November 17, 2019

Fantasy Football: Week 15 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for Week 15. That Thursday night game set the NFL back abou t50 years. And shows again why I continue to skip those games. I was pretty sure the Rams would win, but the Cardinals seem to have nine lives.

The Niners and Saints hurt a lot of squads last week, but you’re reading so you missed those games. Each week it gets infinitely harder as the number of teams available dwindles and you have to hold your nose to get through the week.

Bye Week: None – bye weeks are complete

Survivor Pool – Week 15 selections

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

Survivor_Week_15

We have a couple of big favorites and then a mess of teams behind them. As we get close to the end of the season, the percentages you see here likely don’t mirror your specific pool. Your choice at this point hinges more on which teams are left for the other entrants. That said, the list below is in the order I’d choose the teams if I still had them left.

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 15 in order of preference:

  1. New England Patriots Bill Belichick doesn’t like to lose to the same team twice in one season. The Pats always struggle in Miami, but do in Tom Brady’s 13 seasons he’s lost only 14 times at home and only once has he lost to Miami at home (in 2006). I think Belichick will turn up the heat defensively and Brady will orchestrate the offense to a victory over this division foe. I give the Patriots an 87% chance of winning.
  2. Baltimore RavensRavens at home? Check. Jaguars on the other side of the ball? Check. Healthy on both sides of the ball? Well, no not really, but I don’t think it matters for the Ravens. The Jags defense has looked better against the pass lately, but that shouldn’t matter to the Ravens who I see pounded the ball all afternoon long especially if Torrey Smith misses the game. I give the Ravens an 85% chance of winning.
  3. Seattle Seahawks The Seahawks aren’t crushing teams like they did last year, however, they seem to be pointing the ship in the correct direction late in 2014. They get a reeling 49ers’ squad that has the talent to win at Seattle, but doesn’t seem to have the drive to get things done. Their coach is halfway out the door and the players seem to be looking for a door as well. CenturyLink Field is no place for a team like that. I give the Seahawks an 80% chance of winning.
  4. New York Giants Speaking of coaches halfway out the door and a team looking for any exit, we present the mighty Dan Snyder-owned Washington entry in the NFL. Eli Manning may turn the ball over five times this game and it probably wouldn’t matter. Washington is starting an injured Colt McCoy. McCoy’s presence neutralizes some of Alfred Morris’ effectiveness and turns them one-dimensional. Eli should be able to throw the ball all over the park against a Washington secondary that is playing as poorly as some high school teams. I give the Giants a 75% chance of winning.
  5. Detroit Lions The Lions are getting healthy on offense as their defense starts to slip a bit. Calvin Johnson looks like he’s back to the Megatron of old. Even with a wilting defense, the Lions should be able to hold a Vikings team down with a rookie QB and a set of RBs that will only get to Canton with a paid admission. I give the Lions a 74% chance of winning.
  6. Indianapolis Colts The Colts head home with emerging Donte Moncrief knocking on Reggie Wayne’s door, T.Y. Hilton. The biggest concern, oddly enough, for me with the Colts is Andrew Luck’s propensity to turn the ball over. The Texans could run Arian Foster 30+ times and try to keep Luck off the field. But, if Luck keeps turning the ball over it may not matter. That said, I have confidence that the Colts should be able to take the Texans out especially with the return of Vontae Davis. I give the Colts a 72% chance of winning.
  7. Kansas City ChiefsI’m not a huge fan of the Chiefs this week. Yes, they need the win, but just because they need it doesn’t mean they’ll get it. Jamaal Charles won’t be 100%, Alex Smith has almost no other weapons. The Raiders can keep it close and have discovered that Latavius Murray might be OK at football. The Raiders are a feisty squad. I give the Chiefs a 68% chance of winning.

Other teams I like this week: Maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers as they have the offensive weapons to shred the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Moreover, the Falcons will probably be without Julio Jones and Harry Douglas is a wee bit of a downgrade.

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Green Bay Packers on the road against the Buffalo Bills. The Packers are off a big Monday night performance against a poor Falcons’ defense. They head on a short week to Buffalo to face a Bills team with a far better defense and some offensive weapons (that are hindered a bit by the presence of Kyle Orton).

