NFL Survivor Pools Expert Advice and Predictions for Week 4
It has been an incredibly easy season so far for NFL survivor pool players. Every week has had very obvious picks that have turned out, for the most part, precisely as they were supposed to. Last week was even easy compared to the rest of this straightforward season - the Cowboys, Patriots and Packers were all painfully obvious picks, and they all won almost as easily as they were supposed to. If you have played survivor pools for a few years now, then you are probably getting nervous. Things can't stay this simple for this long, so we are probably due for a soul-crushing upset. But because we are wise and cautious pool players - the type of people who win these things - we can't go picking those crazy upsets. We just have to make the best picks and hope for the best. And here is what those best picks look to be this week:
The first thing that jumps out this week is that things are tougher to get excited about this week than they have been. There are four teams that jump out at first glance, but the closer you look at each, the more uneasy you become.
L.A. Chargers at Miami: This is the most popular pick in early picking action and is likely to stay that way. And it is probably going to be where I wind up because the Dolphins are just so, so awful. But the Chargers really don't fill me with a whole lot of confidence right now. They needed overtime to get past the Colts at home in their opener and then lost twice in games they had no business dropping - at Detroit and at home against the Texans. This was a team that was supposed to be a major threat to the Chiefs in the AFC West, but Kansas City has looked superhuman and the Chargers just look broken. The offense has been fine enough for the most part - especially considering Melvin Gordon is still out. But the defense, which was supposed to be a strength, has been just plain underwhelming so far. Playing against Miami has been very good for three teams so far this year, and it very likely will help fix some of what is ailing the Chargers, but putting your faith in a squad that is lucky to be 1-2 when they have had a schedule against which they should be 3-0, given expectations , is a real concern.
L.A. Rams vs. Tampa Bay: The Rams are at home and should win this one. But they sure aren't the kind of 3-0 team that gives you a lot of confidence. It's like Bill Belichick broke something in Sean McVay in that Super Bowl smackdown, and the young L.A. coach has not yet been able to fix it. They look tentative where they used to look dominant, and Jared Goff is turning into a bit of a problem. The Bucs are a long way from great, but they are doing some things well, and are mostly competent this year. This one feels closer than it really should be. I'd take the Rams if I had to, but I'm not rushing into it right now.
Kansas City at Detroit: If you can still pick the Chiefs, then you can take them here and you will probably be okay. But the Lions are showing signs that they aren't exactly the Lions that we have become used to. I haven't become convinced they are a playoff team or anything, but they have yet to become the doormat of the NFC North as it seemed like they could be. They still haven't lost, and they have beaten some legitimate teams in the Chargers and Eagles. The Chiefs are better than the Chargers and Eagles, but they are still on the road here, and anything could happen. Kansas City will likely win, but it doesn't feel like nearly the lock it did a month ago.
New England at Buffalo: By now you have probably already played the Patriots - they have played the Dolphins, after all. But if they are still somehow available to you, then you could play them here. They have taken care of business as expected - even if the Antonio Brown situation brought a taint of organizational classlessness to the first few weeks of the season. But again, this game isn't quite the lock that it seemed like it would be in August. New England is what they were supposed to be, but the Bills are more. Much more. They are also 3-0. And while they haven't exactly been dominant, and they have played an incredibly weak schedule - both New York teams and the Bengals - they have a belief in themselves that makes them a little scary. New England will quite probably win, but you have to think about this one more than you often would.
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