What a disaster. I’ve been in survivor pools for more than a decade and I can’t recall a week like we saw last week when so many of the “favorites” went down. We were right to fade New Orleans, but it looks like we should have faded just about every other team. Most of my choices lost and in my largest pool 90% of all entrants are gone after the first two weeks. There was almost nowhere to hide. So, if you are still reading congrats on making it through the carnage or entering a second chance pool!
Each week, we’ll publish a column with a look at the best choices for the week in your Survivor Pool. We’ll also identify a sleeper team if you want to risk it for the week. And finally, we’ll try to pick those teams to avoid so you can live to see another day.
So, where do we go from here?
Bye week: None
Survivor Pool – Week 3 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of early Thursday:
If you’ve never read my Survivor columns previously, I can’t stress this rule enough. I (almost never) save a team for later in the season. There is too much volatility in the NFL and the best information you have is for the upcoming week. Trying to predict performance in future weeks is nearly impossible.
Here are my choices for Week 3 in order of preference:
- Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks come home in an 0-2 hole to start the season. Their high priced free agent TE acquisition is unhappy with his role. Their holdout safety Kam Chancellor has given up his holdout and may play this week. They face a Bears team that will likely be without Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffrey. I give the Seahawks an 88% chance of winning.
- New England Patriots – Many of you who survived put your faith in Bill Belichick and were rewarded. It was such an odd game in Vegas as it ended up with the Bills favored at one point. I don’t think we’re going to see that happen this week. It’s certainly a spot for a letdown and the Jags looked better in Week 2. But, the Pats have too many weapons for the Jags to stop. I gave the Patriots an 85% chance of winning.
I’ll pause here and say, don’t keep reading. Take one of these two and head on to Week 4.
- Green Bay Packers – Monday night in Green Bay is never a pleasant experience. And for a team like the Chiefs that lacks offensive weapons, it will be tough to keep up with Aaron Rodgers. I give the Packers a 71% chance of winning.
- Carolina Panthers – This is based on my guess that Drew Brees won’t play or will be severely limited. The Panthers defense should be able to control the Saints offense on the road. And I can see Greg Olsen having a big game for the Panthers building off his 14 targets a week ago. The Saints defense continues to be less than 100% especially at the safety position. I give the Panthers a 65% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: None
As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Houston Texas at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sure, the Texans defense is led by J.J. Watt and should be able to put the fear into Jameis Winston. But, the Texans may be without DeAndre Hopkins (or perhaps at less than 100%). If there is no Hopkins, who scares you on the Texans’ offense? Anyone? Bueller?
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Jets. Yes, the Eagles looked back. Yes, they may be without DeMarco Murray at 100%. But, this is the classic let down game for a Jets team that may be without most of their WRs.
Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.
Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. His work can been seen at TheFantasyFix.com, Scout Fantasy and RotoCurve. He’s even available to you via DraftValet. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi