanoa Hufanga

FTN Stat to Know: The 49ers had the third-most interception-worthy plays in 2022 (37).

The 49ers force their way into the top 10 thanks to two high-end cornerbacks and a solid supporting cast built around them. Charvarius Ward finished as PFF’s sixth-ranked corner in 2022 after forcing 15 incompletions and generating four interceptions. The team also added Isaiah Oliver in free agency after he flourished as a slot corner in Atlanta for the last two years. Oliver has allowed just one passing touchdown over the last two seasons. The 49ers also got stellar play out of Talanoa Hufanga in his first season as a starter. The USC product finished the season with 97 combined tackles, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. If Deommodore Lenoir can develop into a league-average cornerback (56.9 PFF grade in 2022), this unit has a chance to rank in the top-5 of secondaries in the NFL. 

11. Detroit Lions

CB1: Emmanuel Moseley, CB2: Cameron Sutton  Slot: C.J. Gardner-Johnson, FS: Tracy Walker, SS: Kerby Joseph

Kerby Joseph Detroit Lions Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Lions allowed the highest average depth of target in 2022 (9.50 yards)

The Lions found a gem in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft when they selected Kerby Joseph out of the University of Illinois. Joseph finished with a 65.0 PFF grade and had four interceptions in his rookie season. The team will hope for better health from Tracy Walker (75.4 PFF grade on 91 coverage snaps. More importantly, the Lions will hope a secondary powered by free-agent acquisitions will upgrade a poor unit in 2022. Detroit’s new secondary features Emmanuel Moseley (63.5 passer rating against in 2022), Cameron Sutton (eight pass breakups and three interceptions) and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (six interceptions in 2023). Detroit also drafted Brian Branch out of Alabama in the second round of the draft. He will likely play as a slot cornerback but can play safety in a pinch. This is a much more talented unit than last year; they will just need to gel to hit their peak.

Kristian Fulton Tennessee Titans Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

12. Tennessee Titans

CB1: Kristian Fulton, CB2: Sean Murphy-Bunting, Slot: Roger McCreary, FS: Kevin Byard, SS: Amani Hooker

FTN Stat to Know: The Titans allowed the third-highest completion percentage on deep passes (47.44%) in 2022.

The Titans have a fantastic safety duo surrounded by highly drafted (and one priority free agent) cornerback options. Kevin Byard had another fantastic season in 2022, finishing as PFF’s eighth-ranked safety with a 79.5 PFF grade. He led the team with four interceptions on the season. Amani Hooker has been consistently good in his career but played in just nine games as he struggled with injuries. The Titans will need their highly drafted corners to step up. Both returning starters (Kristian Fulton and Roger McCreary) had coverage grades below 61.0 and combined to surrender 12 receiving touchdowns. The acquisition of Sean Murphy-Bunting (PFF’s 26th-ranked cornerback in 2022) should provide stability in coverage, even though he is a liability in the run game. This team would get an added boost if former first-round pick Caleb Farley can stay healthy enough to develop. Farley has played just 164 snaps in two seasons.

Kendall Fuller Washington Commanders Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

13. Washington Commanders

CB1: Kendall Fuller, CB2: Emmanuel Forbes, Slot: Jartavius Martin, FS: Darrick Forrest, SS: Kamren Curl

FTN Stat to Know: Washington had the second-fewest interception-worthy plays in 2022 (20).

The Commanders are hoping to supplement the solid returning members of their secondary with an infusion of talent drafted in 2023. Kendall Fuller returns at cornerback after a season that saw him finish as PFF’s 15th-ranked cornerback with a 76.6 PFF grade. The veteran cornerback led the team with 10 forced incompletions on the season. Washington also returns PFF’s second-ranked safety (Kamren Curl) along with another safety who flashed playmaking ability as a ball hawk in Darrick Forrest (team-leading four interceptions). Washington will hope they hit on the rest of the secondary in the draft after taking Emmanuel Forbes (14 career interceptions) in the first round and Jartavius Martin (15 forced incompletions in 2022) in the second round. If those picks hit, Washington’s secondary will be in great shape. If they don’t, then it could be another long year for the Commanders.


