NFL Survivor Pools Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 3
I am playing in only two survivor pools this year - a far cry from my normal number. In both of them about 40 percent of players have been eliminated through two weeks. That's a fairly good indicator that there are a lot of stupid people on this planet. I say this will all the respect it deserves - there is absolutely no excuse for being out at this point. There has been an incredibly easy, glaringly obvious pick each week. All you have had to do is pick them - Pittsburgh and Oakland in that order - and that's it.
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What's most striking about the people that have been eliminated so far is how clear it is that some people don't understand how to play survivor pools. This is not a time to pick an underdog and hope for an upset. This is not the time to take a side in a tight, tough game and hope that you get it right. This is absolutely not about taking risks. Survivor pools are about safe and boring picks. Risks are for losers.
Luckily, there are again some options that are short on risk this week. It's not quite presented to us on a silver platter like the first two weeks, but it's still there for the picking. And you have options this week unlike the last two.
Pittsburgh at Chicago: This would be pretty much an automatic pick if it was available, but for most people the Steelers were off the table in the opening week. If you can still make this pick then you could certainly do worse than Pittsburgh. They have looked very solid and professional through two weeks, and there isn't much reason to think that they won't be the same again. Chicago was surprisingly solid in their opener, but Mike Glennon is not the answer at QB - a fact that is more obvious to us than to the powers that be with the team itself. They have a real talent shortage in this one and just aren't good enough. Pittsburgh would be a very good pick.
New England vs. Houston: The Texans have had real issues at QB this year - drama that is all created by themselves. They have the answer long term I think, but they aren't ready for prime time yet. That has had a big impact on how they are playing this year, and that's not the only reason that they are struggling. They just aren't yet the sharp team that many expected them to be heading into this season. The Patriots weren't the team that anyone expected in the opener, either, but they bounced back with a completely dominating performance last week. They are playing angry, and they are at home where they will be looking to make up for the embarrassment suffered there against Kansas City. They are going to be ready, and this has typically been a pretty good matchup for them. The only reason that I like this pick instead of loving it is that the Pats are dealing with a lot of injury issues right now and might have to bring in a guy or two from the crowd to play receiver. That's not a fatal issue for the Patriots, but it is a cause for some concern - especially if the Texans were able to play at their full potential. Still, New England is a playable team. I don't like saving teams for later, but there is a pick I like better than New England as we will see soon, and the Pats have a game against the Jets in Week 6 that is a very tempting play, so I might break my own rule and look ahead here.
Green Bay vs. Cincinnati: The Bengals are a complete mess. They haven't scored a touchdown yet. They have already panicked and fired an offensive coordinator - which is not typically a move that solves problems in the short term for a team that is as much of a mess as this one is. They should have fired their coach two or three years ago and are realizing it now. Green Bay has not looked great so far, but they are a much better team than they have looked like - and a dramatically better team than the Bengals. They should return home angry after a frustrating, embarrassing loss at Atlanta, and they have the talent to turn things around here. The Bengals came into the season looking like a bad team, and have still played well below expectations. Andy Dalton is broken, and the Packers can keep him that way. The Packers are the best pick on the board.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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