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NFL Survivor League Picks: Top Targets & Avoids for Survivor Pools (Week 2)

Week 1 of the NFL saw the favorites win nine of 13 contests. I correctly picked the Jets and Cardinals to win, but unfortunately the Bucs were hammered.

I wrote to avoid the Cowboys - who won solely due to the terrible clock management of the Giants - and correctly predicted an upset of the Colts by the Bills, while the Ravens made it scary close against the Broncos.

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.


Survivor League Strategy

I will be following the same strategy I implore every year when entering a survivor contest.

  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 Jaguars and Browns. Picking teams that you would not use later on in the season should be looked at early on. For example, last season the Jets played the Raiders in Week 1. I chose the Jets due to the fact that I knew this would be my best opportunity to use up the Jets and save other top teams like the Patriots and Seahawks later on.
  2. When in doubt pick the home team. Rarely will I be picking a team on the road in survivor. It is hard to win on the road, and teams tend to play better with their home crowd behind them. The one time I picked a road team last season, the 49ers lost at the Raiders and I was eliminated.
  3. Try to avoid divisional rivalry games also. Anything can happen with a rivalry game. Last season Washington was a 9.5-point underdog to the Cowboys in Dallas on Monday night football. Washington ended up winning, knocking many people out of their survivor pool.
  4. Never pick an underdog, unless you have no choice.


Before making any picks, look at each point spread. Don't get it twisted: Vegas is smarter than us. Use them to get a glimpse at how each team is projected to fare that week.

The biggest favorites in Week 2 per (home team in caps); SAINTS -10 vs. Buccaneers, COLTS-7 vs. Jets, Dolphins-6.5 vs. JAGUARS

Note that week 2 will be a lot easier to pick winners. Choose teams that are coming off a loss and playing at home.


Top Survivor Picks for Week 2

SAINTS -10 vs. Buccaneers 

The Saints will be the most popular pick in survivor pools this week. I do not agree with this line. The Saints should never be a 10 point favorite against anyone until I see their defense play real defense. But this is the Saints home opener and they will be jacked up. The Bucs looked abysmal last week against a Titans team that finished 2-14 in 2014. Jameis Winston looked lost and the defense could not stop rookie Marcus Mariota. The Saints should win this one handily.

COLTS -7 vs. Jets

This is the classic case of a team losing their road opener, only to come home and kill their opponent who won in week 1. Don't get overexcited about the Jets Jet fans (I am one myself). They beat up on the worst team in football last week. Last week the Colts offense could not do a thing, losing 27-14 to the Bills. This week Andrew Luck will look so good slicing up the Jets defense missing Antonio Cromartie. Andrew Luck vs. Ryan Fitzpatrick. Enough said.

STEELERS -5.5 vs. 49ers

Give the Steelers credit; they played the Patriots tough in week 1 in a game you knew New England was amped up to play. DeAngelo Williams looked great racking up 127 yards on 21 carries. The 49ers played a great game against the Vikings holding them to one field goal all game. I still believe the 49ers are not good and will win 6 games this season. Pittsburgh needs a win here in their home opener before going to St. Louis next week.

GIANTS -2.5 vs. Falcons

Don't overrate the Falcons after one game please. They should have lost last week against Philly if Cody Parkey had made that 44 yard field goal. The Falcons defense looked good in the first half and then reverted to how they played last season. The Falcons could not stop the Eagles offense at all in that second half. The Giants should have won last week, they will get their win this week in their home opener. The Giants offense will steamroll the Falcons bad defense.


Top Survivor Picks to Avoid for Week 2

Dolphins -6.5 vs.  JAGUARS

Something doesn't feel right about this game. The Fins looked like an overrated bunch of clowns last week against Washington. I watched the Jags and Panthers last week (pity me) and although the Jags defense looked improved, Blake Bortles seemed as if he didn't take a step forward in the off-season. It looks too easy for the Dolphins to blow out the Jags this week. I'll go with the Jaguars as my upset special. I think the Jags defense makes some plays and keeps this one low scoring. Low scoring games always favor the underdogs.

CHIEFS -3 vs. Broncos

You do not want any part in this divisional rivalry Thursday night. I believe the Broncos will win, but you're better off saving  both of these good teams for later weeks.

VIKINGS -3 vs. Lions

Another divisional rivalry coin flip game. How can you pick the Vikings after Monday nights showing in San Francisco? How can you pick the Lions with a bad run defense against the league's best running back , Adrian Peterson? The answer, watch this game as a fan. Avoid at all costs.


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