14. Pittsburgh Steelers

CB1: Patrick Peterson, CB2: Joey Porter, Slot: Chandon Sullivan, FS: Minkah Fitzpatrick, SS: Keanu Neal

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Pittsburgh finished 30th in yards per attempt (7.50) and average depth of target (8.87 yards) in 2022.

The Steelers secondary struggled massively in 2022, so the team elected to overhaul the entire unit in 2023. Only one starter (free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick) remains from last season. Unfortunately, the new secondary group has their questions as well. Patrick Peterson finished as PFF’s 12th-ranked cornerback in 2022, but he enters 2023 in his age-33 season and is coming off a bounce back after three average seasons 2019-2021. The team also added Chandon Sullivan (55.8 PFF grade) and Keanu Neal (57.7) in free agency, hoping that both players can bounce back after underwhelming 2022 seasons. Finally, the Steelers added Joey Porter with the first pick of the second round in the 2023 NFL Draft. Porter is a freak athlete with NFL (and Steelers) bloodlines but generated just one interception in his collegiate career. He’s more of a project who will be thrown to the fire to start the season. There are still plenty of ways for this secondary to fail, but they are more talented than the unit Pittsburgh had a year ago.

15. New Orleans Saints

CB1: Marshon Lattimore, CB2: Paulson Adebo, Slot: Bradley Roby, FS: Marcus Maye, SS: Tyrann Mathieu

Marshon Lattimore New Orleans Saints Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Saints allowed the lowest completion percentage on deep passes in 2022 (19.35%).

The Saints have one of the best safety combinations in the NFL in Marcus Maye and Tyrann Mathieu to go with a top-flight cornerback in Marshon Lattimore. Unfortunately, their other cornerback slots are far more questionable. The combination of Mathieu and Maye racked up 151 combined tackles and 10 passes defended on their way to PFF’s fifth- and 26th-ranked safeties respectively. At cornerback, Lattimore played in just seven games but allowed just a 54.8% reception percentage and forced four incompletions. Unfortunately, the combination of Paulson Adebo and Bradley Roby struggled without Lattimore to take away the opposing offense's best receivers. Both Adebo and Roby finished with PFF coverage grades below 50.0 and combined to give up 1,096 receiving yards and six touchdowns. The return of Lattimore will take more off their plate and could help this secondary climb into the top-12 by the end of the season.

Trevon Diggs Dallas Cowboys Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

16. Dallas Cowboys

CB1: Trevon Diggs, CB2: Stephon Gilmore, Slot: Jourdan Lewis, FS: Malik Hooker, SS: Jayron Kearse

FTN Stat to Know: Dallas was tied for the sixth most interceptions on deep passes in 2022 (6).

Trevon Diggs returned to Earth in 2022, generating three interceptions just one season after having 11. This shouldn’t have been surprising, but it had an impact on the Cowboys’ overall secondary ranking last season. Diggs still forced 11 incompletions last season, but he just wasn’t converting them into turnovers. Thankfully, the Cowboys got a healthy season from Malik Hooker (72.4 coverage grade and three interceptions) and solid play from Jayron Kearse (63.6 coverage grade). The Cowboys tried to upgrade their secondary by trading for the Colts’ Stephon Gilmore, PFF’s ninth-ranked cornerback in 2022 with a 79.1 defense grade. Gilmore paced Indianapolis with 12 forced incompletions and an 82.6 passer rating against. Dallas will need Jourdan Lewis to return to health after a Lisfranc injury limited him to just six games last season. If he’s healthy, this becomes an exceptional secondary with two ball-hawk corners and a solid slot man playing in front of rangy safeties. 

17. Buffalo Bills

CB1: Tre'Davious White, CB2: Dane Jackson, Slot: Taron Johnson, FS: Micah Hyde, SS: Jordan Poyer

Tre'Davious White Buffalo Bills Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Quarterbacks had the fourth-lowest passer rating against the Bills in 2022 (82.1).

