Safe Bets: Week Two

Safety is the name of the game in cash games, but FantasyDraft.com also pays out at least 25 percent of the field in every single contest, including tournaments, as well. This motivates users to lean towards safe options in all formats on a site that puts #PlayersFirst. Without the top-heavy nature of tournaments, single entrants do not have to go with a “YOLO (you only live once)” mindset in tournaments, but can play for a solid cash instead. That makes life a whole lot easier.

Like most weeks in the NFL, labeling players as “safe” is a difficult proposition. All it takes is one hit to either the head or knees and any given player’s day is over. With that being said, there are still players whose matchups and/or prices promote confidence in drafting them with a limited downside. Here are the “safe bets” in week two who can be safely inserted into lineups without fear of a complete dud:

Drew Brees, Saints, $15,100 – Marcus Mariota just gashed the Buccaneers for four TD in his debut. While he looked awfully good, some of his success can be credited to a terrible performance by the secondary. Brees only threw for one TD in the opener, but he racked up 355 yards. He owns a career 99.8 passer rating in the Superdome versus 91.0 on the road. Splits are typically used as a determinant in baseball, but Brees’ splits are too significant to overlook: 227:94 TD-INT ratio at home in 101 games versus 170:101 ratio in 103 career away games. Brandin Cooks is due for a bounce-back, especially now that he doesn’t have to deal with Patrick Peterson. With Brees able to use his safety blanket as he normally would, he is in for a big day and is a prime quarterback (QB) target for cash games.

Lamar Miller, Dolphins, $10,600 – The return of Paul Posluszny is an obvious positive for the Jaguars and it showed as they allowed only 3.0 yards per carry (YPC) and zero rushing TDs in week 1. However, Carolina’s roster as it is currently constructed is devoid of really any talent at the wide receiver (WR) position. Therefore, defenses can just key in on the run game, which is exactly what Jacksonville did in week one. Teams will continue to do so until Devin Funchess or any of the other receivers prove they are worthy of extra attention. Consequently, Ryan Tannehill possesses some talented receivers, so the threat of a passing game should open up the run. This bodes well for Lamar Miller, who I expect to receive a heavier workload this week than last. Miller catches passes as well, which explains why he is one of the more consistent backs in PPR. The team is favored (always preferable for a cash running back (RB)) by six in Jacksonville, so enough factors are working in his favor to justify rostering him in week two.

Justin Forsett, Ravens, $12,000 – Jeremy Hill scored twice against Oakland last week. Typically I wouldn’t rely on one week’s data when judging a player’s matchup, but the Raiders also allowed the most fantasy points to the RB position last season. In a Trestman offense that likes to get ball to RBs by feeding them with carries and getting them involved in the passing game, Justin Forsett should prove to be successful over the long run. Heck, Matt Forte broke the RB single-season reception (REC) record (102) just last season under Trestman. The team sports a healthy 24.8-point implied total by Vegas as well. Do not fade him just because he was “last week’s bum,” because the fantasy community is going to forget last week ever happened after his big performance this week.

Cole Beasley, Cowboys, $7,300 – No Dez Bryant means the team will have to rely more and more on the short passing game in order for the offense to flow. In a matchup against the high-powered Eagles, maintaining offense throughout the whole game is going to be required in order to win the game. The Cowboys’ 25 implied points ranks sixth among all teams; only the Eagles, Saints, Colts, Giants and Packers sport higher totals. Philadelphia’s corners were roasted last week by Julio Jones and company. Unlike Jones, Cole Beasley won’t be the main focus of the defense as Terrence Williams scoots into the number one WR role. This means Byron Maxwell will likely line up against Williams for a majority of the day, leaving Beasley to run wild. The Eagles allowed the most fantasy points to WRs last season and, even with addition of Maxwell, still appear to be nowhere near an elite secondary. If Dallas employs the game plan I believe they are going to and focuses on the short passing game, then Beasley, Jason Witten and Lance Dunbar should all be kept busy.

Heath Miller, Steelers, $7,900  – According to Vegas, the Steelers opened as six-point favorites over the visiting 49ers for week two. The six point spread ties the Steelers for the third-largest favorite of the weekend.  Antonio Brown is expected to draw a majority of the defensive attention, especially due to the suspension of Le’Veon Bell. Consequently, one of the most consistent tight ends (TEs) in football could prove to be a forgotten man. Heath Miller is one of the few TEs who has averaged more than three REC, 10 yards per catch and eight targets per game over his past 16 games. He has never scored more than eight TD in a season, so he doesn’t have the elite ceiling, but the matchup should leave him with a safe floor… especially considering all of the 49ers’ linebackers from last season, who should be covering him, are now gone.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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