November 17, 2019

Fantasy Football: Week 15 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

The Week 15 Survivor pool picks (or suicide pool picks if you prefer) are here. Week 14 saw some wild finishes that saved more than a few people. Are there any safe Survivor picks in Week 15 in the NFL?

Week 14 recap

The Baltimore Ravens improbable comeback paired with the Patriots similar comeback saved lots of entrants last week. The Pittsburgh Steelers are really the only team to take any sizable portion of remaining pool entrants out as the Steel Curtain was quite forgiving.

Bye week: None. We are done for the year with byes.

Survivor Pool – Week 15 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of early Thursday:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Carolina Panthers

29.90%

1

Philadelphia Eagles

31.60%

2

Philadelphia Eagles

17.40%

2

Carolina Panthers

28.55%

3

Denver Broncos

9.70%

3

Kansas City Chiefs

8.02%

4

Kansas City Chiefs

9.40%

4

Indianapolis Colts

7.14%

5

Atlanta Falcons

8.40%

5

Denver Broncos

5.41%

6

Indianapolis Colts

4.80%

6

San Francisco 49ers

4.20%

7

New Orleans Saints

4.60%

7

New Orleans Saints

3.67%

8

San Francisco 49ers

3.80%

8

Atlanta Falcons

3.28%

9

Seattle Seahawks

2.80%

9

Seattle Seahawks

2.31%

10

Detroit Lions

2.50%

10

Detroit Lions

1.58%

 

Again, a reminder that you should be doing the math on your own pool as this late in the game the rankings above are less representative of what is happening in your pool than earlier in the season. Let’s see what we have for Week 15.

  1. Denver Broncos – If you have the Broncos (and if you do I’m impressed) take them now. There continues to be no reason to save teams at this point. The Broncos offense is clicking on all cylinders and even without Wes Welker; they should be fine as Jacob Tamme will slide into the slot role for the Broncos. The Chargers offense has become more balanced through the season, but the Chargers pass defense won’t be able to keep the Broncos off the board to allow the Chargers offense to pile up enough points to win. This should be a track meet won by Denver. I give the Broncos an 84% chance of winning.
  2. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers swarming defense faces Geno Smith in Carolina. I’m not sure there is much more to say. The Panthers’ offense is a little banged up now so they may struggle to score, but Smith will likely gift wrap a few turnovers to help the Panthers’ cause. I give the Panthers an 83% chance of winning.
  3. Detroit Lions – The Ravens are bad on the road (1-5 record this year). The Lions are pretty good at home. The Lions were embarrassed in the snow last week, but back indoors they should be able to run around the Ravens. The Lions run defense is stout (last week was an anomaly in the sown) so the Ravens will need to rely on Joe Flacco, Torrey Smith and whoever else is catching passes this week.  I give the Lions a 75% chance of winning.
  4. Dallas Cowboys – This is only valid if Matt Flynn starts at QB for the Packers. If Aaron Rodgers is back, take this game off the board. The Cowboys head back home after a crushing defeat by the Chicago Bears. However, it is December and the Cowboys have struggled in December for many years and their run defense can be gashed. Eddie Lacy won’t likely be at 100%, but the Cowboys should be able to bounce back with Flynn at QB. I give the Cowboys a 74% chance of winning.
  5. Indianapolis Colts – The Texans cannot wait for the season to end. They fired Gary Kubiak this week, but I don’t imagine that will fire up the troops enough. The Colts have started to give some younger WRs playing time and the results have been solid. The Colts are back at home and Andrew Luck is a bit more comfortable at home so the Colts should be able to push the Texans closer to the number one pick in 2014 when they may get the chance to draft David Carr’s brother. I give the Colts a 71% chance of winning.
  6. Atlanta Falcons – Two teams with identical 3-10 records, but seemingly one is much worse than the other. Washington has become drama central as they have benched Robert Griffin III for Kirk Cousins for the rest of the season. Mike Shanahan continues to leak news to Adam Schefter regularly so that his side of the debacle can be told. The Falcons have two of their three wins at home this year and are starting to get healthier on offense. Their defense is still a sieve, but Washington’s pig-headed coaching staff likely can’t take advantage of that weakness. I give the Falcons a 69% chance of winning.
  7. New Orleans Saints – The Saints head on the road to take on the St. Louis Rams. In the Saints last road game, they were blown out of the Pacific Northwest by the Seahawks. They regrouped last week to manhandle the Panthers at home. I assume that the dome will feel like home to Drew Brees and company. The Rams have gotten good play from both sides of the ball and are beginning to incorporate more playmakers (like Stedman Bailey) into the offense so they are dangerous. They don’t have enough tools to keep up with Brees & Co. I give the Saints a 68% chance of winning.
  8. Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks may be the best team in the NFL. They do head east into the cold, but they face an underachieving Giants team that shows very few vital signs.  I give the Seahawks a 64% chance of winning.

