September 15, 2019

Fantasy Football: Week 14 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for Week 14. No need to talk about the Thursday game – I’m staying away. It’s too tough to call with Tony Romo’s health being a big question mark.

Hopefully you took the Rams last week and slept well as there was some chaos down the list. Let’s see where you can go in Week 14 and avoid catastrophe. It’s a tough week with so many road favorites on the board.

Bye Week: None – bye weeks are complete

Survivor Pool – Week 14 selections

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

Survivor_Week_14

We have one big favorite and then three others chasing. Do we fade the big favorite? Do we even have a choice at this late in the season?

As always, a friendly reminder, I never (almost never) save a team for later in the season. There is too much volatility (especially when it comes to injuries) 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 14 in order of preference:

  1. Detroit Lions – I’m staying with the “chalk” this week and picking the Lions as my top choice. They face a Bucs team that came close to beating a Bengals team that isn’t nearly as good as they think they are. The Lions have a stout run defense that will turn the Bucs even more one-dimensional. And last week it seemed the Calvin Johnson finally woke up from his season-long slumber. I give the Lions an 84% chance of winning.
  2. Green Bay Packers – Monday night in Lambeau Field against a dome team in December? Yep, that checks all the boxes. Aaron Rodgers has been lights out all year long and I don’t see it stopping here. The Falcons continue to trot Steven Jackson out there in the hopes he runs through the Fountain of Youth. The Fountain is frozen this time of year in Green Bay. I give the Packers an 83% chance of winning.
  3. Denver Broncos – This is probably going to be a tougher matchup for the Broncos than it looks. The Bills have a stout defense that can pressure the QB and Peyton Manning doesn’t exactly like a dirty pocket. That said, the Broncos firepower on offense should be able to overcome the hodgepodge of Bills’ offensive weapons. I give the Broncos a 77% chance of winning.

Another interlude – if you have these three, go with one of these three. Now, on to the less than savory options.

  1. San Francisco 49ers – This is a road game. Sort of. These neighbors face off in Oakland this week. The Raiders will be a bit more dangerous on offense with the return of Latavius Murray, but their defense isn’t very good and even an uneven Colin Kaepernick should be able to take advantage of those issues. I give the 49ers a 71% chance of winning.
  2. New Orleans Saints – The Saints are no longer a slam dunk at home that they’ve been in years’ past. However, the Panthers provide little more than a speed bump of an impediment. The Saints won’t ignore Jimmy Graham this week and look to be fully healthy in the backfield. I think we’ll see Drew Brees throw it all over the park against the awful Panthers’ secondary. I give the Saints a 70% chance of winning.
  3. Minnesota Vikings – I like the Vikes for two reasons – their defense is sneaky good and Geno Smith is obviously awful. When the Vikings defense has faced a poor offensive team they’ve excelled and there aren’t too many poorer offenses than the Jets. I give the Vikings a 69% chance of winning.
  4. Houston Texans – There is a chance that the Texans defense outscores the Jaguars offense in this game. Yes, it’s a bit risky taking a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led team on the road, but the Jags don’t really put up much of a fight on the road or at home. I give the Texans a 67% chance of winning.

Other teams I like this week: I could be talked into the Miami Dolphins at home against a Ravens’ squad that is now missing Haloti Ngata. I also like the Indianapolis Colts a bit more than most this week, but the injuries in their defensive backfield make me concerned.

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Dallas Cowboys on the road against the Chicago Bears. Tony Romo’s health is an issue and the Bears have to have some fight left in them. On a short week with an injured QB, I want nothing to do with the road team.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Kansas City Chiefs on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals look awful with Drew Stanton at QB and the Chiefs defense can ramp up the pressure to go after him. Moreover, the Cardinals may be without Andre Ellington further harming their offensive prowess.

If you ever want 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.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @chrisgarosi

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