NFL Weekly Survivor Plays: Week 2
Andy Spiteri brings you his guidelines to help you navigate your Eliminator Pools to make sure you're the lone survivor!
As predicted, Week 1 was unpredictable and hopefully, you avoided the landmines of Indianapolis and San Francisco. I noted last week that the Cardinals could give the 49ers a game, and they obviously did, but no one saw the Jaguars winning against the Colts. My pick of the Bills was a winner, as the pathetic Jets were even worse than advertised. Now that we have a one-week glimpse into these teams, let’s hope Week 2 is kinder to the masses in survivor pools.
Week 2 Possibilities
One of the biggest favorites this week are the Titans -8 ½ at home against the Jaguars. The Jaguars bounced about 23% out of most survivor pools, but are they for real? Many are going to hesitate to take Tennessee this week. The Titans played a close game on Monday against the Broncos but that was mainly due to Stephen Gostkowski leaving 10 points wide left. The Titans will pound the ball with Derrick Henry and take advantage of the Jaguars secondary with the resurgent Corey Davis (ok, let’s not exaggerate here).
Tampa and TB12 make their home debut as 9½ point favorites over Carolina. Old Tom looked a little rusty and is still feeling his way around his new offense. He faced a very tough Saints secondary and was hampered by not having Mike Evans at full speed. The Panthers were run over by Josh Jacobs and this could lead to Tampa using their running game more this week. Tampa’s defense played well despite the loss holding the Saints to under 200 yards in the air. If they can keep CMC in check, they should come out on top.
Pittsburgh had opened as 5-point favorites at home against the Broncos, but after Monday night the line rose to 7½. This puts the Steelers into our home favorites by seven or more category. Their defense was impressive as it shut down Saquon Barkley and put constant pressure on Daniel Jones. The Broncos may not have Philip Lindsay but may have Cortland Sutton return. Denver lost on a late field goal but this game was only close because Stephen Gostkowski was so bad. The Steelers are a likely winner but have a few weeks going forward that they will have more value.
The Cardinals, coming off their upset of San Francisco, are favored over the team from Washington by 6½ at home. Carson Wentz and the injured Eagles offensive line is probably responsible for this line being closer than it should be. The Washington defensive line was dominant, but it was over an Eagles line that was without four starters. Let’s not get caught up in the hype. The Eagles were up by 17 and were throwing the ball at will until Wentz delivered two interceptions and allowed Washington back in the game. Arizona should be able to run the ball better than the Eagles did and keep the Washington D-line in check. Kyler Murray will also be able to avoid the pass rush just a tad better than Wentz did.
For all three of these teams, it’s their highest predicted chance of winning this season. Other teams that will be popular picks are the 49ers, Chiefs, Saints, and Ravens.
The chalk this week will be the 49ers over the hapless Jets. Going against the Jets will be a week to week bonanza in survivor pools, but the 49ers have value in future weeks and there are enough pivots this week so you can save them. Tampa, Tennessee, and our pick of the week have less value going forward so they move ahead of San Fran in Week 2.
The Week 2 Pick
The pick this week is the Cardinals. I know everyone is all hyped up about the Washington defensive line, but I explained why they dominated against the Eagles. They will have a hard time containing Kyler Murray and outside of Landon Collins , their secondary is very suspect. The Eagles were able to contain the Washington running game, and the Cardinals should be able to do the same. Logan Thomas had a big game last week and we know the Cardinals gave up a ton to tight ends last year, but Washington doesn’t have enough to get the win on the road. The Cardinals also have very little survivor value going forward making this the week to take them.
If you want to go in a different direction I’d go with Tampa Bay or Tennessee. For the risky, off the beaten path pick, Cleveland will be low owned and have about a 70% chance to win.
Good luck with Week 2 and hopefully we’ll see you back next week!