Just a reminder, there is no sense in saving teams at this point. You are down to the last couple of weeks in the season and most pools will come to a close in Week 17 or early in the playoffs.

Other teams I like early this week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in Oakland. Yes, I told you to avoid them last week as well and I was completely wrong about how incompetent Washington was and is. This week, they go on the road for a division matchup against a Raiders team that hasn’t been as bad as all would have thought they would be. I’d probably also stay away from the San Francisco 49ers heading east to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Tennessee Titans at home against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards are now without Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary and the Titans could take advantage of that with Justin Hunter on the outside and Delanie Walker abusing the Cardinals soft middle.

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. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

Washington Redskins Postgame Audio: Sept. 22 loss to Detroit Lions

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

The Washington Redskins fell to 0-3 Sunday with a 27-20 loss to the Detroit Lions. The Skins played well at times, but continue to be plagued by inconsistencies and missed opportunities on offense, and downright shoddy defensive play, specifically talking and secondary play.

Coach Mike Shanahan

On what they can take away from the game:
“Like I told our team, I was proud of the way they fought. We have to eliminate some of those mistakes in the football game. We had the opportunity to do it  and get it done, but you can’t make those mistakes that we made and expect to win. We have to play cleaner and be more consistent. Like I said, we did have some great effort out there.”

On the current state of the team:

“You find out how tough you are. There’s nothing you can do about it but go back and be tough on yourself and try to eliminate mistakes. That’s what our football team will do. We’ll come back be tough on ourselves.

Robert Griffin III

On how he feels after the team has started the season 0-3:

“We had too many mistakes at crucial times. Of course, the fumble and the interception early in the game, we’ve just got to make those plays to win the game. We actually put ourselves in the position to have a real good shot of winning the game and putting it away. The way our guys fought, we just didn’t come up with it. We’ve just got to clean it up.”

Full raw audio is below.

09-22-13 Mike Shanahan Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Robert Griffin III Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Alfred Morris Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Pierre Garcon Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Santana Moss Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Darrel Young Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Jordan Reed Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Trent Williams Postgame RAW

09-22-13 Brian Orakpo Postgame RAW

09-22-13 DeAngelo Hall Postgame RAW

Washington Redskins Recap: Skins fall short against Lions 27-20

The Washington Redskins looked better on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. They moved the ball better. They looked better against the run. They had a legitimate chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, a combination of penalties, missed tackles and missed opportunities and a continued shaky pass defense led to a 27-20 loss to the Lions, dropping the Skins to 0-3 as they prepare this next week for a cross-country road trip against the Oakland Raiders, which could find the team winless heading into their bye week in Week 5.

Two plays were indicative how this game — really, this season — have gone for the Redskins.

First, Robert Griffin III busted containment and took off scampering down the field, outrunning defenders for 20 yards before deciding that discretion was the better part of valor. Instead of sliding, Griffin went head-first and upon impact, the ball squirted loose to be recovered by a Lions defender.

Later, Aldrick Robinson hauled in a 45-plus yard bomb from Griffin and fell into the end zone, only to have the ball come free upon impact. The pass was ruled incomplete, and for all intents, the game was over at that point.

Yes, the Skins kicked a field goal with 2:16 left that put them down by a touchdown and yes, they had one last Hail Mary attempt that could have tied the game.

But it really wasn’t that close.

We saw on Sunday what an average quarterback could do to the Redskins defense — dead last in the league overall and 30th in the league against both the pass and run.

Matthew Stafford is an average quarterback with a couple of exceptional wideouts. We saw time and again those receivers breaking free against the porous Skins secondary. On occasion, Stafford would hit them in stride for big gains. Sometimes, he’d make a crummy throw that resulted in a modest gain. Sometimes, he’d overthrow, or underthrow, or simply miss the target, as he did on DeAngelo Hall’s pick-six.

But never did the Redskins secondary force or pressure Stafford into doing what he didn’t want to do.

There was some pressure from the front seven on occasion that made Stafford rush a throw here or there. But for the most part, receivers ran open all day long and Stafford either hooked up with them or not.

On offense, Griffin had a better day. There were occasions where the Skins offense looked — dare I say — good. But Griffin had that fumble on an untouched downing of the ball. He threw one of the worst interceptions you’re ever likely to see, flinging the ball in the general direction of a clump of players as he’s being hauled down scrambling. And he’s still just not “there” yet running the ball.

He had a couple of plays where we saw some burst, but he’s also getting chased down by defensive linemen and linebackers all too often.

If this had been the first game of the season, you’d chalk it up to rust and move on. But this can’t be a moral victory even though the Skins had a couple of chances to tie or win this game in the fourth quarter. They needed to win this one. Odds of teams coming from 0-3 to make it to the playoffs are slim, indeed.

They are only two games out of the division after Week 3. Heck, the Giants are 0-3 after embarrassing themselves in Carolina on Sunday. But the Redskins face a cross-country trip to Oakland next week. Sure, the Raiders are no great shakes, but teams historically have trouble flying over three time zones and winning games.

