If you are discouraged about the number of people still alive in your NFL survivor pool, just wait. While this has been a season full of upsets in college football, it has been the polar opposite in the NFL. The biggest upset from a spread standpoint in the NFL has been +7. That was the New York Giants over the New Orleans Saints, 27-21, in Week 4. A big favorite will get knocked off, but it hasn’t happened yet. All of the most popular survivor teams won again in Week 7 and we head into Week 8 with a quartet of double-digit favorites.
To this point, I’m still alive as the author of the survivor article with picks on the Rams, Packers, Broncos, Bengals, Ravens, Cowboys and Patriots over the first seven weeks. The Games to Consider section improved to 20-3 on the season with last week’s results.
Teams to consider this week include the Rams (-14.5 at Texans), Bengals (-10.5 at Jets), Chargers (-4 vs. Patriots) and Chiefs (-10 vs. Giants). If you still have the Rams available, the other option to take them is Dec. 5 against Jacksonville at home. Given the other games in Week 13 and the other options this week, I’d hold off on the Rams until then if possible.
The obvious concern here with Cincinnati is the comedown from such an enormous win last week against the Ravens. This is a third straight road game for the Bengals and they have the Browns on deck in another massive division game.
I really like the Chargers this week against the spread, so I’d have to like them in a survivor contest as a 4-point favorite. The Chargers are coming off the bye, and Brandon Staley should absolutely have his team ready to go.
The Chiefs are too risky and too scary right now, but it’s tempting to save teams like the Bills, Chargers or Rams if possible. You have to assume Kansas City will win this game and allow you to save an elite team. With the way the Chiefs are playing, though, it is a hard sell. My survivor pick for Week 8 is the Bills. Imagine agonizing over whether or not to take a 14-point favorite to win straight up as a survivor selection. Just think about what must be happening to have to seriously consider that.
Well, the Bills are one of three choices I have available for Week 10. Options are limited that week because I don’t have the Ravens to use against the Dolphins or the Packers to use against Seattle without Russell Wilson, assuming he’s still out. There aren’t a lot of games in general that week. But I’ve decided that I can take somebody other than the Bills against the Jets, so I’ll go ahead and take Buffalo here.
The Bills are coming off the bye and the Dolphins are one of the three worst teams in the NFL along with the Texans and Jets, in my opinion. Miami’s defense was supposed to be its saving grace, but that unit has allowed 6.1 yards per play and has only three interceptions against 15 touchdown passes allowed.
Buffalo has a heightened sense of urgency coming off of the bye following its loss to Tennessee. The Bills are only 11th in yards per play, so I assume they’ve spent the time off focusing on the offense. The defense, by the way, leads the league in yards per play allowed. It is a by-product of the schedule, but I’m not worried about that against Miami this week, which fits right in with most of the teams the Bills have played.
I’ve tried to be creative and keep the big picture in mind as much as possible this season, but sometimes you just have to take the most obvious team.