Phew. Much better. Our two big names got by with ease last week. And so did number three and number four. And my upset special also won for the second time in the first three weeks. It’s on to Week 4 and we’ve got a game in London (9:30 Eastern start time on Sunday) and a possible hurricane which could cancel the Washington/Philadelphia game. Oh, and byes start this week!
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 4 hold?
Bye week: New England Patriots, Tennessee Titans
Survivor Pool – Week 4 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 4 in order of preference:
- Seattle Seahawks – If you went with the Pats last week, then take the Seahawks this week. The Seahawks are nearly a guarantee at home. They face a Lions team that isn’t particularly good. Also, it seems Seattle found out that Jimmy Graham is pretty good. I give the Seahawks an 85% chance of winning.
- Indianapolis Colts –
Yes, the Jags are bad. Yes, the Colts are at home. But….Andrew Luck is hurt? Maybe. Andrew Luck has been the worst QB so far this year? The Colts offensive line is bad, but the Jags don’t have enough to take advantage of the issues. The Colts offense is still going to be able to outscore the Jags. I give the Colts a 75% chance of winning.No Andrew Luck es no bueno. Not worth the risk this week.
- San Diego Chargers – If the Browns continue to run Josh McCown out at QB, they will continue to be a laughingstock. No, Johnny Manziel isn’t the franchise savior, but he gives the Browns a chance to win. McCown does not. The Chargers have more firepower on offense and a defense that should be able to maintain the impotent Browns’ offense. Take the Chargers at home. I give the Chargers a 73% chance of winning.
- Denver Broncos – The Broncos defense will be the key to holding the Vikes off the scoreboard. Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t shown the ability to lead a team to victory and Denver can let Adrian Peterson run wild and still win. Sure, Peyton is old, but he’s not dead. I give the Broncos a 71% chance of winning.
- Arizona Cardinals – The only thing giving me pause in recommending the Cardinals higher, is that the Rams might give Todd Gurley more shots and they could have Brian Quick back this week. That said, the Cards defense is going to be a nightmare for Nick Foles who has consistently shown he can’t win games. I give the Cardinals a 71% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: None
As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Green Bay Packers on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. The Pack looked fantastic early against the Chiefs on Monday night. And everyone saw it. And then, the Chiefs came back. And back. And almost all the way back. And there is this fun stat about home underdogs and the Pack specifically in these sceanrios. It’ s a short week for the Pack and they have to travel west.
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Pittsburgh Steelers at home to the Baltimore Ravens. Sure, it’s Michael Vick at QB – the human turnover machine. And yes, the Ravens run defense is stout. But, the Steelers still have Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown and the Ravens have, well, Steve Smith Sr….and?
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 be seen at TheFantasyFix.com, Scout Fantasy and RotoCurve. He’s even available to you via DraftValet. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi