NFL Survivor League Picks - Week 2

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Week 1 is in the books and it sure was a doozy. The games were mostly lopsided and dull. Only two games, the Falcons at Bears, and Chargers, Broncos came down to the final possession.* I had the Bears as an upset special and they should have won the game.

Week 1 also leads to massive overreaction. Go watch ESPN and you can find yourself believing Seattle's offense is awful and the Panthers are back at their Super Bowl level. But it's only one game. Take a deep breath. Take a step back. Don't jump to any conclusions. I usually wait until after the first month to start making assumptions. You can't judge a team on one game. Yes, the Texans were disgusting, but they have plenty of time to fix it and the Texans usually get off to a slow start and then turn it around.

This leads me to my rant of the week. I must say Bill O'Brien does the same stuff every year. Two years ago they were featured on Hard Knocks and had a major quarterback competition between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer. O'Brien went with Hoyer as the starter, but yanked him in the very first game, 4th quarter, and brought in Mallett. Granted, the Texans were down 27-9 and getting shellacked by the Chiefs. Then Mallett became the starter, but three weeks later he went back to Hoyer. Make up your mind Billy. On Sunday, O'Brien went with Tom Savage, but pulled him midway through the game to go with DeShaun Watson. You had all of training camp to figure out who your starter would be. How can you not realize Watson is your guy? Make up your mind and stick with your guy at QB.

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Survivor League Strategy

For those of you unfamiliar with survivor pools it’s very simple; pick a team to win each week, if they win you move on to the next week. But you cannot use that team ever again. There is no point spread involved.

These rules only apply for several weeks.

  1. Try to save the top teams for the end of the season. You do not want to be alive in Week 10 choosing between the Browns and the Jets. Try and pick teams you won't use later. For example, the Rams got the Luckless Colts last Sunday in LA.
  2. Try to avoid divisional rivalry games also. Anything can happen with a rivalry game. Some weeks it will be really hard to not pick a divisional game, because there is no better option.
  3. Never pick an underdog.
  4. Rarely, if ever, pick a Thursday night game. Anyone can beat anyone off four days rest. You're better off trying to figure out Johnny Drama's next move.

 

Before making any picks, look at the point spreads. Vegas has the best minds, smarter than any of us, use them to get a glimpse at how each team is projected to fare that week. There will be a game or two a week where the line makes NO SENSE, but that means Vegas is giving you an inside scoop and they're mostly always right.

The biggest favorites in Week 2 per sportsbook (home team in caps);

  • RAIDERS -14 vs. Jets
  • SEAHAWKS -13 vs. 49ers
  • RAVENS -7.5 vs. Browns
  • PANTHERS -7.5 vs. Bills
  • Cardinals -7.5 @ COLTS

If you're reading this article on Thursday or later, these lines were from Tuesday. Check the current spreads and see how the line moved.

 

Top Survivor Picks for Week Two

Since we're only one week into the season, I will not be looking at in-depth stats until after Week 4. I want a a month of stats. It's just too small of sample size to start delving into research. We'll have a much better outlook of a team after a month. The next three weeks, my picks will be based on how teams looked the previous week(s) and my gut instinct which was pretty good last week. I nailed the Rams and Panthers pick, and my two avoids, the Bills and Falcons made it look really close.

 

Raiders -14 vs. Jets

This game is a lock. The Raiders are not losing to the same ole' Jets. I understand people may be skeptical of using a team like the Raiders early, but I don't think they're a consistent reliable team. What this from the 1:14 mark to the 1:28 mark. It's ONLY 14 seconds.

I think the Raiders are an 11-5 team that will be the third seed in the playoffs, but their schedule is not easy. They play in the tough AFC West where every team can beat each other. Those teams are all above average teams. Take a look at this schedule. I really don't see another week where I would be confident using them so I will take them in both my survivor pools and double down. Hit me dealer!

I really think the Raiders are the only safe play this week. The Dolphins play in San Diego  LA this week. We haven't seen the Dolphins yet because of Irma and the Chargers lost so many close games last year. I like them this year, but they need to prove it first, especially after the Denver game Monday. Minnesota's defense is one of the best and can hang with the Steelers high octane offense. You could take Seattle laying 14 at home against the Niners, but I'd rather save the Seahawks for later. Same goes for New England. Buffalo is a 7-point dog in Carolina, but the Bills feel frisky this year. The Bears are a touchdown underdog in Tampa, but this game has revenge written all over it with Mike Glennon returning to his old team. Plus, the Bucs haven't a game yet so I'm not sure what to expect. That leaves me to a game with major importance (Next section).

 

Top Survivor Picks to Avoid 

BENGALS 6.5 vs. Texans

Rule number four. But this case goes to the extreme. The Bengals are so bad in primetime. Check out this tidbit from cincyjungle.com; "The Bengals are 8-29 (5-17 during the Dalton-Green era) in regular-season games played after 7:00 p.m. and playoff games, otherwise known as ‘primetime.'" I liked the Bengals before the season, but they have no offensive line. Dalton is awful under pressure and the Texans' elite pass rushers, J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, can cause havoc.

And with the Texans, DeShaun Watson is supposedly starting, but who knows if Bill O'Brien will change his mind after a bad drive by Watson. And how can you go with the Texans after how they looked last week?

The last time the Texans played in Cincinnati was on November, 16 2015 on Monday Night Football. The Texans came in 3-5 as huge underdogs to the undefeated 8-0 Bengals. Andy Dalton threw for 197 yards, no touchdowns, and one pick. The Texans won 10-6. You just never know with either of these teams.

Cardinals -8 @ COLTS

The Cardinals have no right to be a touchdown favorite on the road against anyone. Carson Palmer looks like an old man and I'm not sure Vegas realizes how fast he lost it. They just lost their star running back David Johnson for several weeks, maybe the year, so Palmer will have to lead the offense, something he can't do. Arizona's defense is really good, but they did get torched in the second half against the Lions allowing 20 points in the 4th quarter.

The Colts could not have looked worse last week. Their coach, Chuck Pagano, should have been fired on the tarmac for incorrectly stating they played the 49ers, not the Rams. However, teams who get destroyed like that usually bounce back the week after. I have no stats to prove it, but when an NFL team gets embarrassed like that, they tend to play dramatically better the week after. This will be their home opener and I really think they can not only cover the massive spread, but win this game. The Cardinals are going to have an awful year and Palmer's arm may fall off.

 

*This article has been updated to state there were TWO games and not one that came down to the final possession.

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