NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 10
Now that everyone can shut up about the New England Patriots possibly going 19-0 - we called Baltimore's upset on Sunday night in Week 9 - the 2019 regular season probably will be remembered as the Year of the Backup Quarterback.
Carolina's Cam Newton was put on season-ending injured reserve this week, meaning the Panthers are Kyle Allen's team going forward … and maybe that Newton has taken his last snap in a Panthers uniform. We have Mason Rudolph playing pretty well in Pittsburgh. Rookie Ryan Finley sending Andy Dalton to the bench in Cincinnati. Jacoby Brissett playing much better than many expected in Indianapolis. Gardner Minshew a sixth-round surprise in Jacksonville (although now headed back to the bench). Ryan Tannehill an upgrade on former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota with Tennessee. Matt Moore playing pretty well in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes hurt. Denver's Brandon Allen winning his first NFL start in Week 9 over loudmouth Heisman winner Baker Mayfield.
There's rookie Daniel Jones taking over for Eli Manning with the Giants. Rookie Dwayne Haskins finally getting his shot in Washington. Teddy Bridgewater's unbeaten record in place of an injured Drew Brees in New Orleans. And Matt Schaub throwing for a cool 460 yards in his lone start for an injured Matt Ryan in Atlanta.
Just more proof that NFL general managers need to use some capital, be it a draft pick or in free agency, to upgrade the quarterback room every offseason if need be. I'm looking at you Ryan Pace in Chicago!
I've been rolling from a Confidence Pool selection , missing just one game each of the past two weeks, and I finally won my big-money weekly competition in Week 9. Was sweating my top Survivor Pool pick in Week 9, though, as Seattle needed overtime to beat visiting Tampa Bay. Otherwise, really no major upsets - although I didn't expect the Browns to lose in Denver (my one miss).
Here's a look at Week 10, with a season-high six teams on the bye in Denver, New England, Jacksonville, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington. The team listed first is the choice.
13. New Orleans vs. Atlanta: This might be the no-brainer pick of the season with the Saints on a six-game winning streak out of their bye and Brees healthy again, and the Falcons on a six-game skid out of their bye and Ryan perhaps still not 100 percent. Shocked that Dan Quinn is still Atlanta's coach.
12. Baltimore at Cincinnati: I'm absolutely taking the 10-plus points on Cincinnati here as I think this is a HUGE trap/letdown game for the Ravens off their upset of the Patriots. However, while this might be close, I can't see John Harbaugh letting his team lose to a winless club giving Finley his first start under center.
11. Indianapolis vs. Miami: Move this down a bit if Brissett can't go. He's dealing with a sprained MCL but may be able to play through it. Veteran backup Brian Hoyer is good enough to beat the sad-sack Dolphins (but not cover the spread) even if not.
10. Green Bay vs. Carolina: The Panthers would be left with just $2 million in dead cap space if they walked away from Newton after this season, and I tend to think they will. Saw one site listing Newton having played his last game as a Panther as a -130 favorite. Green Bay didn't look good last week but don't bet against Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau.
9. Cleveland vs. Buffalo: Explain to me again why Mayfield changed facial hair before and after last Sunday's loss in Denver? I used to somewhat like that dude with his brash attitude, but now I'm thinking he's just a self-centered punk. That said, the Bills are the biggest frauds in the NFL at 6-2.
8. Tampa Bay vs. Arizona: Bucs coach Bruce Arians against the team he used to coach and a matchup of former No. 1 overall picks and Heisman winners in Jameis Winston and Kyler Murray. The Cardinals almost never win in the Eastern Time Zone.
7. Dallas vs. Minnesota: A tad worrisome that the Cowboys are on a short week, but Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is something like 5-27 in his NFL career against teams with a winning record dating to his Redskins days.
6. Chicago vs. Detroit: I'm from Michigan and used to never miss a Bears-Lions game but I won't be wasting my time watching the Bears the rest of the season. What an utter disappointment. Think the Bears win ugly here, but I really don't care.
5. Kansas City at Tennessee: I would actually flip this entirely if Mahomes doesn't return this week for the Chiefs . His knee looked fine to me when sprinting onto the field to celebrate last week's last-second win over Minnesota.
4. San Francisco vs. Seattle (Monday): The Niners have zero chance to go unbeaten this season but they'll keep a zero in the loss column for one more week.
3. LA Rams at Pittsburgh: Don't much like picking Pacific Time Zone teams winning on the East Coast, but the Rams catch two breaks here in that they are off their bye and it's a 4:25 p.m. ET start instead of 1 p.m. ET.
2. LA Chargers at Oakland (Thursday): Should be a mega-party in Oakland as it's the last scheduled NFL night game in that city for possibly ever with the Silver & Black off to Vegas. Bolts have won four straight in series and seem to have righted the ship this year.
1. NY Jets vs. NY Giants: Who cares? I just hope the black cat from Monday night returns to MetLife Stadium. About the only interesting thing there this football season.
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