If there is a strong research group in your research area from a "safety" school then go there in the case that you won't get admissions from the top school.
Sometimes, the rankings does not reveal the whole truth about a department. Rankings does not take into account your research interents.
Of course, if you get an admission from a top school that has research groups in your research area then, obviously, this will be the choice.
Good luck to your applications!