Safe Bets: Week 6

Safety is the name of the game in cash games, but FantasyDraft also pays out at least 25 percent of the field in every single contest, including tournaments, as well. 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, heading into Week 6:

Tom Brady, Patriots – Following four weeks of vacation, Tom Brady showed no signs of rust in his first game back from the bogus “Deflate Gate” suspension. Brady completed 28-40 passes for 406 yards and three touchdowns (TDs) in his 2016 debut against a porous Browns defense. In Week 6, the Patriots will square off against a Bengals defense allowing the 14th most fantasy points to opposing QBs and was just roasted by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense. In Gillette Stadium, good luck to the Bengals contending with this high-powered Patriots offense easily capable of exploiting them where they are weak: wide receivers. None of Cincinnati’s three starting corners in their base defense have graded inside the top 45 at the position which explains why the team has already allowed seven TDs to opposing WRs (fourth most in the NFL). Look for Brady to pick apart this defense similarly to the way Prescott did last week except in the form of a superior QB with more talent around him. It’s difficult to imagine Brady either not cracking the 300 yard plateau or failing to throw three TDs.

Lamar Miller, Texans – If there were ever going to be a game for Lamar Miller to breakout, squaring off against a Colts defense that just surrendered 28-plus fantasy points to Jordan Howard would be the time. Overall, the Colts have allowed the third most fantasy points to the position including the most receiving TDs (three) and fourth most receiving yards. This is very fitting for Miller’s skill set considering he has hauled in 14 passes on 17 total targets. Additionally, Miller ranks as RB28 to this point but it’s not due to workload; he has carried the ball 101 times already (fourth most of any back). The matchup against the Colts is a night and day difference from last week’s tilt against the dominant Vikings defense in which he only carried the ball eight times. Miller hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards rushing since the opener and the Colts will be the worst defense in terms of fantasy points allowed that he has faced thus far. Only the Cowboys, Raiders, Lions and Redskins have allowed more yards per carry (YPC) than the Colts’ 4.6. Assuming the Texans commit to pounding the ball, Miller has an excellent chance to eclipse 100 yards once again. One of these days he is going to find the end zone as well and cap off a monster day with a score. All signs lead to this being the week for Miller based on the elite matchup.

Ryan Mathews, Eagles – Three teams have allowed seven-plus rushing TDs: the Saints, Chargers and Redskins. Coincidentally, the Eagles will draw a matchup against the Redskins in Week 6 so Ryan Mathews is going to be safe to deploy. Beyond the TD susceptibility, the Redskins have allowed the third most rushing yards to opposing RBs. Mathews returned last week after missing Week 3 with an ankle injury and his role was a bit unsure due to Wendell Smallwood going off in his absence. However, when Mathews returned, Darren Sproles led the backfield in snaps but Smallwood only played one measly snap when all said and done. Once again, Sproles manned the third down and passing back role while Mathews was relied upon to pound it on the ground. Clearly, “pound it on the ground” type backs have enjoyed success against this Redskins defense and Mathews has very little competition in his current role. As if that weren’t enough, Mathews caught five passes last week for 42 yards as well, making his skill set even more conducive to the point-per-reception (PPR) scoring system. If looking for a high floor, Mathews fits the bill.

Alshon Jeffery, Bears – Fantasy owners are likely to overlook Alshon Jeffery moving forward considering Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith have now gone off on consecutive weeks. Part of the reason for their success is opposing defense’s focus on Jeffery. Another theory for his mediocrity recently is due to back-to-back matchups against Darius Slay and Vontae Davis. Now in Week 6, the Bears will square off against a Jaguars secondary that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to opposing WRs and the fourth most TD receptions (RECs) to the position (seven). The Jaguars’ top corner, Prince Amukamara, is a formidable opponent but he hasn’t graded inside the top 30 at his position this season. Consequently, the Jaguars rank 20th in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic versus opposing team’s number one WR. Jeffery has been quiet for too long and his career numbers suggest this is a solid spot to deploy him. In home games where the Bears have been listed as one point underdogs or better, Jeffery has averaged 16.15 fantasy points and 5.41 RECs. Outside the split, Jeffery has only averaged 14.65 fantasy points and 4.66 RECs. While rostering him feels risky because of his subpar production so far, this should be the week he snaps out of it, and he’s actually a solid investment.

Jarvis Landry, Dolphins – Coming off a game where the offense struggled and Jarvis Landry was only targeted thrice, expect Coach Adam Gase to figure out the correlation; when Landry is not involved, the offense tends to lag. Landry had been targeted in the double-digits each game prior to week 5 so the blip on the radar can be written off as an anomaly. Over the last two seasons combined, Landry has caught 194 passes and he is still the top option in the passing attack (and on the offense overall) by far. His opponent, the Steelers, have allowed above-average outputs in terms of DVOA to both number one and two receivers this year. Yet again, the Dolphins are listed as substantial underdogs (7.5 points) and the Dolphins are actually in a sneaky spot to cover the spread (Steelers do not fare nearly as well on the road). If the odds-makers are proved to be right, the Dolphins will have to continue to throw to remain in the game. If they are wrong, the Dolphins running game has only attempted the third fewest attempts so they will probably rely on the passing attack anyways. All-in-all, this sets up as a perfect situation for Landry to haul in seven-plus passes for the fifth time in six games.

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks – Starting Jimmy Graham is a no-brainer and should not take a lot of convincing. He has eclipsed 100-plus receiving yards in back-to-back games and the Falcons have allowed the fifth most fantasy points to the position including the fifth most yards. After initially worrying about whether he would ever fully recover from patellar tendon surgery, the last two games proved without a reasonable doubt he can still ball. Do not overthink this one and consider him as a safe option for significantly cheaper than the top TE options.

 

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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