The Skins are staring 0-4 right in the face with the bye week coming up. If someone wanted to make a sacrificial offering going into the bye week, it would be the perfect opportunity. We’re going to find out a lot about this team in the next seven days.

Washington Redskins Week 3 Preview: Detroit Lions

The Washington Redskins are off to an 0-2 start, which means everyone involved – players, coaches, front office and fans – are desperate for a win in Week 3 as they face off against the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field this Sunday.

It’s a critical game in a lot of ways. Detroit historically is not a good road team and has never won in Washington. Further, the Skins travel across three time zones next week to play at Oakland. If the Skins can right the ship this week and pull off a win on the other side of the continent the following week, they would sit 2-2 at the bye week and perhaps by that point, Robert Griffin III’s “preseason” will be over and he and the team can return to the business of defending the NFC East title they earned last season.

But a loss this week to a dynamic Lions offense and a poor showing due to travel and at 0-4, someone could very well get fired.

The Detroit Lions (1-1) are currently second behind the Chicago Bears in the NFC North. The Lions are coming off of a 25-21 loss to the Arizona Cardinals and have plenty of weapons, but also have some serious issues with injuries, the most significant of which is to RB Reggie Bush’s knee.

Bush has bounced around from the New Orleans Saints to the Miami Dolphins and now to the Lions, where he has become a huge part of their offense. Bush is highly regarded for his ability to run the football as well as his prowess as a receiver out of the backfield.

For the second straight day on Thursday, though, Bush was not able to practice with his Lions teammates and is listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

If Bush isn’t in the lineup Sunday against the Skins’ beleaguered defense, they can focus on superstar Calvin Johnson and underrated tight end Brandon Pettigrew. The bottom line is the Redskins will have a better chance of winning if the Lions have fewer weapons on the field with which to attack the so-far porous Redskins defense. If the defense can produce some three-and-outs, the offense will have more opportunities and better field position to work with.

The recipe is there for the Redskins offense to explode on Sunday and have an excellent day. The Lions pass defense is middle-of-the-pack at best.

The key for the Skins is to get the ball rolling in the early part of the game. They need to get Alfred Morris involved early. They really need to put some points up in the first quarter to establish some momentum for the rest of the game and put pressure back on the traveling Lions. The Redskins offense hasn’t been able to score on in the first half of the ENTIRE season. That desperately needs to change Sunday.

If the Redskins are going to win they have to do two things:

  1. Cover Calvin Johnson: Not the easiest task. Expect the Redskins to double-team “Megatron” and rotate safties over the top to help out with deep coverage. If the Lions throw to Johnson successfully and QB Matthew Stafford establishes good chemistry with the Pro Bowler early, then it’s going to be a long day for the Redskins defense.
  2. The Redskins offense needs to score early and often: If the Redskins offense scores early, hopefully that will allow RGIII to relax and will help get this Redskins offense back to the high gear it operated in in 2012. Look for them to run the ball early so the play action pass can be a big factor later in the game.
  3. Stay the course. Unless a new injury pops up, there’s no reason to remove Griffin from the game. The only way to get batter in this league is through live snaps, and this is just game three of Griffin’s preseason. The growing pains hurt, but if the Skins are able to establish the run early, Griffin should be able to get into more of a rhythm.

 

DSP Staff Intern Brandon Enroth contributed to this report.

Washington Redskins Practice Update & Audio for Sept. 18

Audio courtesy Sky Kerstein

Midweek media day out at Redskins Park.

Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if quarterback Robert Griffin III should have gotten some preseason snaps:

“I don’t know if anybody remembers, but Dr. Andrews said that there was no way he could play during the preseason. Does anybody remember that? We have to go back to this? Dr. Andrews said he could not play during the preseason. There was no chance for him to play.”

On if he thinks limited preseason action has caused slow starts for running back Alfred Morris:

“I’ll be honest with you, I thought Alfred was as good as I’ve seen a running back throughout all of camp, even in the preseason games. Anytime you do have a fumble on the first play, then you have a pitch on the goal line and there’s a safety, guys lose a little bit of confidence. And even starting out the game last week in the first half, you could see he wasn’t normal. And I tried to tell him, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, you’re too good of a runner,’ and then he started running a little bit better. And you know that happens, especially with young guys – we have some conscientious people, they want to play extremely hard. And when they do make a mistake, sometimes they’re so conscientious they lose a little bit of that edge. I think you’ll see Alfred will do a lot of great things this season.”

For his full comment, and those of a handful of Redskins players and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, please click the links below.

09-18-13 Mike Shanahan Practice RAW

09-18-13 Robert Griffin III Practice RAW

09-18-13 Pierre Garcon Practice RAW

09-18-13 Barry Cofield Practice RAW

09-18-13 David Amerson Practice RAW

09-18-13 Josh Wilson Practice RAW

09-18-13 Santana Moss Practice RAW

09-18-13 Calvin Johnson Conference Call RAW

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