NFL Survivor Pool Picks and Advice: Week 4
It's already been a great week! No Antonio Brown news, other than the fact that he re-enrolled at my alma mater's arch-rival Central Michigan. You can have him back, Chips!
No real earth-shattering upsets in Week 3 around the NFL. Detroit went to Philadelphia and upset the Eagles, but Philly has been a crap September team for two years now and was really short-handed injury-wise. I can't say I expected the Giants to win in Tampa, but it's not like I had all that much faith in the Bucs. Just none in Daniel Jones, and boy were we all wrong. Great stat: Jones is now 1-0 in NFL games when his team trails by at least 18 points. The guy whose job he took, Eli Manning, was 0-44 in those games in his likely Hall of Fame career. The 18-point comeback win tied for the second-largest for a quarterback in his first career start since the 1970 merger. I took Jones in the third round of our fantasy football rookie keeper draft this year, so I'm thrilled.
My top Survivor Pool pick last week was Dallas over the Miami Dolphins, and with how bad the Fins are it almost makes this column a weekly waste of time. You are going to pick whomever Miami is playing unless you already have. The Fins have a point differential of -117 through three games. In NFL history, only the 1922 Louisville Brecks (-134) and 1923 Rochester Jeffersons (-122) were worse. I have no idea what a Breck is. Are the Jeffersons after Thomas Jefferson? Don't know, don't care. Quite sure it's not after George and Weezie.
Here's a look at Week 4, with the New York Jets and San Francisco on the bye. The team listed first is my choice.
15. LA Rams vs. Tampa Bay: Matchup of overrated former No. 1 overall picks in Jared Goff and Jameis Winston. Rams have won the past five in the series and shouldn't struggle for No. 6 unless they are looking ahead to next Thursday at Seattle.
14. Houston vs. Carolina: The Panthers already have ruled out Cam Newton again, with Kyle Allen getting the start. Yes, I realize the Panthers have won Allen's past two starts, but he's not pulling an upset in Houston.
13. Atlanta vs. Tennessee: Very much pondering putting Atlanta at No. 15 because not sure I'd use the Falcons again this year. The only thing holding me back is that the Titans are on extra rest.
12. Baltimore vs. Cleveland: If you were starting a franchise, which former Heisman winner would you prefer? Most would have said Baker Mayfield entering this season, but Lamar Jackson has been way better. The Browns NEVER win as road dogs.
11. New England at Buffalo: Would love to be wrong here, but Tom Brady treats the Bills like his b**ch with a 30-3 career record against them. Dear God, do the Patriots play anyone good this year (I'm aware Buffalo is 3-0, but look which teams it beat)?
10. Indianapolis vs. Oakland: Would feel a lot better about the Colts if T.Y. Hilton was for sure playing. He's very much in question with a quad injury.
9. LA Chargers at Miami: I'm not kidding, I think this could be an upset … but I don't have the stones to pick it. Will keep it in the middle from a Confidence Pool standpoint . Without question will be taking all those points from a betting perspective. The Chargers have a tendency for a few bad losses each year, and it's an early start time and will be hot as hell in Miami.
8. NY Giants vs. Washington: If Jay Gruden puts Case Keenum out there again Sunday instead of turning the team over to rookie Dwayne Haskins, he's clearly just asking Dan Snyder to fire him.
7. Seattle at Arizona: The great Larry Fitzgerald needs five catches to pass Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez for the second-most receptions in league history. Fitz will get his five but Cardinals remain winless.
6. Green Bay vs. Philadelphia (Thursday): The Packers have won five of their past six in the series, including playoffs, and are unbeaten in their past 15 home games in September. While the Eagles may play desperate at 1-2 and keep it tight, the Pack will (unfortunately) escape with a win.
5. Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati (Monday): Not sure what the lowest-rated Monday night game in history is, but this might beat it. Maybe I'll watch "Dancing with the Stars" instead with my wife. Uh… no. Let's just hope there's a one-game MLB playoff or something next Monday.
4. Detroit vs. Kansas City: While most everyone else will have the Chiefs 10 or higher in their Confidence Pools, I'm going to make up that many points when the Lions pull the upset. Patrick Mahomes will learn that playing in a noisy dome is a very different animal.
3. Chicago vs. Minnesota: Have I mentioned enough times that the Bears could have had either Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes instead of Mitchell Trubisky? It's now clear to me he's never going to be that great. But that defense might be good enough to win a Super Bowl. Vikes don't usually play well in the Windy City.
2. Denver vs. Jacksonville: Do you realize the Broncos don't have a sack or a forced turnover yet? That's a first in NFL history through three times games. They'll get one of each off Jags rookie Gardner Minshew.
1. New Orleans vs. Dallas:
Could well be an NFC title game preview, but let's slow our roll on the
Cowboys in the early going. Teddy Bridgewater is more than capable of
winning this game at home.
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