Week Three: Safe Bets

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. This should motivate 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. Rob Gronkowski nearly always fits the bill as does Aaron Rodgers, but it’s all downhill from there. In order for a player to produce a goose egg, all it takes is one hit to either the head or knees and the player’s day is over. Still, there are players whose matchups and/or prices promote confidence in drafting them due to limited downside. Here are the “safe bets,” or players who can be inserted into lineups without fear of a dud, for week three:

Cam Newton, Panthers, $13,500 – Carson Palmer dropped 307 and 3 TD in week one and Jameis Winston threw for 207 and a touchdown (TD) in week two against the Saints. Focusing on the Winston game makes more sense, considering his skill set is similar to that of Cam Newton: a big quarterback (QB) with running ability. Therefore, it’s worth putting a fair amount of stock into the fact Winston rushed six times for 23 yards and a TD. Newton is a more polished QB all around than Winston, and although he lacks the weapons Winston possesses, I think the rushing ability solidifies a safe floor. The last time these two teams squared off, Newton dropped 35.34 fantasy points (226 passing yards, three TD and 12 ATT for 83 yards and a TD). Do not hesitate to plug “Superman” into your week three cash lineups (he actually sports a fair amount of upside for tournament play as well).

Adrian Peterson, Vikings, $14,400 – Recommending readers to avoid Adrian Peterson last weekend turned out to be a questionable decision. Although Peterson didn’t find the end zone, he tallied 192 yards from scrimmage and 23.20 fantasy points against a Lions run defense struggling without Ndamokung Suh and Nick Fairley. The Chargers, who the Vikings will take on in week three, are allowing 5.2 yards per carry (YPC) and 6.5 catches to running backs (RBs) per game. The team is going to allot him a full workload in this game and he’ll likely produce once again. However I do expect him to find the end zone in this one, meaning finishing as RB1 for the week is not out of the question.

Brandon Marshall, Jets, $12,300 – Eric Decker somewhat predictably enjoyed the big game Monday night because Vontae Davis was shadowing top receiver Brandon Marshall. Unfortunately, Decker did not make it through the game and was forced to leave with a “PCL injury.” He sat out of practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable to suit up in game number three. The team will face the Eagles, who rank as a bottom-seven pass defense in terms of yards allowed, and Byron Maxwell, who  has not exactly shut down opposing wide receivers (WRs) thus fare (remember Julio Jones in week one?). Without Decker, the Jets will simply need to feed the beast and Marshall will fall into double-digit targets almost by accident. At the second-tier price, Marshall should put up WR1 numbers, especially with FantasyDraft’s PPR format.

Antonio Brown, Steelers, $17,300 – Speaking of sure things in the PPR format, Antonio Brown has caught at least five passes in 34 consecutive games. Thirty four. His consistency is just ridiculous and frankly, it’s unprecedented; the previous record stood at 19 (set by Laveranues Coles). On any given week, you can basically just insert him into the lineup and plug in 13 fantasy points minimum (he scored 13.40 fantasy points twice last season which tied for his lowest output in any week). So far he has registered 31.50 and 39.50 fantasy points in two games and there is no reason to believe the Rams, who can be vulnerable to the big play, should be able to hold him down.

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks, $11,400 – According to NFL.com, last season no team allowed more fantasy points to the tight end (TE) position than the Chicago Bears. Frankly, their whole team is a mess right now, so it’s no surprise they currently sit as 14.5 point underdogs. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reports Jimmy Graham is “pissed off” and “hates” his role with the new team. They didn’t sign Graham only to under-utilize him, so I think they make up for it this week. The Seahawks’ 29.3 implied points ranks second-most among all teams this week. They will score in bunches, so even if Graham does not find the end zone, I expect him to be kept busy by a team trying to make him happy.

 Seahawks DST, $6,500 – Did I mention the Seahawks were 14.5 point favorites? Vegas only implies the Bears will score 14.8 points, which is by far the lowest of the week. Without Jay Cutler, the offense joins the defense as a total dumpster fire. Expect backup Jimmy Clausen to turn the ball over at least once and have a hard time stringing together any offense with both Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal possibly out. Even though the Seahawks cost the most of any defense, the production will warrant the price.


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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