Buffalo has plenty of talent in the secondary, they just need their players to stay healthy. Of the projected starters, only Dane Jackson (15) and Taron Johnson (16) played in more than 12 games. Buffalo’s corners combined to average a 62.5 PFF grade in 2022, which was 25th among all teams in the NFL. The Bills will also hope that 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam can work his way into a consistent role across from Tre'Davious White after the rookie put together a solid season (64.6 PFF grade) despite being beaten out in training camp by Dane Jackson for the CB2 spot. Buffalo will also need Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer to remain healthy after each player missed time in 2022. Hyde played just two games in 2022 and while Poyer played 14, he had his worst season since 2016 (65.7 defensive grade) playing alongside inexperienced safeties. Health from Hyde and White is key to this defense, but until we see it happen, this is a middle-of-the-pack secondary. 

L'Jarius Sneed Kansas City Chiefs Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

18. Kansas City Chiefs

CB1: L'Jarius Sneed, CB2: Trent McDuffie, Slot: Jaylen Watson, FS: Justin Reid, SS: Bryan Cook

FTN Stat to Know: Wide receivers had the fourth-lowest average depth of target in 2022 (6.94 yards).

The Chargers got excellent seasons from L'Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie and Justin Reid last season, but they will need the newer members of their secondary to step up. Sneed, McDuffie and Reid all finished the 2022 season with PFF coverage grades above 73.0 and combined to force 20 incompletions and three interceptions. The loss of Juan Thornhill will be significant at safety, but the team will hope that 2022 second-round pick Bryan Cook can take a developmental leap after playing 275 coverage snaps and allowing a 146.9 passer rating last season. Jaylen Watson also had his struggles in 2022, surrendering four passing touchdowns on 448 coverage snaps. If those two can take a step, this will be a formidable secondary.

Jaire Alexander Green Bay Packers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

19. Green Bay Packers

CB1: Jaire Alexander, CB2: Eric Stokes, Slot: Rasul Douglas, FS: Rudy Ford, SS: Darnell Savage

FTN Stat to Know: The Packers tied for fourth in interception-worthy plays in 2022 (36).

The Packers got a strong bounce-back season from Jaire Alexander in 2022 with the veteran cornerback forcing 11 incompletions and generating five interceptions in 487 coverage snaps. Rasul Douglas also continued his developmental ascent, with a second consecutive season with at least four interceptions and a 71.0 PFF defensive grade. The Packers will hope that a small sample size of Rudy Ford (77.8 PFF grade on 266 coverage snaps) can translate to a bigger role. They will also need bounceback seasons from Eric Stokes (84% reception percentage against) and Darnell Savage (43.8 PFF grade on 447 snaps). If they can recover, this becomes one of the best secondaries in the NFL. But if they don’t, it is hard to imagine they rank in the top 15 next season.

A.J. Terrell Atlanta Falcons Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

20. Atlanta Falcons

CB1: A.J. Terrell, CB2: Jeff Okudah, Slot: Mike Hughes, FS: Jessie Bates, SS: Richie Grant

FTN Stat to Know: Quarterbacks had the third-most time before pressure against Atlanta in 2022 (2.89s).

On paper, the Falcons have the makings of a talented secondary. Unfortunately, this unit is plagued by the team’s inability to generate pressure, giving quarterbacks more time to find targets down the field. The perfect example of this is veteran cornerback A.J. Terrell. In 2021, Terrell gave up just a 47.5 passer rating against. However, last season that number skyrocketed to 115.8 as the cornerback gave up more touchdowns in one season (9) than he did in his previous two years combined (8). The Falcons are also gambling that they can turn around the careers of Jeff Okudah (59.4 PFF grade) and Mike Hughes (59.9 PFF grade) after they have struggled to justify their first-round draft slots over the years. The biggest addition to Atlanta’s secondary was free agent safety, Jessie Bates. In five seasons with the Bengals, Bates generated 369 tackles and 14 interceptions. He should form an excellent tandem with Richie Grant on the back end of the defense.

