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Fantasy Football Free Safety (FS)

fantasy football free safety
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What is FS in Football?

A free safety is a defensive back who plays in the secondary, standing behind the defensive linebackers and beside the strong safety. The free safety’s objective is to prevent long pass plays and run plays in the middle of the field. 

What is FS in Fantasy Football?

The FS in fantasy football is the free safety position. In most fantasy football leagues, full defensive units (D/ST) are used as teams instead of individual defensive players. However, in IDP leagues, individual defenders are thrown into the mix. That means you can draft defenders and are able to start them, receiving points for their actions.

Some IDP leagues use only three or four roster slots for defensive players. In these leagues, any defensive player may be used in the IDP slots. In “deep IDP” leagues, defensive slots are designated by position, such as defensive lineman (DL), linebacker (LB), and defensive back (DB). In deep IDP leagues, free safeties (FS) can be used in the DB slot.

Free Safety Fantasy Value

Much like the strong safety, a free safety is valued in fantasy football because they are good at making tackles. Tackles earn more points than other defensive actions, and since safeties generally earn more tackles than other defensive linemen, they are much more valuable. Free safeties may be slightly less valuable than strong safeties, as offenses tend to run plays towards the strong side of the field, meaning that strong safeties generally have more opportunities to tackle.  

Free Safety Scoring

Free safeties can earn fantasy points in the same way all defenders can: with tackles, sacks, interceptions, fumbles forced, fumbles recovered, blocks, and touchdowns. The point values for each action vary depending on what league you are in, but below is a breakdown of what point values often look like in an IDP league:

ActionPoint value
Tackle1
Assisted tackle0.5
Sack4
Fumble forced2
Fumble recovered2
Interception4
Pass defended1
Touchdown6

How to Draft a Free Safety in Fantasy Football

When drafting a free safety, it is important to first read the scoring rules of your league. Knowing what type of actions earn a free safety the most points helps you out a great deal. If interceptions are not as valued and scored similarly to the chart above (one interception is the equivalent to four tackles), then draft a free safety with a lot of tackles instead of interceptions. The league leaders in interceptions usually end the year with around eight to 10 interceptions. However, league-leading tacklers often earn about 150 tackles. 150 points compared to 32 is a no-brainer, so take a good tackler! However, some leagues try to fix this problem and make a balanced scoring league, in which case, you can take a free safety that can do it all!

In general, if you are playing in a deep IDP league, it can make sense to draft a free safety as early as the third round. Because defensive fantasy points are so important in these leagues, finding a productive fit for the defensive back slot can pay dividends for the entire season. 

FAQ

What does FS stand for in fantasy football?

FS stands for free safety in fantasy football. This position is only scored individually in IDP (Individual Defensive Points) fantasy football leagues. Standard fantasy leagues score an entire NFL team’s defense collectively, using the defense/special teams (D/ST) position. IDP leagues allow managers to draft individual defensive players, including free safeties. In IDP leagues that specify position slots, free safeties can be slotted into the defensive back (DB) position.

Are free safeties good in fantasy football?

Free safeties (FS) are good in fantasy football, especially in the defensive back (DB) slots of Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues. Standard fantasy football leagues score defensive players as a team, but IDP scores them individually. In IDP leagues, both free safeties and strong safeties are some of the most productive defensive positions. For defensive back (DB) slots in IDP leagues, a safety is usually your best bet to fill them.

Are free safeties high scorers in fantasy football?

Free safeties can be high scorers in fantasy football compared to other defensive linemen. While forward or primary defenders like the defensive end are generally low-scoring, safeties tend to make a lot of tackles, much like linebackers. Because each tackle is worth a point in fantasy football, safeties that make upwards of 150 tackles a season can be extremely valuable in an IDP fantasy league.

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