The Seahawks hurt a good number of players last week, but hopefully you were on the Jets. Or the Bengals or Vikings who I had misgivings about last week. I think the concerns over the Vikes were valid as they didn’t show much. But, I was wrong about the Bengals – they are legit. But, we’re back again this week to pick again for Week 7.
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 7 hold?
Bye week: Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers
Survivor Pool – Week 7 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of mid-day Wednesday:
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 7 in order of preference:
- New England Patriots – We’ll put the Pats back up on top this week mostly because of the equity you can claim if the big favorite (the Cardinals) go out. The Pats are back home and could be in letdown mode after Deflate Bowl last week. But, I believe Bill Belichick will keep them motivated in this divisional game against a tough Jets team. The Jets have a passable (perhaps even better) offense and a defense that is revitalized with the return of Sheldon Richardson. I give the Patriots a 79% of wining.
- Arizona Cardinals – The Cards are my favorite team this week (and it seems a lot of others). The Cards are off a loss and head home to face a Ravens team that is listless. The Ravens defense is horrific and Carson Palmer should be able to carve it up. Chris Johnson is starting to turn back into a pumpkin, but I don’t think the Ravens can hold off the passing offense even if the Cards are only one-dimensional on offense. I think you take the Cards and live another week. I give the Cardinals an 84% chance of winning.
- Buffalo Bills – I’m making the assumption that Tyrod Taylor is back this week and at least a functional QB. If he’s not, move the Bills down to the “others I like list” behind the Dolphins. This game is in London and not in Jacksonville so there isn’t really a home field advantage. The Jags just make too many mistakes and don’t have enough stars to give the Bills a run for their money. I give the Bills a 73% chance of winning.
- Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are starting to get healthy on offense and that’s bad news for a Saints defense that isn’t really very good. Andrew Luck is another week healthier and the addition of Ahmad Bradshaw gives him another toy to play with. The Saints would have to be perfect on offense to overcome the Colts this week (and their own defense). I give the Colts a 72% chance of winning.
- Atlanta Falcons – The Titans have lost eight straight home games and have lost 14 of their last 15 games overall. The Falcons are in off a long break and should be fully healthy to face a Titans team that just lost its starting QB and starting Center. I give the Falcons a 71% chance of winning.
- Carolina Panthers – The Eagles just aren’t very good. They won by 20 points last week because the Giants were even worse. The Eagles have one of the most mistake-prone QBs in the league in Sam Bradford. And the Panthers defense can take away at least one WR with Josh Norman at corner. I give the Panthers a 69% chance of winning.
- Louis Rams – In off a bye and facing a one-dimensional Browns team, the Rams should be able to pressure Josh McCown into oblivion. Unless the Browns can run the ball (and they haven’t shown an ability to do so consistently), I can’t see the Browns picking up the road victory. I give the Rams a 67% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: I want to believe in the Miami Dolphins and I probably should as they looked dominant on both sides of the ball last week. I can’t recommend them, but I do think they win again against a Texans team that can be rattled.
As for the avoid list, I’m going to shy away from the San Diego Chargers at home against the Oakland Raiders. The Chargers should be able to handle the Raiders, but Oakland comes in off a bye and the Chargers are a bit beat up on the offensive line. And Keenan Allen may not be 100%. And they have a mess in their backfield. Phillip Rivers can’t throw 60+ times for 500 yards every week, can he?
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Detroit Lions at home to the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not sure that Teddy Bridgewater can keep up with the Lions on offense. Not that the Lions have a fearsome defense, but Minnesota shouldn’t be favored on the road against anyone.
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