Cor'Dale Flott New York Giants Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

21. New York Giants

CB1: Adoree' Jackson, CB2: Deonte Banks, Slot: Cor'Dale Flott, FS: Jason Pinnock, SS: Xavier McKinney

FTN Stat to Know: Opposing wide receivers had the sixth-highest aDOT against the Giants in 2022 (8.47 yards).

The Giants got 12 games of solid play from Adoree' Jackson and 11 games from Cor'Dale Flott in 2022. The duo each had a PFF coverage grade above 71.0 and allowed a combined 566 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 89 targets. The Giants also added Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. In three seasons with Maryland, Banks never allowed a passer rating above 72.0, although just one of those seasons came as a starter. The Giants will need more stability out of the safety position after both Jason Pinnock and Xavier McKinney failed to rank within PFF’s top 50 safeties in the NFL. The duo failed to generate an interception and allowed an average quarterback rating of 126.5 against them in 2022.

22. Los Angeles Chargers

CB1: Asante Samuel, CB2: Michael Davis, Slot: Ja'Sir Taylor, FS: Alohi Gilman, SS: Derwin James 

Derwin James Los Angeles Chargers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Opposing wide receivers had the second-highest aDOT against the Chargers in 2022 (9.07 yards).

The Chargers were hoping veteran cornerback J.C. Jackson would stabilize their secondary after signing him to a five-year, $82.5 million contract before the 2022 season. Unfortunately, Jackson made it just five games before rupturing his patellar tendon, an injury that will put the start of his season in doubt for 2023. As a positive, the injury allowed the Chargers to get an extended look at Asante Samuel (five interceptions and a 76.1 PFF coverage grade) and Michael Davis (51.3 reception percentage against and 17 forced incompletions) with positive results. The secondary also got an excellent season out of Derwin James (PFF’s 12th-ranked safety in 2022) both in coverage and as a pass rusher. Ideally, the Chargers will see some development out of 2022 third-round pick JT Woods at the other safety but may opt for a more consistent option like Alohi Gilman to complement James’ versatile play style.

Desmond King Houston Texans Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

23. Houston Texans

CB1: Derek Stingley, CB2: Steven Nelson, Slot: Desmond King, FS: Jalen Pitre, SS: Jimmie Ward

FTN Stat to Know: Houston generated the most interceptions on deep passes in 2022 (6).

Houston got solid play from their secondary players not named Derek Stingley in 2022. Both Steven Nelson and slot corner Desmond King had PFF coverage grades above 71.0 and combined to force 12 incompletions while allowing just three touchdowns on 998 coverage snaps. 2022 third-overall pick Derek Stingley played just nine games, but he struggled when he was on the field. Stingley had a 49.9 coverage grade and gave up 12.5 yards per reception operating as the team's number one cornerback. Fellow rookie Jalen Pitre flashed his ball-hawking abilities (five interceptions), but also made a ton of mistakes, leading the team in touchdowns surrendered (four). He will have help next season from Jimmie Ward, PFF’s sixth-ranked safety in 2022 during his final season with the San Francisco 49ers.

24. Arizona Cardinals

CB1: Antonio Hamilton, CB2: Marco Wilson, Slot: Isaiah Simmons, FS: Jalen Thompson, SS: Budda Baker

Budda Baker Arizona Cardinals Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Wide receivers had the worst aDOT in 2022 against the Arizona Cardinals (5.76 yards).

The Cardinals got very strong play from their entire secondary last season, and as of now, they will return four of the five starters from that unit. The cornerback duo of Antonio Hamilton and Marco Wilson combined for 16 forced incompletions and four interceptions on the season. The loss of Byron Murphy in free agency hurts, but the team found something that worked with Swiss army knife defender Isaiah Simmons. Simmons took over the slot when Murphy was injured in 2022 and had four forced incompletions and two interceptions while remaining a presence as an edge rusher. The safety duo of Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker remain solid, but Baker could be on the move if his trade demands are met. Expect the Cardinals to drop a few spots if they lose Baker's versatility in the secondary.

