September 20, 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

Fantasy Football: Week 14 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

The Week 14 Survivor pool picks (or suicide pool picks if you prefer) are here. Week 13 saw a couple of the riskier picks head out of the pool. Sadly, (for me), one of those riskier picks took me out of my 2000- entry pool that had only 15 entrants left going into week 13. Oh well, there is always next year. Where should you put your money for Week 14 Survivor pool picks?

Week 13 recap

The Cleveland Browns were my nemesis last week as they took me down. I violated another cardinal rule when I went with a team led by Brandon Weeden. Never again! We also saw the Bills go down and take a few players with them.  There was no other meaningful carnage last week.

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

Survivor Pool – Week 14 selections

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

Office Football Pool

 

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

 

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Baltimore Ravens

33.20%

 

1

Baltimore Ravens

29.58%

2

New England Patriots

26.50%

 

2

Denver Broncos

28.40%

3

Denver Broncos

16.30%

 

3

New England Patriots

17.72%

4

Arizona Cardinals

7.80%

 

4

Kansas City Chiefs

10.04%

5

Kansas City Chiefs

4.80%

 

5

Arizona Cardinals

4.97%

6

Cincinnati Bengals

3.30%

 

6

Green Bay Packers

1.76%

7

Pittsburgh Steelers

2.90%

 

7

Cincinnati Bengals

1.52%

8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

0.80%

 

8

Pittsburgh Steelers

1.32%

9

New York Jets

0.80%

 

9

Philadelphia Eagles

0.80%

10

San Diego Chargers

0.80%

 

10

San Diego Chargers

0.52%

 

At this point, 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 14.

  1. New England Patriots – The Patriots head home where they are a much better squad than on the road. They face a Browns team that could have Alex Tanney or Caleb Hainie at QB. If a trick shot contest breaks out, I give the Browns a huge advantage. However, the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Tom Brady is greater than whatever the Browns put out there at QB. No need to save the Pats for later in the year. It might never come. I give the Patriots an 85% chance of winning.
  2. Denver Broncos – Much like the Patriots, the Broncos are at home against a poor team. The Titans do have some offensive weapons, but not enough to keep up with Peyton Manning. I give the Broncos an 84% chance of winning.
  3.  Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens are a far different team at home than on the road.  They are 5-1 this year and were 6-2 in their Super Bowl season of a year ago. They face off against a Vikings team that looks to be moving forward with Matt Cassel at QB this week. Joe Flacco should have a big week and could get Dennis Pitta back as his security blanket. There is some concern about the weather in Baltimore so keep an eye on it as the weekend nears. I give the Ravens a 79% chance of winning.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals are undefeated at home this season (including wins over the Patriots and the Packers with Aaron Rodgers). The Colts are dealing with so many injuries that they’ve activated this guy (who has a great story, but probably isn’t ready to be on an active NFL roster).  Andrew Luck has been below average without Reggie Wayne and the Colts have benched Trent Richardson. It’s not clear how the Colts will be able to penetrate a pretty tough Bengals defense. I give the Bengals a 71% chance of winning.
  5. Arizona Cardinals – The only concern I have with the Cardinals this week is that Carson Palmer has shown up on the injury report with an elbow issue. If Palmer isn’t at the helm, then the Cardinals drop off this list. The Rams had back to back offensive explosions in weeks 10 and 12 then came back down to earth against the Bears last week. The Rams still have Kellen Clemens at QB and the Cardinals defense is legitimate. I give the Cardinals a 69% chance of winning.
  6. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers practiced on Thursday. There is still some hope that he will be cleared to play by Sunday. If he is, I’d move the Packers up to number three on this list against a Falcons team that can’t wait for the end of the season.  The Falcons defense shouldn’t be able to contain the Packers even if Matt Flynn ends up QB’ing the team. I give the Packers a 68% chance of winning.

Just a reminder, there is no sense in saving teams at this point. You are down to the last few weeks in the season and most pools will be done in the next couple of weeks.

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 Washington. Washington is pretty terrible, but at this point they have nothing to lose and I don’t like backing average teams on the road against teams with nothing to lose. The Chiefs should win, but Robert Griffin III gives Washington a chance to win on any given Sunday.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Jacksonville Jaguars at home against the struggling Houston Texans. The Jags continue to fight each week in contrast to the Texans who can’t seem to get off the field quickly enough each week.

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.

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