Safe Bets: Week 11

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 11:

Marcus Mariota, Titans, $12,600 – Legitimately the strongest case against him this week is the fact that DeMarco Murray draws such a fantastic matchup as well. Only six teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing RBs so it certainly would not be shocking for the team’s stud in the backfield to go off. Having said that, the Colts rank 31st in Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) statistic against RBs in the passing game. In other words, backs excel catching the ball out of the backfield against this Colts defense lacking athleticism at the linebacker position. Combine those numbers with the fact Murray has caught the fourth most passes and this actually bodes well for the floor of QB Marcus Mariota. Additionally, the Colts have allowed the fourth most fantasy point to opposing QBs overall including 2,684 yards passing and 17 passing TDs. The Titans have mutated into a offensively efficient team over the last month and they are coming off a game where they outscored Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. With the team clicking on all cylinders at the moment, it is difficult to envision a scenario where Mariota does not manage 17-plus fantasy points for the seventh consecutive game. Right now, Mariota is the staple of consistency and that is exactly what fantasy owners are looking for in cash games.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $16,600 – Crazily, Le’Veon Bell is more expensive this week than David Johnson was last week but he is a very difficult fade on just about any week. He is like rostering a combination of a RB2 and WR2 all in one which is just simply not fair. Since his return, he has been targeted at least six times in every game including at least nine targets in each of his last three games. Last week alone, he caught nine passes for 77 yards and a TD. In Week 11, Bell and the Steelers will draw a dream matchup against the Browns who have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing backs. Overall, the Browns have surrendered 1,291 yards rushing (second most), 12 rushing TDs (second most) and 14 total TDs (third most) to the RB position. Hell, they have even allowed the most fantasy points to opposing WRs so there should be no concerns about the matchup for when Bell lines up as a wideout either. The price tag is steep but very few backs are in excellent spots this week. Solidifying his ridiculous floor due to his involvement in the passing game combined with the fact he is the goal line back makes a ton of sense.

Spencer Ware, Chiefs, $11,300 – After receiving 17 touches against the Panthers, Spencer Ware proved he can safely be trusted moving forward. In theory, players should be fine once they pass the concussion protocol but it is always comforting to see a player produce before reinserting them into your lineups. The matchup improves significantly this week as the team will square off against a Buccaneers team that has allowed the seventh most fantasy points to opposing RBs. Most notably, they have allowed 452 yards receiving to the position and Coach Andy Reid loves to get Ware involved in the passing game on screen plays. Through eight games, Ware has only failed rush for at least 4.5 yards per carry (YPC) twice and one of those games he left due to the aforementioned concussion. When healthy, Ware is a borderline RB1 so this price tag is just a crazy bargain comparatively to the skill set. Players of this caliber are rarely priced in this range and must be rostered whenever they are…especially when they are in extremely beatable matchups.

Allen Robinson, Jaguars, $14,000 – As noted in the Weekly Review article yesterday, Allen Robinson has looked like the true WR1 he proved to be last year over the past few weeks. After catching 7-12 targets for 76 yards and a score last week, he followed it up with a nine catch (on 13 targets), 107 yard performance also capped off with a TD. Sure Robinson’s 56-percent catch rate is absolutely brutal and ranks 103rd amongst all WRs who have played at least 25-percent of their team’s respective snaps. However, names like Jordy Nelson, Terrelle Pryor and Dez Bryant currently sit with similar percentages so it is not exactly the end of the world…especially considering his recent success. Part of the poor skill set can be blamed on Robinson and his league-worst seven drops but Blake Bortles’ inaccuracy is partially to blame as well. Regardless, the two seem to be on the same page at this point and that proved to be huge last year en route to 1,400-plus yards and 14 TDs. Forgive him for his early-season issues because he is on a roll now  and will square off against a Lions team that has allowed 20 passing TDs already this season. Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson…

Jamison Crowder, Redskins, $10,600 – What a great call last week by London Fletcher on the Weekly Rundown video podcast as he recommended Jamison Crowder against a stout Vikings defense. With Xavier Rhodes focusing his attention on Pierre Garcon and those lining up on the left side of the formation, Crowder was able to burn Trae Waynes for a TD out of the slot. His score marked the third time in four games he had found the end zone. Amazingly, Crowder has managed at least 100 yards receiving or a TD in each of his last four games and six of nine games overall. With 19 targets over the last two weeks, his price tag does not accurately reflect his skill set in an elite matchup against a banged up Packers secondary that was just torched by Mariota. Crowder is the most reliable receiver of the bunch and, along with Jordan Reed, are the focuses of the passing game. There are not many mid-tier values this week of any sort so Crowder stands out as the sole bright spot to take advantage of in that price range.

Delanie Walker, Titans, $10,600 – The best possible matchup for a TE is to square off against the Lions but the Colts do not rate far behind. While the numbers overall do not jump off the page, DVOA suggests that is more due to their quality of opponents so far considering they rank 31st against the position. According to Football Outsiders, TEs are averaging 86.3 yards per game against the Colts and they average outputs of 42.5-percent above their average when facing this defense. Last season, Delanie Walker led all TEs in RECs (90) and only failed to reach double-digit fantasy points once over the course of his final 10 games. After a few quiet games early on, Walker is now amidst a similar streak as he has bested 11.50 fantasy points in each of his last four games including a 30-plus fantasy point explosion in Week 10. His nine catch, 124 yard performance was topped off by a TD and led him to finish as TE1 for the week. Now, in a matchup against one of the worst defenses against his position, he should be able to keep up the momentum and probably possesses the safest floor of any player at the position this week. If searching for safety at the position, look no further than Walker.

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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