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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 5) - Targets and Avoids

Kirk Cousins - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

New England was a first down away in overtime from lining up to kick a field goal that would have decimated survivor pools. Most pools saw Green Bay get picked by about half of entrants remaining. Had they lost, more than 90-95 percent of preexisting entrants from Week 1 would have been gone. That would have been something a month into the season. Still, the Packers and  Chargers got the wins leaving most entrants alive.

Many more big favorites this coming week compared to last and another London game.

All season long I'll be bringing you weekly survivor pool columns on NFL teams to target and avoid each week. Survivor league strategy is a major part of winning your pools, and this article will help you through the 2022 NFL season. 

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NFL Teams Favored by 6+ in Week 5

Lines are consensus via The Action Network: Bills -14 vs. Steelers, Bucs -8.5 vs. Falcons, Jaguars -7 vs. Texans, Vikings -7 vs. Bears, Packers -8 vs. Giants (London), Chiefs -7 vs. Raiders, 49ers -6.5 at Panthers

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

With gambling now legal for some of you, I'm going to be giving out my three top plays against the spread. They'll be at the bottom. I'll also be giving my predicted score for games written about.


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Target for Week 5

Bills -14 vs. Steelers

If you want to advance this week and take Buffalo, I can't fault you. The Bills should cruise in this game against Kenny Pickett who's reportedly expected to start Sunday. The Steelers' offense will be a lot more dynamic with an actual quarterback, but it'll take some time to gel.

Bills 31 - Steelers 20

Vikings -7 vs. Bears

If I were still alive in survivor, Minnesota would be the no-brainer play this week. Justin Fields is a disaster as the Bears quarterback. In the first four games, he's completed a total of 34 passes on 67 attempts (8, 7, 8, 11). He struggles to throw a 5-yard pass and when the first option isn't there, he takes off. The Bears' offense is like watching an offense from the 70's. Chicago has an average defense, but when you have an offense out there that scores 16 points a game, how great a defense do you need to win a game in today's NFL?

Kirk Cousins has his limitations, but there are too many weapons in Minnesota's arsenal to lose this one.

Vikings 27 - Bears 10

Titans -2.5 at Washington

This is another play aimed at going against a terrible quarterback, Carson Wentz. I saw about every play from the Bears and Washington games Sunday, not ideal placement at the bar I was at, but good to know just how bad these teams offenses are. Against the Cowboys, Wentz was 25-42 for 170 yards, 4.2 yards per attempt, a terrible number, and two interceptions. The offense is averaging a worst 4.6 yards per play through the first month of the season. If Wentz wasn't dumping the ball off short, he was missing his target by a pretty wide margin.

The Titans are tough to figure out. They lost to the Giants in Week 1 after missing a field goal at the buzzer, got crushed by the Bills, beat the Raiders and Colts. They've been more on-brand the last two weeks, get ahead early and let Derrick Henry and the defense take over. Sunday against Washington sets up perfect for this gameplan.

Titans 27 - Washington 20

49ers -6.5 at Panthers

The Niners are giving up 3.8 yards per play on defense, best in the league. Carolina's offensive will surely struggle as they rank 27th in offensive yards per play. Baker Mayfield completing 54.7 percent of passes with a 6.4 yards per attempt, most career lows. San Fran will dominate.

49ers 27 - Panthers 14

Packers -8 vs. Giants (London)

21 points from Green Bay should be enough to win this game. There are plenty other opportunities to use Green Bay this season so I'd rather save them. But if you go with them here, can't blame you especially with the Giants quarterback struggles.

Packers 28 - Giants 16


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Avoid for Week 5

Saints -5.5 vs. Seahawks

Geno Smith has better numbers than both Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton, and yet Seattle is getting six points. Smith is completing 77,3% of passes, tops in the NFL. The Seahawks' defense looked dreadful against the Lions, but it's not like New Orleans has been that good on offense. They're averaging 19 points per game and are 24th in third-down conversion percentage. The Saints have the capability of riding their defense to a win, but they'll need to score some points of their own.

Seahawks 24 - Saints 21

Jaguars -7 vs. Texans

Jacksonville got off to a blistering start against the Eagles 14-0, but then were outscored 29-7. The team fell apart. But they have a very good pass rush, a balanced offensive attack and can compete with any team. But Houston has shown fight and I wonder how Jacksonville will play in the favorite role.

Jaguars 23 - Texans 20

Bucs -8.5 vs. Falcons

This line is placing a lot of stock into pre-season conceptions of these teams. The Bucs have been very underwhelming and Tom Brady had good stats Sunday night against the Chiefs, 375 passing yards, partly because Kansas City was playing prevent most of the game. Tampa's defense got exposed and now they have another challenge against a top-10 offense led by the dual-threat quarterback Marcus Mariota. This could be a high-scoring game and one in which I'd rather have the dog.

Bucs 38 - Falcons 34

Chiefs -7 vs. Raiders

The Raiders usually struggle when they play in Kansas City, but that's been in the winter as Derek Carr struggles in the cold. But it's an early-season matchup with the Raiders off their first win of the year. There will be other chances to take the Chiefs like Week 15 against the Texans or 16 against the Seahawks.

Chiefs 28 - Raiders 24


NFL Best Bets for Week 5

  • Vikings -7 vs. Bears
  • Titans -2.5 at Commanders
  • Texans +7 at Jaguars


Running Totals

  • Last Week: 1-2
  • 2022 season: 9-3
  • 2021 season: 27-26-1
  • 2020 season: 24-27
  • 2019 season: 23-26-2

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