NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Week 7
by Matt Severance - 10/21/2009
What is it with Week 6 and the Washington Redskins? Last year in Week 6, the Skins knocked me out of the Survivor Pool with a home loss to the dismal Rams. And then last week, Washington lost at home to the winless Chiefs. Thankfully, we didn't recommend the Redskins, whom we have already used in our 2009 Survivor Pool Picks. But there may have been a few folks in your pool who did play Washington last week and are now out. But the big surprise in the NFL last weekend was Oakland winning at Philadelphia, which I know cost many people out there. We had used the Eagles and they weren't our top choice last week, so we didn't have that worry.
Last week, we recommended the Pittsburgh Steelers, and they were really never in danger at home against the Browns. We did miss on two of our other four "to swear by" in Week 6, falling into that Eagles trap and also expecting the Chargers to beat Denver. But we hit our top choice, and that's all that matters.
Of the five we told you to be "scared by" last week, we hit on three of those: the Skins, Bengals and Jets all lost as home favorites. We also warned you against the Vikes and Jaguars, and those two won by a combined total of five points.
FIVE TO SWEAR BY IN WEEK 7
Indianapolis Colts (at Rams). It's rare that I will pick a road team as my top choice, but I think the Colts are far and away the best option on the board. I feel confident because Indy is coming off a bye week, and it's not like the Colts even need extra time to prepare for St. Louis. In addition, Indy is used to playing in a dome, and obviously the Rams can't count on the weather conditions to possibly help them spring the upset. My one concern here is that almost everyone in my league (and yours) may pick Indy this week, so it might be smart to pick choice No. 2 if you believe in that type of strategy.
New England Patriots (vs. Tampa Bay in London). There are two things that make me slightly leery of New England here: the travel and the unpredictable London weather. But obviously both factors could affect Tampa Bay, too. For what it's worth, it's not supposed to rain on Sunday evening in London but it could be windy. That could lessen the obvious advantage the Pats have in the passing game with Tom Brady. But the Bucs are bickering among themselves, and I don't really expect them to win a game away from Tampa this year. As mentioned above, if you think your entire league is going to go with the Colts this week, you may want to choose the Pats instead.
Carolina Panthers (vs. Buffalo). I think the Panthers are starting to get it together, and they have won nine of their past 10 at home during the regular season. Buffalo's offense is one of the disappointments in the NFL.
New York Giants (vs. Arizona). The Cards were awful when traveling to the Eastern time zone last year (and in years past) before upsetting the Panthers in the playoffs. I think there's no way the G-men lose two games in a row and that they are the NFL's best team when they are home.
San Diego Chargers (at Kansas City). Obviously I would stay away from this game compared to the four above. I don't like that the Bolts are coming in on a short week, but this game is their season. Plus it's not supposed to be too cold in K.C.
FIVE TO BE SCARED BY IN WEEK 7
New Orleans Saints (at Miami). The Fins will use Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams to keep Drew Brees off the field, and Chad Henne gives Miami a downfield passer it didn't have in Chad Pennington. Brees was pretty mortal in his last road game - at Buffalo. It's New Orleans' first regular-season trip to South Florida since 1980, and I think it is upset.
Green Bay Packers (at Cleveland). The Packers have alternated wins and losses in their first five games, so they are due a loss if that trend continues. This also will be Green Bay's first outdoor road game, and I think that plays a factor. I could definitely see an upset here, although supposedly the Browns are ravaged by the flu right now.
New York Jets (at Oakland). Not that you would choose the sinking Jets, but they also lost their best defensive player for the season this week in Kris Jenkins. Don't plan on using this team the rest of the year.
Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Chicago). Again, this matchup really is too close to bother making a pick on. But I think the Bengals were certainly overrated with that 4-1 start.
Minnesota Vikings (at Pittsburgh). I am fairly certain you would never choose a team (even a 6-0 one) in your Survivor Pool when it is playing at the Steelers. Just making sure.
To recap, I recommend the Indianapolis Colts as your top choice this week. That means off the board for me are the Colts, Steelers, Eagles, Texans, Redskins, Ravens and Saints - still plenty of good teams out there.
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