There are millions of people out there who play in NFL survivor pools. These are very popular at work and at sports bars from around the country.
The object is to pick one winner a week and to be the last person standing. Different pools have different rules.
Some will only allow you to pick a team once, while others let you pick a team multiple times. Also, some are single-loss elimination, while others allow you to have multiple losses before you can be eliminated.
I am going to go through every week and list six teams that are worth a look in your survivor pool. I will separate them by Tier 1 (two best options), Tier 2 (3rd & 4th best options), and Tier 3 (5th & 6th best options).
For those of you who can only pick a team once throughout the season, this will give you several different teams to choose from. That’s how most survivor pools work. Good luck this year!
There are several good options to choose from in Week 3. There are six teams who are favored by 6.5 or more points this week. Those are the six you should start with, though there’s one obvious choice.
As you’ll notice throughout the season, I’ll refer to the point spreads when making my selections because I think this is the best way to do it. The oddsmakers in Vegas are very good at what they do. It’s a good starting point when making your picks as well.
1) Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are the clear-cut choice for survivor pool players this week. They are 17-point home favorites over the Buffalo Bills. The Vikings are in a tough spot here off the Packers and with the Rams on deck Thursday, but no spot is tough enough that they would actually lose to the Bills. Buffalo is neck-and-neck with Arizona as the two worst teams in the NFL. A rookie quarterback up against this fierce Minnesota defense is a recipe for disaster.
2) Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz is back for the Eagles this week. It will be a hostile atmosphere in Philadelphia as this is quickly becoming one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL. I’m not sold on the Colts yet and it was a misleading win against the Redskins last week as they were dominated in the box score. They only had 281 total yards against the Redskins. I think this Philadelphia defense will make life difficult on Andrew Luck, and three key playmakers are banged up for the Colts in T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins. Fly Eagles Fly.
3) New England Patriots – The Patriots have been an unbelievable bet coming off a loss under Bill Belichick. Look for them to respond in a big way here off their loss to the Jaguars. Now they get to face the hapless Lions, who can’t stop anyone. They gave up 48 points to the Jets and 30 points to the 49ers in their 0-2 start. Tom Brady and company will get right in this one as 6.5-point road favorites over the Lions.
4) Los Angeles Rams – No team has looked better through two weeks than the Rams. They followed up their 33-13 road win over the Raiders with a 34-0 shutout of the Arizona Cardinals. The offense is hitting on all cylinders behind Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, and the defense has been as good as advertised with all of the huge free agent acquisitions. This one scares me a bit because the Chargers are a better road team than a home team, and they can beat anyone on the road. But I expect the Rams to win as 7-point home favorites here.
5) Kansas City Chiefs – The Chiefs are just lighting it up on offense. Patrick Mahomes has set an NFL record with 10 touchdown passes through the first two weeks of the season. It’s going to be hard to see the 49ers slowing them down at all. I do have my concerns with the Chiefs’ defense, but this is their first home game and it will be a raucous atmosphere in Kansas City. Look for the Chiefs to improve to 3-0 as 6.5-point home favorites over the 49ers.
6) Houston Texans – Few teams have been more disappointing than the Giants. Eli Manning looks done for as their offense hasn’t been able to get anything going in games against the Jaguars and Cowboys. Now they’re up against another great defense here in the Texans. Houston is also 0-2, but has looked a lot better on offense than New York. A loss in New England is forgivable, and it’s worth noting that the Texans outgained the Titans by 154 yards last week and should have won. They’ll get in the win column here as 6-point home favorites over the Giants.