Kenny Moore Indianapolis Colts Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

25. Indianapolis Colts

CB1: Isaiah Rodgers, CB2: Kenny Moore*, CB3: Julius Brents, FS: Rodney Thomas, SS: Julian Blackmon
*Slot CB in sub packages

FTN Stat to Know: Opposing quarterbacks had the sixth-highest time to throw against Indianapolis in 2022 (2.6s).

The Colts traded away their top cornerback (Stephon Gilmore) during the offseason and are hoping that younger players can fill the void in the passing attack. Indianapolis got a fantastic season out of Isaiah Rodgers, PFF’s fifth-ranked cornerback in 2022 (82.1 grade on 283 coverage snaps). Rodgers allowed only 7.4 yards per reception on the season. Indianapolis also drafted freak athlete Julius Brents in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft after he allowed just a 57.7 passer rating during his last season with Kansas State. The Colts will need a bounce-back season from Kenny Moore after he allowed a 121.4 passer rating against last season. The Colts safety duo of Rodney Thomas (54.3 PFF grade) and Julian Blackmon (62.3 grade) leave a lot to be desired, so it could be a rough season in Indianapolis if they don’t show growth in 2023.

(Between writing this and publication, news came out that Isaiah Rodgers is facing a potential long-term suspension for allegedly violating the NFL gambling policy. If and when that suspension is handed down, the Colts’ secondary would drop to 28th.)

26. Chicago Bears

CB1: Jaylon Johnson, CB2: Tyrique Stevenson, Slot: Kyler Gordon, FS: Eddie Jackson, SS: Jaquan Brisker

Jaquan Brisker Chicago Bears Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Bears gave up the most yards per attempt (7.98) in 2022.

Chicago is desperately hoping that a year of experience in Matt Eberflus’ defense will yield better results in 2023. No returning Bears cornerback finished with a defensive grade above 63.0. Both returning starting cornerbacks (Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon) combined to allow 1,221 receiving yards and five touchdowns while generating just three interceptions. The Bears added Tyrique Stevenson in the second round of the NFL draft after a career at Miami that saw him allow just 17 receptions on 40 targets in his last season. The safety combination of Eddie Jackson and Jaquon Brisker faired better than the corners. Both Jackson and Brisker finished with PFF grades above 67.0 and combined for five interceptions. Brisker also led the team in sacks, which is great for a safety but not stellar for a pass rush. This secondary has plenty of potential, but will once again be forced to cover for a long time since the Bears didn’t address the pass rush much in free agency or the draft.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars

CB1: Tyson Campbell, CB2: Darious Williams*, CB3: Tre Herndon, FS: Andre Cisco, SS: Rayshawn Jenkins
*Slot CB in sub packages

Tyson Campbell Jacksonville Jaguars Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Jaguars' defense had the second most interception-worthy plays in 2022 (38).

Tyson Campbell took a major leap forward in 2022, finishing as PFF’s seventh-ranked cornerback thanks to a 58.5% reception rate against. The team also got strong play from Darious Williams in the slot (18 incompletions forced). Unfortunately, slot corner Tre Herndon struggled by allowing a 122.6 passer rating against on the season. The Jaguars also got boom-and-bust play from the safety position. Andre Cisco and Rayshawn Jenkins combined for six interceptions, but each gave up a 70% reception rate on the season. The Jaguars need that tandem to firm up on the back end of the defense to climb this list.

Chidobe Awuzie Cincinnati Bengals Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

28. Cincinnati Bengals

CB1: Cam Taylor-Britt, CB2: Chidobe Awuzie, Slot: Mike Hilton, FS: Nick Scott, SS: Dax Hill

FTN Stat to Know: Wide receivers had the fifth-highest aDOT against the Bengals in 2022 (6.85 yards).

The Bengals will have a fair amount of turnover in their secondary next season thanks to the departures of Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell, Eli Apple and Tre Flowers. That is a lot of veteran leadership to lose, and it remains to be seen how well the Bengals projected starters can hold down the fort in expanded roles. Cam Taylor-Britt had a solid rookie season as a reserve (six forced incompletions) and Mike Hilton is coming off another successful season (68.3% reception rate in the slot). A fully healthy season from Chidobe Awuzie (41.9% reception rate against in eight games) would also help. Both of the Bengals' starting safeties are gone and have been replaced by downgrades based on his 2022 play. Nick Scott is a great run defender that struggles in coverage and Daxton Hill is coming off a season where he gave up two touchdowns on 86 coverage snaps. Time will tell how well this group acclimates to missing so many key pieces in 2022.

