It was mostly a good week for Survivor Pool players last week. Arizona probably cost some, but there were better spots out there so it wasn't a crushing upset like it could have been. Miami caused a lot of people stress with a terrible performance, but they came out on top in the end even if they needed overtime against Cleveland. Seattle redeemed themselves with a dominating outing after the farce of the previous week against the Rams. Dallas took care of business. It was a pretty solid week. Here's hoping for another one. Here's the best of the options for this week of Survivor Pool action:
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Cincinnati vs. Miami: This one is here because the Bengals are favored by a touchdown - a good starting point for finding viable Survivor Pool picks. That being said, I hate the Bengals here. Cincinnati has not looked great this year, and they were just plain lousy last week. Miami has some defensive threats that can punch Andy Dalton in the face, and he is wilting this year when challenged. The Dolphins are not great right now, and I hate their QB situation, but I don't trust Cincinnati nearly enough to trust them with my pool life.
Houston vs. Tennessee: This is another one that comes to attention because Houston is favored by a full touchdown in some spots. I don't like this game any more than the last one, though. Picking the Texans means trusting Brock Osweiler, and there is nothing he has done yet that makes me think that that is a good idea. Tennessee has some issues, and they are far from a contender right now, but it would be far from a shock to see Tennessee in this one. That's my basic criteria - if I get knocked out in a Survivor Pool I want to be shocked by my fate. That means I can't pick Houston. The way things have looked lately I'm not sure that I can pick Houston until Bill O'Brien has a new job.
New England vs. Buffalo: This one is tempting. I mean, Bill Belichick isn't losing at home to Rex Ryan. He just wouldn't ever let that happen. I have to rule it out, though, for one practical reason - we don't know who is playing QB. At least as I write this nothing has been confirmed. Jimmy Garoppolo could be back. Jacoby Brissett reportedly has a thumb injury, though reports of how significant it is and what impact it could have vary widely. We could even potentially see Julian Edelman, the receiver who was a college QB and certainly knows the offense very well. The only thing we know is that it won't be Tom Brady. I'm not sure it matters who plays, but the uncertainty forces me to look elsewhere.
Washington vs. Cleveland: Picking whoever plays against the Browns is always a good idea, and this is no exception. Washington becomes much more palatable as a pick here after they pulled off a huge road win at the Giants to show that they are competent after all. This isn't the best pick we have seen all year, but it is probably the best we have available to us this week. Cleveland showed a very interesting twist in how they used Terrelle Pryor last week, but that isn't enough - they still didn't beat a Miami team that was horrible, and Pryor won't be as productive when he loses the element of surprise.
Arizona vs. L.A.: This game should be a lot more attractive than it is. If you had offered me the chance to lock in this pick after the opening week, I would have been all over it. Since then, though, the Rams have incomprehensibly found a way to win two in a row, and the Cardinals were just a disaster last week against the Bills. Carson Palmer, in particular, looked like he had never played an organized game of football before in his life. Palmer could be in for another rough day as well, because this St. Louis defensive line is more than capable of creating chaos. Arizona should win - especially at home - but both these teams fit firmly in the camp of squads I just don't understand right now, so I'll stay as far away from this game as I can.
Detroit at Chicago: I wouldn't at all consider this game right now. If things were different and I was desperate, though, I could potentially see a situation to consider the Lions. Chicago is just really, really bad. They can't do anything well right now, and they are losing the mental battle as well. Detroit is far from perfect, but they have been better than their record and should be able to win this one. If nothing else, it's an interesting game from this perspective if from no other.
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