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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 15) - Targets and Avoids


Another Sunday for the dogs. Texans, Patriots, Broncos, Steelers, and Rams all lost outright. The Chiefs and Chargers both narrowly won, but failed to cover.

We've had two straight weeks of underdogs winning. Will that trend continue in Week 15?

With nearly all participants in survivor pools eliminated, you may not find a need to read this column. However, some survivor pools have restarted. There's still plenty of good tidbits to help you with your daily fantasy squads. Plus, my best bets against the spread are at the bottom of this column.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Nuggets from Week 14

  • Giants scored 40+ points for first time since Nov. 1, 2015
  • Cam Newton has been intercepted in five consecutive games, the longest such streak since 2014
  • Jets scored most points (27) since Week 6 (42)
  • Cowboys possessed the ball for 45 minutes out of a possible 67

 

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. Teams italicized are my best bets.

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.

Teams favored by more than seven in Week 15 per The Action Network app (home team in caps):

  • RAMS -9 vs. Eagles
  • FALCONS -9 vs. Cardinals
  • VIKINGS -8 vs. Dolphins
  • RAVENS -8 vs. Bucs
  • JAGUARS -7 vs. Redskins

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

 

Top Survivor Picks for Week 15

In order of my favorite selections:

Ravens -8 vs Bucs

This is one of my plays of the year. Baltimore is off a tough loss in Kansas City where they were one play away from winning. Their defense played incredible. That defense now returns home to take on the warm-weather Bucs led by turnover machine Jameis Winston. Tampa has given the ball away a league-high 31 times and although the Ravens are 31st in takeaways, they can get to the quarterback and force errant throws. The Ravens are eighth in sacks while the Bucs have allowed the fourth-most quarterback hits.

Tampa has lost five in a row on the road after opening the season with a road win in New Orleans. They are -9.2 in scoring differential on the road. The Ravens are +11.5 at home.

As long as Lamar Jackson doesn't fumble, the Ravens defense will dominate this one as the Ravens have a very good chance to win the AFC North.

Ravens 27 - Bucs 16

 

VIKINGS -8 vs. Dolphins

It can't get much worse for the Vikings offense after Monday night's abysmal performance. Minnesota has vastly underwhelmed this season, but now they find themselves in a must-win situation. I always like going against teams that just won a game and celebrated like it was the Super Bowl.

Vikings 31 - Dolphins 21

 

RAMS -9 vs. Eagles (Sunday night)

The Eagles are officially done. Their secondary is so bad they allowed Dak Prescott to throw for 455 yards against them. They are 30th in opponent passing yards per game and a league worst on the road allowing 341 passing yards. That's not good news when facing a Rams team that averages a league-best 352 passing yards per game at home. LA is embarrassed after their performance Sunday night in Chicago and now has all week to hear about how bad Jared Goff and the entire offense was.

Rams 42 - Eagles 17

 

Patriots @ STEELERS

There is no line on this game because Ben Rothetlisberger's status is unknown even though he played the end of the Raiders game. Whatever the line is, I love New England. We all know how good they are off a loss. The Pats have beaten the Steelers five times in a row. Rob Gronkowski has owned the Steelers in his career averaging 6.5 receptions for 111 yards and eight total touchdowns in six games.

Patriots 31 - Steelers 24

 

Top Survivor Picks to Avoid

JETS +6 vs. Texans (Saturday afternoon)

The warm-weathered Texans travel east to the muggy and windy Meadowlands for a weird Saturday afternoon game. They are off a tough loss at home to the Colts that ended their improbable nine-game winning streak. The Jets are off a nice win in Buffalo that saw Sam Darnold engineer a comeback. The Jets are also historically known to worsen their draft position by winning late-season game that don't matter. I'm a Jets fan so I'd know. This team likes Todd Bowles and wants to win for him. I think the Jets win outright in an ugly one.

Jets 23 - Texans 19

 

Redskins +7 @ JAGUARS 

So a team that has lost eight of their last nine is now favored by a touchdown against a team with a 6-7 record? I know the Redskins have been dreadful recently. They don't have a quarterback, but you expect Cody Kessler to cover a 7-point spread? If anything, this game is a one-possession game. Plus, Josh Johnson can do some things with his legs.

Jaguars 17 - Redskins 13

 

Cardinals +9 @ FALCONS

Atlanta should not be favored by nine over anyone. Their offense hasn't got to 20 points in their last four. Arizona has a very underrated defense. I expect them to stay within the number.

Falcons 23 - Cardinals 17

 

The Rest 

CHIEFS -3.5 vs. Chargers (Thursday night) If KC wins, they clinch the division and a first-round bye. If not, the Chargers have a very good chance on winning the division. The Chiefs have not lost at home yet and I don't think that happens Thursday night. I have a feeling we're gonna see a vintage Chargers team that makes stupid mistakes and misses some important kicks.

Browns +3 vs. BRONCOS (Saturday night) I've been saying this for a while: the Broncos can only muster two to three good drives a game. The Browns can move the ball and I think this is an extremely tight game that goes down to the end.

Titans +2.5 @ GIANTS - This is going to be a low-scoring game. Tennessee's defense is going to stifle the Giants. They'll take away Saquon Barkley as they are 12th in opponent yards per rush attempt. Tennessee likes to play ugly games and this will be one.

BEARS -5.5 vs. Packers - Chicago will have their Week 1 collapse on their mind for this one. The Bears defense is going to frustrate Aaron Rodgers and take care of business at home.

BILLS -2.5 vs. Lions - Buffalo is really not as bad as everyone thinks. They're competitive and their defense is number one in opponent yards per game. Detroit is averaging 16 points per game through their last three while the Bills are averaging 21.

BENGALS -3 vs. Raiders - It's going to be a high of 45 in Cincy on Sunday. Since 2014, the Raiders are 0-7 in games played in 45 degrees or less. Derek Carr struggles in the cold.  The West Coast team traveling East for an early game also applies here. Cincy is starting to figure it out with Jeff Driskel and they showed good fight against the Chargers. Expect a big game out of Joe Mixon against the 31st-ranked rush defense.

COLTS -2.5 vs. Cowboys - For Dallas to have a 320-yard advantage, run 45 more plays, and have a 23-minute time of possession advantage and narrowly win in overtime, says a lot. Indy has a very underrated defense and Andrew Luck is vastly better than Dak Prescott.

Seahawks -6 @ 49ERS - Seattle did just play a Monday night game, but they don't need to travel far. I like how San Fran just won so they ended their skid. The Seahawks will continue to roll.

PANTHERS +6.5 vs. Saints (Monday night) Carolina may very well be out of the playoff hunt, but rest assured, Monday night will be their last stand.

 

My Running Season Total

  • This week: Ravens -8, Bengals -3, Jets +6, Rams -9 as my bonus play
  • Last week: 3-0
  • Best bet ATS record: 20-21-1

 

Good luck RotoBallers, and I'll be back next week previewing Week 16.

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