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Dallas Cowboys on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys are undefeated on the road this year and certainly will be hurting from the beating they took at home on Thanksgiving. I don’t see Tony Romo having the same type of game he did.

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 1 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Survivor

Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for 2014. Or perhaps you call it an Eliminator Pool. I’ve been gone from the site for a while, but hopefully not forgotten. Each week, we’ll publish a column with a look at the best choices for the week in your Survivor Pool. We’ll also take at a sleeper pick and talk about teams to avoid.

Week 1 is probably the hardest week to predict as we have no (real) on field data to use to figure out where we should go. Without further introduction, let’s get to the data and picks.

Bye week: None

Survivor Pool – Week 1 selections

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

Office Football Pool

 

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

 

Rank

Team

Picks

1

Philadelphia Eagles

41.40%

 

1

Philadelphia Eagles

49.60%

2

Chicago Bears

19.70%

 

2

Chicago Bears

19.61%

3

Pittsburgh Steelers

10.80%

 

3

Pittsburgh Steelers

8.06%

4

New York Jets

6.60%

 

4

Kansas City Chiefs

4.98%

5

Kansas City Chiefs

4.40%

 

5

New York Jets

3.50%

6

Denver Broncos

4.20%

 

6

Detroit Lions

2.64%

7

Detroit Lions

2.90%

 

7

New England Patriots

2.63%

8

New England Patriots

2.40%

 

8

Denver Broncos

1.56%

9

Seattle Seahawks

1.60%

 

9

San Francisco 49ers

1.33%

10

San Francisco 49ers

1.30%

 

10

Seattle Seahawks

1.07%

 

Last year, we had the Steelers come out and lay an egg against the Titans in Week 1 and take a lot of teams down with them. They weren’t the biggest favorite on the board, but they did close at -270 (implying the Steelers had a nearly 73% chance to win. So, you never know.

I generally like to be cautious in Week 1 as there is just not enough information to make informed decisions.

And I never (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 1 in order of preference:

    1. Philadelphia Eagles – They are the biggest favorite on the board and face a Jags team that has likely improved, but not by enough to keep pace with the Eagles high-flying offense. I give the Eagles an 82% chance of winning
    2. Denver Broncos – This is where I would go if I wanted to be “contrarian” in my pool. The top two picks account for between 60 and 70 percent of the current pool picks. If one (or both) of those top picks fall, your pool equity would increase significantly. Moreover, the Broncos are actually the second most likely team to win based on the money line (currently -380). The Colts certainly have the offense to keep up with the Broncos and the distraction of Wes Welker’s suspension could have an effect. But, the Colts’ offensive line still looks terrible and the Broncos have defensive play makers to take advantage of that weakness. I give the Broncos a 75% chance of winning
    3. Chicago Bears – The Bears (and the Steelers who are next) face teams that have awful QB situations and offenses that look like they won’t be able to score enough points to keep up. I think the Bears just have too much on offense to drop an opener at home to the Bills. I give the Bears a 72% chance to win
    4. Pittsburgh Steelers – I have two issues with the Steelers here as this is a divisional game and the Browns’ defense is one of my sleepers this year. That said, the Browns are going to struggle on offense initially and the Steelers should be able to pick up the win at home against the Browns. The Browns haven’t won in Pittsburgh in their last 10 trips. I give the Steelers a 72% chance to win
    5. New York Jets – Talking about sleepers, Jets’ QB Geno Smith is on that list for me this year. He just needs to be more consistent under center. I like Derek Carr fine, but it’s a tough opening game on the road, across the country, against a maniacal Jets’ defense. I give the Jets a 70% chance to win.

Other teams I like this week: Kansas City Chiefs

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the New England Patriots on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Yes, the Pats will have Gronk (even if limited) back in the fold, but the Pats travelled to Miami last week and fell to the Dolphins. The Pats shouldn’t be on your radar this early.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Dallas Cowboys against the 49ers. This is not the same 49ers defense without Aldon Smith and NaVarro Bowman. The Cowboys clearly have offensive talent enough to win a shootout. Yes, they have no defense, but do the Niners have enough weapons to take advantage on the road?

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 to 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

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.

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