NFL Weekly Survivor Plays: Week 10
Andy Spiteri brings you his guidelines to help you navigate your Eliminator Pools to make sure you're the lone survivor with an update as of Saturday afternoon!
After two weeks of almost everyone moving on, we had the third highest percentage of losing picks in week 9 with 20% going down in the Yahoo pool. If you took a home team, you’ve moved on as all home teams won last week. The Packers were the biggest offenders losing in LA to the Chargers. Week 10 has a couple of chalky plays but one of them got interesting with the possible loss of their QB.
The Colts opened up as 15 ½ point home favorites over the visiting Dolphins but with Jacoby Brissett’s MCL injury possibly giving the start to Brian Hoyer, the line has dropped to 10 at Westgate. The Colts are still a prohibitive favorite and they should have beaten the Steelers on Sunday but were let down by an old leg for the third time this season. Having TY Hilton on the sidelines also doesn’t instill a boatload of confidence in reeling in the fish. Miami is coming off its first win of the year over the hapless Jets and Brian Flores was probably told “OK, you got your win but don’t let it happen again”. This was the week we all had targeted for taking the Colts. Should we? I think this may be the closest we come to a game time decision this year.
In New Orleans we have the Saints coming off their bye and are supposed to be getting Alvin Kamara back from his ankle injury. They are playing the lowly Falcons at home and are the biggest favorites of the weekend with the spread being 13. It’s a divisional game which is the only hesitation and the Falcons coaching staff is desperate. Matt Ryan looks to be on track to return to the lineup after his ankle injury held him out in week 8 before their bye. The Falcons have looked awful and their only victory was secured by the infamous “Not like Agholor” drop in week 2. The Saints look like a lock here.
The only other team favored by more than 7 are the Ravens in Cincinnati. The Bengals are 10 point dogs at home and are benching Andy Dalton in favor of Ryan Finley. The problem here is that most people have already used the Ravens. I checked my local pool where I can see everyone’s picks for the season, and only 2 of the remaining 50 teams that have no losses have not taken Baltimore yet. If you haven’t used them, this may be a good place to take that leap. It actually puts you in a great contrarian position if one of the other favorites lose as the Ravens ownership will be extremely low.
We don’t have the Redskins to pick on this week, but we do have the Jets. The problem is they play the 2-6 Giants. The Jets opened as 1 point favorites but now the line has swung and the Giants are favored by 2 1/2. It’s a Jet home game but we know it’s not really a road game for the Giants. After the loss to the Dolphins last week, it will not be a friendly environment for the Jets despite the home game. The fans will be unruly. “Fire Gase” chants will be said more frequently than the J-E-T-S chant. I wouldn’t be surprised for the Jet fans to root for the Giants to help speed up the Gase process. Can we see the return of paper bags? It’s a spot where taking the Giants is a risk but using a 2-6 team this late in the season can go a long way in winning these pools. A lot depends on who you have left to take the rest of the season, how large a pool you’re in, how many people are still alive, etc. I may take the risk in one of the larger pools I’m in to try to gain an advantage, especially if Bell is out. Not that Gase has used him to his potential, but any time a team loses one of its best players, it puts them at a disadvantage and that’s just icing on the cake for the reeling Jets.
So what do we do in week 10? The Colts are projected as the most likely team to win this week at 84%. The Saints are next at 78% and the Ravens check in at 72%. Over the remainder of the season the Colts do not exceed 70% and the Saints continue to be favored in all their remaining games. All roads point to the Colts as I wrote in my week 4 write-up that I was saving them for this game. If you have the Ravens available, which I do not, I would go with them despite them being on the road, as they are not over a 60% favorite until week 15. The Saints will be chalky as well but they have some favorable matchups upcoming and could be saved for one of those. Do you risk taking the Giants? If you’re in the Yahoo pool or another similar large one with thousands of entrants still in it, you have to consider taking the risk at the Meadowlands. The pick: INDIANAPOLIS. This is a week where you should wait until Sunday morning to make your selection to see what the updates are on Brissett and Bell. The Saints are the pivot off the Colts if you are worried about Hoyer leading the way.