After being selected seventh overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL draft, S Mark Barron was a popular target in fantasy football IDP leagues. Everyone thought Barron would walk into a 100-tackle season in Tampa, but the job turned out to be much more crowded than fantasy owners originally expected.
Barron ended up battling with corner turned safety, Ronde Barber, all year for tackles and the veteran (92) actually racked up more tackles than the rookie (88). Barber has since retired from the NFL and it has finally leaves Barron in sole control of the back line.
Out of Barron’s 88 tackles in his rookie season, 71 of them were solo tackles. He showed that he could be a very strong open-field tackler, which is easily one of the most underrated stats in IDP formats. Barron will consistently be able to rack up three to four points a week solely based on tackles and that alone is worth a mid-round pick.
The former Alabama standout only recorded one interception and one sack all season, so he didn’t offer much else in the way of filling the box score. However, his tackle numbers should increase without Barber creeping around and fantasy owners can expect the sophomore to mature into a top-15 defensive back in all IDP formats this season.