Week Seven: Safe Bets

Safety is the name of the game when it comes to cash contests, but FantasyDraft also pays out at least 25 percent of the field in all other contests, 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.

Here are the “safe bets,” or players who can be inserted into lineups without fear of a dud, for week seven:

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins, $11,200 – There’s a lot to like about this matchup for the Dolphins: it’s at home, against a struggling Houston secondary, and Miami is now under the tenure of new Coach Dan Campbell, who the team seems to prefer playing for. Coming off a week where he faced Tennessee’s top passing defense, which was allowing sub-200 yards passing a game, he threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns (TDs). Miami’s implied total is the seventh-highest of the upcoming week, yet he comes with a near basement price. I love the weapons at his disposal, and Lamar Miller’s emergence should open up the passing game, so I think this could be a very productive game for Tannehill. Hell, Blake Bortles threw for 331 and three TDs against the Texans last week, so Tannehill will provide elite value if he can come anywhere close to that output.

Todd Gurley, Rams, $10,500 – At this price, Todd Gurley is the absolute no-brainer of the week. London Fletcher has mentioned the Cleveland defense every week on the podcast, eluding to how poorly they have played this season. Gurley has also emerged as the workhorse back, and typically those backs cost $13,000 and up. Cleveland has allowed the third-most points to the running back (RB) position, but have yet to allow a receiving TD to the position, meaning almost all the damage has been done on the ground. Gurley is a back who typically won’t get too involved in the passing game, but will absolutely pound the ball downhill. Additionally, this could be a game where the Rams ride him all day. He legitimately could rack up 150-plus yards or maybe even push 200, because this matchup is as good as it gets. Build your lineups around him because he should provide the goods in week number seven.

Devonta Freeman, Falcons, $15,000 – Le’Veon Bell is scoring the second-most fantasy points per game of any RB… Devonta Freeman has scored 7.26 more fantasy points than Bell on a per-game basis. He is just absolutely lighting the world on fire at this point and there’s no signs of him slowing down anytime soon. He has caught at least five passes in four consecutive games with at least 44 receiving yards in each. Scoring has also become routine for Freeman, who has scored a TD in five consecutive games with three multi-TD games during that streak (10 total TDs during those five games). When a player is playing like a man possessed (as he is), there is simply no reason to go contrarian (especially in cash games). The Titans are no walk in the park, but it doesn’t even matter. Players amidst magical seasons are essentially matchup proof, so do not even consider fading him until he burns you or plays against the absolute elite.

DeAndre Hopkins, Texans, $17,000 – Speaking of magical seasons, DeAndre Hopkins is on pace to break the all-time NFL target record by week 14. His current pace would project to 136 catches and 1,936 yards. By comparison, Marvin Harrison holds the single-season reception record with 143. Arian Foster is averaging just 2.3 yards per carry (YPC), so Hopkins has needed to put the team on his back. He has registered four straight games with at least 100 yards receiving and eight receptions (REC). The volume is through the roof right now, so a WR as talented as Hopkins is clearly going to take advantage. Assuming he sees anywhere near 15 targets, he should eclipse the 100-yard plateau yet again with the possibility of one or two scores. With Ben Roethlisberger sidelined and Antonio Brown struggling with the backups, there is no safer receiver moving forward than Hopkins. He’s even safer than Julio Jones this week, since he’s matched up against a Titan team allowing the fewest yards to opposing WRs.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals, $14,400 – I love the Arizona passing attack this week and so does Vegas, as they’re the third-highest projected point total, behind New England and Indianapolis. The oddsmakers may have this one wrong, because I think the Cardinals could actually produce the most points this week. In order to put together a balanced lineup, it’s tempting to pivot to John Brown, but I think this is a Larry Fitzgerald game. Fitzgerald has scored at least 14.70 fantasy points in each game, which is epitome of a cash play. Baltimore is the allowing second-most fantasy points to WRs, the third-most receptions, and they’ve allowed 97.1 yards per game to opposing team’s top target. Oh by the way, the Cardinals will be playing this one at home where Carson Palmer is averaging 323.3 yards passing. If all this does not add up to a formula for success, then I don’t know what does.

Antonio Gates, Chargers, $11,600 – Don’t forget how terrible Oakland had been against the TE prior to week five. Do not consider them “off the hook” after shutting out Owen Daniels, because Peyton Manning has played so incredibly bad. Of all qualified quarterbacks (QBs), only Ryan Mallet’s 63.6 QB rating ranks lower than Manning’s 72.5. Philip Rivers, on the other hand, is not Manning; he’s coming off a 500-plus yard passing week. When Antonio Gates is healthy, he’s consistently one of Rivers favorite targets, and the Raiders were allowing around 100 yards and 1-2 TD every game to TEs prior to their meeting with the Broncos. Gates is fantasy’s TE1 over the past two weeks, so expect that trend to continue. With that being said, this could be a week where fully fading Rob Gronkowski should be the right move.

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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