29. Carolina Panthers

CB1: Jaycee Horn, CB2: Donte Jackson, Slot: Jeremy Chinn, FS: Xavier Woods, SS: Vonn Bell

Jaycee Horn Carolina Panthers Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Quarterbacks had the ninth-best quarterback rating against Carolina in 2022 (93.7).

On paper, the Panthers should have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. However, the talent just hasn’t come together on the field. Jaycee Horn took a developmental step in 2022, allowing just 59.6% of passes against him to be caught while generating three interceptions. Unfortunately, there weren’t many other positives. The other starting corners, CJ Henderson and Donte Jackson, each had PFF coverage grades under 60.0 and gave up a combined seven passing touchdowns. That led the Panthers to acquire Vonn Bell in free agency (PFF’s 35th-ranked safety in 2022) to allow the team to play Jeremy Chinn in a more versatile role on defense (and primarily the slot on passing downs). That may work, but there are just too many questions in this secondary heading into the season.

30. Las Vegas Raiders

CB1: Duke Shelley, CB2: David Long, Slot: Nate Hobbs, FS: Tre'von Moehrig, SS: Marcus Epps

Tre'von Moehrig Nate Hobbs Las Vegas Raiders Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: The Raiders had the fewest interception-worthy plays in 2022 (14).

The Raiders secondary struggled once again in 2022 leading the team to infuse free-agent talent in hopes of turning it around. Unfortunately, the players they targeted may not be good at football either. Duke Shelley is coming off the best season of his career (PFF’s fourth-ranked cornerback), but he played just 242 coverage snaps in Minnesota. The team also added David Long, but he had 201 coverage snaps in 10 games and finished with a PFF coverage grade of 54.2. Both of Las Vegas' starting safeties (Tre'von Moehrig and Marcus Epps) were awful in coverage last season, combining to allow nine passing touchdowns. Both players finished with PFF coverage grades below 50.0 and passer ratings against above 132.0.

31. Minnesota Vikings

CB1: Andrew Booth, CB2: Byron Murphy*, CB3: Akayleb Evans, FS: Camryn Bynum, SS: Harrison Smith
*Slot CB in sub packages

Harrison Smith Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

FTN Stat to Know: Quarterbacks had the third-most yards per attempt against Minnesota in 2022 (7.71).

The Vikings suffered significant losses in their cornerback room this offseason, losing Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley and Chandon Sullivan to free agency. The team was able to replace one of them in free agency, signing Byron Murphy to man the slot after he finished 2022 with a 63.9 grade according to PFF. The other two positions will be held by rotational players in 2022 who struggled in their limited action. Both Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans had PFF coverage grades under 42.0 and gave up passer ratings against above 108.0. The team will start the season with veteran Harrison Smith (five interceptions) flanked by Camryn Bynum but will hope that Lewis Cine will return to play after suffering a season-ending injury in his first game of the year.

Cobie Durant Los Angeles Rams Fantasy Football 2023 Secondary Rankings

32. Los Angeles Rams

CB1: Derion Kendrick, CB2: Cobie Durant*, CB3: Robert Rochell, FS: Russ Yeast, SS: Jordan Fuller
*Slot CB in sub packages

FTN Stat to Know: Wide receivers had the second-lowest aDOT against the Rams in 2022 (6.62 yards).

The Rams were always going to suffer after losing Jalen Ramsey, Nick Scott, Taylor Rapp, Troy Hill and David Long during the offseason. That leaves the Rams with a collection of unproven players trying to make their mark in the NFL. Of their projected starting secondary, only one player (Derion Kendrick) played more than 200 snaps in coverage last season. The collective Rams secondary finished 2022 with a 102.9 passer rating allowed and a PFF coverage grade of 55.3. This is a bad collection of talent.