NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 15
Don't you just love egotistical rich athletes? Le'Veon Bell got a four-year, $52.5 million contract this past winter from the Jets with $35 million guaranteed. Pretty laughable enough that Bell couldn't play last Sunday against Miami because of the flu. The Jets sent him home on Saturday and told him to stay there as he was contagious. So, of course, Bell was spotted out late Saturday night partying with friends at a bowling alley. You can't make this stuff up. If you or I called in sick and were spotted like that, we are looking for work. Bell not only brushed that off, he bragged about rolling a 251.
Yet, Jets coach Adam Gase says he won't be punishing Bell because he technically didn't violate any team rule: "What am I going to discipline him for? I can't tell him, 'You have to stay in your house.' " I would love to have seen what a Vince Lombardi or Mike Ditka or even Bill Belichick would do to Bell.
But I digress … my top three Survivor Picks in Week 14 all hit pretty easily with the Green Bay Packers beating Washington, the Cleveland Browns handling Cincinnati and the Minnesota Vikings sleepwalking through a win over Detroit. The big upset was Denver going to Houston and torching the Texans behind a huge game from rookie Drew Lock. The former Missouri star became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in his first career road start. Did I mention I had just picked up Lock the previous week in my fantasy dynasty league? Schwing!
Entering Week 15, three teams have clinched playoff berths: Baltimore, Kansas City and New Orleans. Buffalo, New England, Green Bay, San Francisco and Seattle all could this week if they win and/or things break right elsewhere.
Here's a look at Week 15, and the team listed first is the choice.
16. Kansas City vs. Denver: The conditions won't be quite as nice in Kansas City for Lock as they were in that dome in Houston. The Chiefs still have plenty of motivation in terms of getting a first-round AFC bye.
15. Oakland vs. Jacksonville: Yes, I know the Raiders are flat-lining right now on a three-game blowout streak, but I think they destroy the Jags for two reasons: It's the last-ever game in Oakland , and Jacksonville's players have tuned out lame-duck coach Doug Marrone.
14. Baltimore vs. NY Jets (Thursday): I generally don't recommend using a Thursday game as your Survivor choice, and I don't here because now we are hearing that Lamar Jackson has a quad injury. I'm sure he'll play, and he says he will, but this might be close.
13. New England at Cincinnati: So the Patriots are cheating again! To beat the freaking Bengals?! And Pats fans wonder why most of the rest of the country hates that team.
12. San Francisco vs. Atlanta: Could be a bit of a trap game for the Niners off their epic win in New Orleans last Sunday, but they won't lose this one with a chance at the NFC's top seed.
11. New Orleans vs. Indianapolis (Monday): Could be a bit of a trap game for the Saints off their epic loss at home to the Niners last Sunday, but they won't lose this one with a chance at one of the NFC's first-round byes.
10. Philadelphia at Washington: The Eagles looked absolutely atrocious for about three quarters Monday night at home before waking up and rallying against the Giants. Perhaps that was a wake-up call.
9. Cleveland at Arizona: If Cleveland loses this one, it could be eliminated from the playoff chase. Why do I think the Browns will trade Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason? Yet another guy like Bell who thinks the world should just kiss his a**.
8. Green Bay vs. Chicago: Go ahead and put my Bears officially out of their misery, Aaron Rodgers. It is the first time since 2010 that the Packers-Bears game at Lambeau Field will not be in prime time.
7. Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo: Only the second time the Bills will play in a Sunday night game in team history as this was flexed to prime time, replacing Vikings-Chargers. These are probably the two AFC Wild-Card teams regardless of the result here.
6. Seattle at Carolina: Loss of Rashaad Penny for the season will hurt Seattle's run-first offense, but the Panthers are playing out the string under an interim coach.
5. Tampa Bay at Detroit: My projected line for Jameis Winston in this one: 438 yards passing, five touchdowns, four picks and two fumbles (one lost). He might lead the NFL in TD passes and picks this season (picks is a lock)! But I'll still take a turnover-prone Winston over David Blough.
4. NY Giants vs. Miami: Yawn. Would actually benefit the Giants to lose and keep their hopes for the No. 1 overall pick alive, but Eli Manning (assuming Daniel Jones will sit again due to injury) will get the final victory of his Big Blue career.
3. Tennessee vs. Houston: Game of the week with the winner taking sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Believe it or not, the second-best quarterback in the NFL over the past seven games has been Ryan Tannehill.
2. Dallas vs. LA Rams: The Cowchips were spanked in Chicago last Thursday night and that truly gave me joy, but they'll bounce back at home in a rematch of last season's Divisional Round game in Los Angeles.
1. LA Chargers vs. Minnesota: Vikings might be looking ahead to next week's huge home game vs. Green Bay. The Chargers are 5-8 but could easily be something like 9-4 as every loss has been by seven points or fewer.
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