NFL Survivor Pool Picks - Week 10
by Matt Severance - 11/06/2008
Good news, fellow Survivalists, this is the last week of the byes in the NFL (and first week of Thursday night games), so you will have a full menu to choose from the rest of the season following Week 10 - assuming you haven't already won your pool thanks to my sage advice. That would be the same advice, I guess, that got me knocked out, but that's a minor detail.
Last week, I warned you against picking the Bucs (at Kansas City) and Jags (at Bengals). Both smelled like traps, and both fell into them, although Tampa Bay miraculously pulled out a victory. I also mentioned to expect the Lions to stay very close at Chicago, and that also happened. Too bad I didn't bet on any of these games!
I mention this because I again would stay away from any team facing the Lions - folks, that win is coming sooner or later. They host Jacksonville this week and are again one of the bigger dogs on the board. Detroit is so bad right now that Daunte Culpepper, who wasn't even in the NFL a week ago, may start this week. Or maybe they'll sign Eric Hipple, too. But the Lions are at home, and wouldn't it be something if the Jags lost to winless teams back-to-back weeks? Stay clear.
But here's a look at the other biggest spread mismatch games of the week and my take on whether to go there:
Kansas City at San Diego. I'm guessing you've already used the Chargers - and been bitten for doing so. The inconsistent Bolts are more than two-TD favorites this week, and this is probably the safest play of the week. That K.C. offense looks much better under Tyler Thigpen now, although the Chiefs are thin at running back with Larry Johnson out again and Kolby Smith now out for the season. Take the Chargers.
Carolina at Oakland. I actually don't love this game for Carolina, a team I had already used. Maybe Al Davis got his team's attention this week when he cut DeAngelo Hall, with more overpriced player purges potentially on the way. Or maybe Al really did actually die a few years ago and that's just some type of "Weekend at Bernie's" corpse we saw rip apart Lane Kiffin a few months back. The Panthers look like a Super Bowl team at home but haven't won on the road since upsetting the Chargers in Week 1. I'm just saying (and I've used the Panthers already).
San Francisco at Arizona. The 49ers come in with a new QB in Shaun Hill, and it's always potentially dangerous to bet against a guy making his first start of the season because you just don't know what he has. And neither do the Cardinals, although they do have film on Hill from last year. Plus maybe Arizona isn't ready for the Monday night spotlight. Still, you can't be too picky in Week 10, so this is probably a safe bet if you still have the Cards.
St. Louis at N.Y. Jets. Brett Favre is way too unpredictable to take the Jets, whom I recommended a few weeks ago against the Chiefs anyways - and the Jets were lucky to win.
Seattle at Miami. Never thought I'd see the Dolphins as TD-plus favorites this year coming off last year's stinker, and the oddsmakers seem to be overvaluing Miami coming off a big win over a sinking Denver team. I also feel fairly confident in saying you haven't used Miami yet this year. If Matt Hasselbeck was playing for Seattle, I'd be wary here. And I'd still take San Diego or Arizona or Carolina over Miami, but this is probably Best Bet No. 4.
There's one other game I'd like to mention, just in case you are thinking about it:
Tennessee at Chicago. Don't touch the unbeaten Titans this week at Chicago. One thing the Bears can do is stop the run. And maybe "Good Rex" Grossman shows up at QB this week for Chicago. I smell an upset.