NFL Weekly Survivor Plays: Divisional Round
Andy Spiteri brings you his guidelines to help you navigate your Eliminator Pools to make sure you're the lone survivor!
I was standing in the concourse of Lincoln Financial Field watching the Saints/Vikings game hoping for a Saints win. Why? I don’t like being wrong, but in this field, it happens. Let’s get back on track and see who can get you to conference championship week in your survivor pools.
Game one pits the 7 point home favorite 49ers against the Vikings. As those who picked the Saints last week painfully know, the Vikings defense played well and they welcomed back a healthy Dalvin Cook who scored twice. Kirk Cousins ’ perfect pass to Adam Thielen in overtime was the difference and Cousins erased the “can’t win a big one” tag. Can he do it again? The 49ers’ defense will have something to do about it. San Francisco will rely on their defensive front to put pressure on Cousins while also attempting to contain Cook. On offense, can the 49ers’ offensive line keep Jimmy Garropolo upright by limiting the rushes of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen ? This game has the lowest total on the board, and with the 7 point spread it’s predicted that the 49ers will win 26-19. I’m going with the 49ers and think the game will go over 44 ½ but the Vikings keep it close.
The second game on Saturday has the Ravens a 9 ½ point favorite over the Titans. The Titans upset the Patriots in Foxboro last week, but it didn’t come as much of a surprise. They controlled the game on the ground with Derrick Henry who has run for almost 400 yards over the last two games after he returned from his hamstring injury. To keep this close the Titans will have to play a mistake free game on offense. The Ravens have looked unbeatable with likely MVP Lamar Jackson leading the way. There is concern with injuries to both Mark Andrews and Mark Ingram . Monitor their injury status as the week progresses if you are considering the Ravens. Ingram did not practice on Tuesday and Andrews was limited. Look for the Ravens to take this one and cover the spread if both Ingram and Andrews play.
On Sunday the Chiefs take on the Texans and match the Ravens as the biggest favorites of the weekend at 9 ½. The Texans fell behind the Bills early but managed to pull out a victory thanks to the magical spin move by Deshaun Watson . Without Will Fuller the Texans offense is not the same but Fuller is reported to be likely to suit up on Sunday. They will need all the offense they can get against the Chiefs. The Texans gave up the 9th most fantasy points per game to tight ends this season. Expect Travis Kelce to play a major role in this one. The Chiefs will win this one easily.
The last game of the weekend is the one with the smallest spread with the Packers a 4 point favorite over the Seahawks at Lambeau. Seattle will have a tougher time this week assuming Clowney doesn’t take out Rodgers (no, I’m not a disgruntled Eagles fan lol). Green Bay is in the middle of the pack against the pass and towards the bottom of the league against the run. Look for Seattle to work in Marshawn Lynch a bit more to take advantage of the Packers’ weakness. Green Bay has been Jekyll and Hyde with its use of Aaron Jones and we’ll see what Matt LaFleur has in store for the Seahawks defense. Davante Adams has been the only reliable receiver for the Packers and he should be targeted often by Rodgers. This should be a close game and can go either way. I’ll go with the Packers, but it’s my lowest confidence pick.
I’m taking the Chiefs this week as I don’t see the Texans having enough to upset them in Kansas City. In order my picks would be Chiefs/Ravens/49ers/Packers. Good luck this week!