If you have two programs to rannk, one of them is competitive and one of them is smaller and less competitive… how should do you rank them? Would you pick the safe program first?
With regards to ranking programs, believe it or not, all sources say to rank according to your program preferences rather than “safe” versus “competitive.” NRMP’s ranking system works best when candidates rank according to preference and won’t hurt you as an applicant. List order becomes more relevant when you have +10 programs to rank, but with two programs, you are safe either way you rank. Definitely send those programs a Letter of Intent to before the Rank Order List Deadline on February 22nd.