It was not a good week last week after the top two choices. We saw New Orleans, Atlanta and Indianapolis fell. It was not good. You would have been better served going with my other team I liked (the Jets) or the underdog choice (the Panthers). But, we carry on.
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, what does Week 10 hold?
Bye week: Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers
Survivor Pool – Week 10 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of early Friday:
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 10 in order of preference:
- Green Bay Packers – Yes, the Lions in off a bye, but I’m not sure that makes much of a difference. The Packers have figured out that Eddie Lacy isn’t the answer. And they get Davante Adams back. The Lions offense is a disaster…just a mess. I give the Packers an 84% chance of winning.
- Cincinnati Bengals – It’s unlikely you have them left, but I’d use them this week if you do. The Bengals also face a team off a bye, but the Texans are a one-dimensional aerial show. They just don’t have any running game. The Bengals have too many offensive weapons to be stopped by the Texans. I give the Bengals an 82% chance of winning.
- Baltimore Ravens – I’m doing it. Sure, the Ravens are bad, but hey the Jags might just be worse. And the Ravens are coming off their bye which should have helped them integrate Chris Givens and Kamar Aiken fully into the offense. The Jags have enough on offense to keep up (as long as Allen Hurns is healthy), but I don’t think they can do enough on defense to stop Joe Flacco and the rest of the offense. I give the Ravens a 74% chance of winning.
- New England Patriots – If you want to be safer, feel free to punch the Pats up to number three. It’s not clear the Pats will lose a game all year long and this doesn’t really look like much of a challenge. The Giants have no running game, so they can’t control the clock. The Pats have lost Dion Lewis and their offensive line is struggling, but they still have Gronk and Edelman and Tom Brady. I give the Pats a 73% chance of winning.
- Louis Rams – The Bears are banged up at RB, but Jeremy Langford showed well last week. But, Alshon Jeffrey is dinged up. Again. The Bears don’t have much of a defense and the Rams have Todd Gurley. I give the Rams enough of a shot to slow the Bears on offense. I give the Rams a 72% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: The Denver Broncos will be without suspended Aqib Talib and may not have Emanuel Sanders at 100%. Their backfield is a bit banged up. But, they are at home and get a Chiefs team that seems to lack creativity on offense.
As for the Philadelphia Eagles, I’ll toss a coin. They may have finally figured out how to spread the ball around well enough in Philly to execute Chip Kelly’s lineup. And Miami isn’t exactly the juggernaut that everyone thought there were after the first week of Dan Campbell’s coaching career. I don’t mind taking them, but I find them hard to trust.
As for the avoid list, I’m going to shy away from the Carolina Panthers on the road the Tennessee Titans. The Panthers seem to continue to find ways to win. Said another way, somehow they keep winning even though they make enough mistakes to lose. The Titans are at home and Marcus Mariota has shown well. And the Titans seem to have a passable running game with Antonio Andrews. The Panthers luck will run out at some point.
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about your hometown Dallas Cowboys on the road in Tampa. Yes, the Cowboys seem to be imploding and Matt Cassel is still the QB. But, the Bucs have a young QB and have a bit of confidence that probably isn’t completely earned. The Bucs will only have Mike Evans again at receiver and ASJ will be on the bench yet again.
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.