Safe Bets: Week Five

Safety is the name of the game in cash games, but 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.

The fifth week of the NFL season marks the return of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the New England Patriots off bye, all of which exemplify safety. There certainly are alternatives to both, but players are more than likely going to roster at least one of them, meaning they’ll need to save money elsewhere. The key to roster construction in cash games this week depends on whether or not Karlos Williams suits up and it seems unlikely he will. Therefore, Boobie Dixon’s $6,000 salary opens up plenty of options. If locking him into a lineup, you’ll need to find non-volatile options to compliment him. Here are the “safe bets,” or players who can be inserted into lineups without fear of a dud, for week five:

Matt Ryan, Falcons, $13,300 – Two words: Julio Jones. Okay so there’s more than just Jones that makes this matchup intriguing, but he certainly ranks toward the top of reasons to use Matt Ryan. His salary has dropped significantly over the past month, the game will be played in a dome, so weather will not be a factor, and the Redskins have allowed seven passing touchdowns so far (TDs). DeAngelo Hall (Washington’s top corner) will sit this one out, which should leave Jones to roam free. When Ryan is able to find Jones at will, the offense runs quite efficiently. Add the icing on the cake of the Falcons’ enticing implied total of 27.5 (third-highest of the week) and Ryan personifies safety in week five.

Mark Ingram, Saints, $11,900 – For his career, Ingram has averaged 4.4 YPC on road versus 4.1 at home, which partially has to do with Drew Brees extreme splits that I have mentioned in previous articles. The team typically relies on the run game away from the Superdome and Brees is less comfortable on the road. What I like is how Mark Ingram has been involved in the passing game this season like he never really has in any season prior. He has caught at least three passes in each game and has caught at least six passes in two of four games. Last year he caught three-plus passes just four times and more than three passes just once (already three this year). It’s clear Brees’ shoulder is still bothering him after sitting out week three, as he wasn’t throwing downfield much. The screen game is going to be a big part of the Saints’ game plan yet again this week. Plus, this game will likely be fast-paced against a Chip Kelly coached team, meaning more offensive plays than usual will be run by the Saints, so all ingredients are there.

Allen Robinson, Jaguars, $10,800 – Even in a tough matchup against Vontae Davis, Allen Robinson held his own and caught four passes for 80 yards, including a 48 yarder. He’s emerging as a true number-one WR, but people are still going to be drooling over Allen Hurns’ big game. Look, when a top WR squares off against a top corner it would make sense for the secondary option to have the big game. Following up the next week and using that secondary option once again (Hurns) leaves you a week behind. This matchup is not nearly as scary and screams to be a Robinson game. He has at least six targets in each game and is facing a Tampa Bay team that has allowed at least one TD to WRs in each game this year. They allowed 8-101-1 to DeAndre Hopkins a few weeks ago, who was the only true number-one WR they have faced (Tennessee, New Orleans and Carolina).

Golden Tate, Lions, $10,600 – Calvin Johnson battled Patrick Peterson in their only meeting last year and converted on just 5-12 targets for 59 yards. As mentioned in the Players to Avoid article, Johnson has yet to have a Megatron-esque game in four attempts this year. Facing an elite corner who had his number last time out likely will not spark his first monster performance. Furthermore, the run game is giving them absolutely nothing; the Lions are averaging 47 yards rushing and have produced no more than 69 yards rushing in any of their first four games. Arizona has allowed the 18th-most rushing yards, but if the Lions can’t establish the run then they’ll have to resort to the short passing game. Since that’s how I predict the game will flow, I am loving the odds of Golden Tate having a field day. Remember, this is the same guy that caught 99 passes last season, and now Eric Ebron will miss at least a few weeks. With Ebron’s targets out of the offense for the moment, this leaves even more targets that Tate can pick up in this one. Do not be surprised if he approaches double-digit receptions (RECs).

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, $14,800 – I think a lot of people are going to be on Owen Daniels, but Gronkowski is simply “the guy” at the tight end (TE) position. If we’re talking safety, Gronkowski has racked up at least 94 yards in each game so far. In fact, he has produced at least 100 yds or a TD in all three games. He’s just such a bigger advantage than other TEs because his duds aren’t actually duds for a normal player. His floor is a productive game for almost any other TE. People are going to look at the Cowboys ranking 10th in fantasy points allowed to the TE and get scared off, but they have played Larry Donnell, Zach Ertz, whoever Atlanta’s TE is (Jacob Tamme or Levine Toilolo) and Josh Hill. “Gronk” is a different type of player and I feel he has both the highest floor and highest ceiling of any TE by far, especially considering the Patriots’ sport the greatest implied point total of the week (29).

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, 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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