So, we did alright last week as we pulled the Colts out on Sunday with Andrew Luck missing the game. We missed on the Cardinals who ended up being our fourth choice overall. But, we’re back again this week to pick again for Week 5.
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 5 hold?
Bye week: Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets
Survivor Pool – Week 5 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of late 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 5 in order of preference:
- Green Bay Packers – Yep, the Rams looked pretty good last week in defeating the Cardinals on the road. And this is the classic letdown scenario – a young team feeling pretty good about itself sauntering into Lambeau Field. Sure, the Rams have Todd Gurley, but the Pack’s offense should be able to outgun the Rams. I give the Packers an 80% chance of winning.
- New England Patriots – As if the Pats needed more ammunition, they have Greg Hardy talking about Tom Brady’s wife. The Cowboys seem to lose at least one valuable contributor every week. I cannot see a way that the Cowboys offense with Brandon Weeden at the helm keeps up with Brady and Gronk. And even though this game is in Dallas, it’s not like the Cowboys seem to get much of an advantage from their cavernous new stadium. I give the Pats a 79% chance of winning.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Yes, the Bears have Jay Cutler back and Matt Forte. So, their offense has enough weapons. And maybe we’ll even see Alshon Jeffrey (nah!). But, the Bears defense is horrific. And the Chiefs have finally determined that one can throw footballs to the WRs as well as TEs. And Jeremy Maclin has benefited. Arrowhead is a tough place to play and the Chiefs should handle the Bears…handily? I give the Chiefs a 75% chance of winning.
- Atlanta Falcons – Washington is nearly as bad as they seem especially on defenses where they’ve been fairly effective over the first four weeks. That said, I believe the Falcons have a bit too much in the way of offensive firepower to be shut down. And Washington will likely be without their most important receiver in Jordan Reed. I give the Falcons a 72% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – this is a bit off the beaten path, but something has to give. The Jags were 0-8 on the road last year. The Bucs were 0-8 at home last year. The Jags are 0-2 on the road this year. The Bucs are 0-2 at home this year. Someone has to win, right? The Jags couldn’t take advantage of the Colts lsat week and I like the Bucs defense a bit more than the Colts. The Bucs have enough weapons on offense to be dangerous every single week. I give the Bucs a 65% chance of winning.
As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Baltimore Ravens at home to the Cleveland Browns. Yes, the Browns aren’t very good, but the Ravens certainly haven’t looked good either. I usually don’t pick against the Ravens when they are at home. But, have you seen the current WR depth chart for the Ravens? Yea, I don’t know who those guys are. Let’s stay away this week and see what happens in this division matchup.
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Tennessee Titans at home to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills backfield may be led by Anthony “Boobie” Dixon and Dan “Boom” Herron. Now Boobie and Boom sounds like a great sports talk duo, but I’m not sure it’s who you want running the ball in an NFL game.
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