Fantasy Football

2019 Fantasy Football 10 Safest Players


Safety is not a term most people care about in Fantasy Football. Everyone wants to reach for possibility and ceiling. Drafting the safest players with a high floor sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.

The problem is a Fantasy Football championship requires the safest players on your roster coming through. Matthew Berry has pointed out how fickle projecting can be. He had inside information from an offensive coordinator before a game. A certain WR3 was a major part of the game plan. He was going to break out.

What happened? The receiver dropped his first target, and the second was batted away by the defender. The quarterback did not look his way the rest of the game. No matter how much information and projection you have, no one bats 100%. There will be players that you think will break out that bust.

This is where drafting the safest players comes in. These are guys that will not draw rave reviews from your league mates. No one is going to scream that you took their guy. These guys are probably not going to finish in the upper tier at their position. But you know what? They have the lowest “bust” potential.

What Kind of Safety?

Obviously the elite tier of back and receivers provide relative safety. If you are not getting one of the safest players with your Round One pick then you are picking the wrong player.

I want to focus on guys outside of that range. Which of these safest players provide the most value? If you have read anything from me, you know that I am Mr. Value. Every pick I make is about Value-Based Drafting.

So while most people are trying to catch that unicorn of a mid-round pick that turns into a Fantasy All-Star, I am focused on finding the safest players that will produce each week. Don’t get me wrong, I try to draft upside as well.

But to me, your top couple of picks are your upside. You need to drill the elite portion of the draft. Then, you can fill it out with the safest players to provide structure to your studs.

2019 Fantasy Football 10 Safest Players

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The ADP data from Fantasy Pros and rankings from Fantasy Six Pack are up-to-date as of August 12th.

1.) T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND (ADP: 27.7, F6P Rank: WR9)

In the last five seasons that Hilton has played with Andrew Luck, he has averaged 80 catches, 1,254 yards and six touchdowns a year. His PPR finish at the position in seasons Luck finished is fourteenth, fifth, twelfth and nineteenth. Even in the other years, Hilton has maintained as a WR2.

While Hilton will never get you 1,600 yards or 100 catches or even 10 touchdowns, he has an extremely high floor. He has only missed four games in his seven year career. The floor does not get much higher for a Round 3 selection.

2.) Keenan Allen, WR, LAC (ADP: 25.7, F6P: WR11)

Fun fact: seven of the top eight all-time leaders in receiving yards per game are currently active. six of those players are going in the top twenty picks of drafts. The other is A.J. Green who is dealing with an ankle injury. The next two guys active on that list: T.Y. Hilton and Keenan Allen.

Allen is not seen as one of the safest players because of his injury history. I beg to differ. I would rather have a guy that I know is a stud when he plays but might miss time. You know what’s worse that an injured Fantasy Star? A player who is not injured, plays and barely produces.

Allen has not missed a game in two seasons. He averages 6.0 catches and 74.4 yards per game over his career. Those numbers are both slightly up over the past two years. Per Pro Football Focus, Allen had the sixth most yards per route ran last season. They also had him graded as the fourth overall receiver. If not for his injury history, Allen would be a borderline Round One pick.

3.) Zach Ertz, TE, PHI (ADP: 28.7, F6P: TE3)

Ertz set the all time record for tight end receptions in a season. With another season even close to that and he will be in the top fifteen all time in career tight end receptions at just 28 years old. Do you know the most projectable stat in Fantasy Football? Receptions.

George Kittle and Travis Kelce also had monstrous seasons in 2018. However, it is far more likely that those two will regress more than Ertz. Furthermore, you can get Ertz almost two rounds later than Kelce and just after Kittle.

4.) Kerryon Johnson, RB, DET (ADP: 31.3, F6P: RB13)

Kerryon Johnson averaged 15 PPR Points per game last season in his nine starts. Over a full season, that would rank as RB11. Theo Riddick is gone, opening up more targets. LeGarrette Blount is gone, opening up more goal line opportunities. I know, the Lions signed C.J. Anderson. I can promise you that Anderson is not gobbling up all of the opportunities that Blount and Riddick leave behind (194 rushing attempts, 71 receptions).

Johnson was the 11th most elusive back as well as the 11th highest yards created per attempt. The talent is definitely there and now even more opportunity will be there.

5.) Chris Carson, RB, SEA (ADP: 51.3, F6P: RB21)

Carson is my guy this season. I have no idea why he is available in the back end of Round 4. I’ve said before and will keep saying: running backs that rush for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns do not grow on trees.

The fact he did that in just 14 games makes me like him even more. Mike Davis left town and his 112 rushing attempts/34 receptions will be divvied between Carson and Rashaad Penny. Carson is a lock to be a Top-10 back if he doesn’t get injured.

6.) Mark Ingram, RB, BAL (ADP: 47.3, F6P: RB23)

I know, he is entering his age-30 season. I know, 2018 had a sizable dip in productivity and efficiency. But remember, we are talking about safety, not superstardom.

Baltimore led the league in rushing attempts last season. The Ravens group of running backs had 367 carries. In games that Lamar Jackson started, the Ravens’ backs averaged over 27.5 carries a game. That would come out to about 450 carries over a season. That would have been the most in the league last year. Ingram will have 200+ carries barring injury this season (which he hasn’t missed a game due to injury in four years).

7.) Lamar Miller, RB, HOU (ADP: 74.0, F6P: RB29)

The full list of running backs with 1,100 scrimmage yards in each of the last five seasons: Lamar Miller. Yeah, there’s no one else. Only a few guys even had three or four seasons with that amount.

He is not elite but is as stable and safe as they come. He has averaged 13.5 PPR points for a five-year stretch. The main competition for carries (D’Onta Foreman) was let go. Duke Johnson might dig into his target load, but Miller will still be the goal line back on a high-scoring offense.

8.) Dak Prescott, QB, DAL (ADP: 133.7, F6P: QB17)

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Honestly, I could do this list with quarterbacks only as the ten safest players. Dak especially sticks out to me. While I do not have faith in his real-life quarterbacking ability as far as leading a team to a Super Bowl, he is being completely under-valued right now for Fantasy Football purposes.

Prescott’s finishes at the position in Fantasy Points are tenth, tenth and sixth since he came into the league. He has six rushing touchdowns in each season, which now becomes a statistical trend not something that is sure to regress. He also now has a full season with Amari Cooper and could pick up even more rushing stats if Zeke holds out.

9.) Philip Rivers, QB, LAC (ADP: 134.7, F6P: QB15)

Rivers has at least 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in ten of the last eleven seasons. He has at least 4,286 yards and 28 touchdowns in each of the last six seasons. The Charger has never missed a game due to injury.

Rivers is yet again someone who will not be elite. However, I promise that he will be a serviceable Fantasy quarterback for this season. He is basically free by ADP, and his starting running back is holding out as well. Even at his lowest totals of the past six seasons, it would come out to 283 Fantasy Points. That would have been QB12 last year.

10.) Jack Doyle, TE, IND (ADP: 204.0, F6P: TE14)

People seem to forget that Doyle caught 80 passes in 2017. Even last season before his injury, Doyle was averaging over four catches a game. Eric Ebron screams of regression. Even when both tight ends were on the field together last year, Doyle had 10 more targets in just a few games. For people planning on going by a tight end committee, you can do a lot worse than Doyle.

Get prepared for the 2019 Fantasy Football season by checking out the rest of our Fantasy Football content.

About Michael Tomlin

Michael Tomlin is an ESPY-nominated, former college football player who stays associated with the game through Fantasy Sports. He has been writing his personal blog,, for three years and it focuses on Fantasy Sports, as well as handicapping. He was born and raised in the DFW Metroplex, and he follows all of the Dallas teams, along with Texas Tech athletics and Manchester City F.C.

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