NFL Survivor Pools Strategy Advice and Predictions: Week 8
I don't know about you, but in my survivor pools this week there wasn't a whole lot of people who lost. Kansas City was a surprise loser, but most people had picked them already. Between Tennessee, Seattle and Dallas there were relatively straightforward picks to be had that turned out as expected. So, we are basically where we were last week - getting closer to the end of the pools, but waiting for a game or two that really breaks things open. Nervous times, because if you are still alive in a pool I can guarantee you are thinking you can win it.
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This week we'll look at the four most popular picks in early survivor pool action for Week 8. Two are far more attractive than the other two:
Philadelphia vs. San Francisco: This is the most popular pick of the week so far, and I can't even pretend to be surprised. The Eagles have, somewhat surprisingly, proven themselves to be the best team in football in the first half of the season. Carson Wentz has been MVP-level brilliant, and he is aided by a very solid defense. They outpaced a reasonably solid Washington team on Monday night, so they are certainly up to beating San Francisco. The Niners had lost five straight games by a field goal or less, so they were competitive even if they were winless. But they were absolutely crushed by the Cowboys last time out, and an already-challenged secondary was further gutted by injury. Wentz doesn't need help to produce offense, but he will get it here. The trip here is going to be tough for the Niners as well. If the Eagles play anything like they have been playing then this is a massive upset. My only regret is that I can't pick Philadelphia because they have already won a game for me - I had them over Arizona a few weeks back. If you are able to pick the Eagles then you probably should. And then you probably shouldn't worry about it too much.
New England vs. L.A. Chargers: This is the second-most-popular pick, and I just don't like it. First, though, how amazing is it that in Week 8 the Pats are available for enough players that they can be the second-most-popular pick? What a change compared to expectations heading into the season. The Patriots have looked better winning their last three, but they still have some defensive concerns and are a long way from their best. The Chargers have also won three straight and are coming off their most complete game of the year. The Patriots are the better team overall, and they should be able to win at home, but they are far from unbeatable, and I'd rather not trust that defense if I don't have to.
Minnesota vs. Cleveland: I thought that the NFL actually wanted to succeed in London, but sending Cleveland over there effectively puts an end to that theory. The Browns have been just awful. They can't figure out what to do at quarterback - as far as I know I might be starting this game. And, for the first time in more than a decade someone other than Joe Thomas will be playing left tackle. He has been pretty much the only highlight this year. They are horrible. Minnesota, meanwhile, has shown that QB uncertainty and bad luck does not have to totally derail a season. Far from it, really - the Vikings are in very good shape to win their division. The Vikes will be able to score against Cleveland, and the Browns will struggle against a pretty solid Minnesota defense. If the Vikings lose then they will have absolutely no excuses to explain it. The Vikings will be my pick this week, and I feel just fine about that.
Pittsburgh at Detroit: The Steelers have five wins, and they have played with swagger the last couple of weeks. It's no real surprise that people like them here. But their two losses have been really ugly - remember the five-pick debacle against Jacksonville - and they have some drama in their dressing room still thanks to Martavis Bryant. They are good but not entirely easy to trust. Detroit looked solid out of the gate, and I made the mistake of forgetting that they are the Lions and thinking they could be a contender. They have lost three of four, though, and have not defended home field well. But they aren't a completely incompetent team and are capable of making things interesting if the bad Steelers show up. This is not my favorite pick at all.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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