NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 5: Advice and Predictions
Four weeks down, 14 to go. Navigating an entire NFL season in a survivor pool is a very difficult task, which only gets harder as the season goes on. It requires patience, timing, and a little bit of luck along the way. In week 4, the biggest favorites all won outright, with the 49ers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Chargers, and Vikings all getting it done as 5+ point favorites. We survived as the 49ers easily swatted aside the Cardinals, ensuring we live to see another day. Additionally, my top 7 picks all won. Therefore, if you tailed one of my best bets last week, you are still alive too. Here are my survivor pool picks ranked from most to least confident for Week 5.
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Miami Dolphins (-11) Over New York Giants
I will be taking the Dolphins this week, and if you haven’t already, you should too. Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense is head and shoulders better than Daniel Jones and the Giants, and they are a great pick at home this week. The Giants have scored 11.5 PPG, which is dead last in the league, while the Dolphins are leading the way with 37.5 PPG. A humbling Week 4 loss to the Bills has given the Dolphins no margin for error atop the AFC East, and they will easily take care of New York in Week 5.
Thursday Night Football: Washington Commanders (-5.5) Over Chicago Bears
The Commanders are coming off back-to-back losses against the Bills and Eagles but are facing a much easier task against the Bears on Thursday. Sam Howell and the Commanders offense has quickly gotten used to Eric Bieniemy’s offensive scheme and will have no problem dropping points on the Bears. Until we see life from Justin Fields and the Bears, they will be an easy fade in survivor pools this season. If you haven’t used the Commanders already in Week 1, they’re a solid pick in Week 5.
Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) Over LA Rams
The Eagles are on the road against the Rams in Week 5 and will be able to pound the ball down their throats to get the victory. I expect 200+ rushing yards from the Eagles offense. And once they get the lead, they won’t look back. A pair of inexperienced Rams offensive and defensive lines will result in them getting dominated in the trenches, and on the scoreboard.
Sunday Night Football: San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) Over Dallas Cowboys
The 49ers are elite on both sides of the ball and have already made the best teams in the league look helpless. They easily beat up on a tough Steelers defense in Week 1 and will be able to dismantle Dallas on Sunday night. The Cowboys may have the top ranked defense in the league, but they’ve yet to face any of the top 16 quarterbacks this season. They’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3) Over Arizona Cardinals
If the Bengals are going to save their season, their matchup against Arizona is absolutely a must win. Joe Burrow has been invisible on offense to start the season. And while risking your survivor pool life on a 1-3 team is a tough pill to swallow, this may be the best time to use the Bengals up. The Cardinals took advantage of the Cowboys mistakes for their only win of the season, and their horrendous 4th quarter form will come back to haunt them once again.
Detroit Lions (-9) Over Carolina Panthers
Beware. The Lions will be a very popular pick over Carolina this week, but I’d stay away from them despite their heavy favorite status. The Panthers have a solid pass defense and will force the Lions to get their hands dirty on the ground. I won’t be calling for an outright Panthers victory, but this one reeks of a survivor pool ruining upset. I’d still be more confident in the Lions than others on this list, but they’ll make it far too close for comfort.
Houston Texans (+2) Over Atlanta Falcons
The Texans offense has come to life with 67 points in the two most recent victories, while the Falcons have gone to sleep. Both these teams may be sitting at 2-2, but the Texans will be feeling much better about their record. CJ Stroud took a few games to get his feet wet, but it looks like the Texans franchise is in good hands.
Buffalo Bills (-5.5) Over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars have found success in London in recent years, but the Bills will be too much for them to overcome across the pond. Buffalo is coming off 3 straight wins of 4+ touchdowns. And as long as Josh Allen takes care of the ball, they will win once again. No reason to use the Bills in this tough matchup, but they’ll get the job done nevertheless.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) Over Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers always bring a high intensity with them to any divisional game, and their matchup at home against the Ravens will be no different. However, Lamar Jackson is quietly putting together another MVP caliber season and will be just too much for them to handle on Sunday. Kenny Pickett cannot be trusted to consistently put up points, while the Ravens are good for at least 2 TDs.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5) Over Minnesota Vikings
There is no reason to use up the Chiefs in what could prove to be a tough matchup against the Vikings. They allowed Zach Wilson to outplay them on Sunday Night Football and came very close to losing the game outright. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson are capable of getting hot in a hurry and are a dangerous duo to fade on any given week. Chiefs win, but it wouldn’t shock me if they got upset.
New York Jets (+2) Over Denver Broncos
Speaking of Zach Wilson… if he can take advantage of what is still an elite Jets defense, the season might not be over just yet. A generous Broncos defensive unit will allow Zach Wilson to put together his second consecutive solid start and will get the Jets their second win of the season. Despite their comeback win over Chicago in Week 4, the Broncos are still a dumpster fire and should be faded whenever possible.
New Orleans Saints (+1.5) Over New England Patriots
The Saints have issues at quarterback, but otherwise have a solid defense, good special teams, and a hungry Alvin Kamara in the backfield. There are still real hopes that this team could sneak out a division title, while the same can’t be said for the Patriots. Mac Jones was benched for Bailey Zappe in the Pats recent blowout loss. And while he will get the starting nod here, he still cannot be trusted. The Saints defense makes life miserable for Brady’s successor and retakes the lead in the NFC South.
Tennessee Titans (+1) Over Indianapolis Colts
The Titans may have their flaws, but these are the types of games they’ve found ways to win over the years. Their defense has been surprisingly stingy this season, and shutting down an explosive Anthony Richardson will be a tall task. However, Ryan Tannehill will play a mistake free football game, which will be enough to edge out a win.
Green Bay Packers (-2) Over Las Vegas Raiders
Both of these teams are far too inconsistent to warrant a tail or a fade in a survivor pool. One minute, Jordan Love is looking like a worthy successor to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Farve, and the next he’s getting blown out by the Detroit Lions. The question marks surrounding the Raiders motivation this early in the season are just as worrying. Therefore, while I expect the Packers to get the road win, there are much better options on the board.
Survivor Play of the Week: Miami Dolphins Over New York Giants
Teams Used: Washington Commanders, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers
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