NFL Survivor Survival Guide: Week 7
October 17, 2013 | Jason Willan
In Week 6, the Survival Guide went 3-0 for the first time this season, although the Bengals gave a lot of people a scare when they needed overtime to defeat Buffalo. Two of the remaining participants in the Fake Football Survivor League fell to the wayside last week, leaving just eight people to contemplate the slate of games in Week 7. I will once again pick my three favorite games for Survivor purposes, but I think there are two clear choices, a lot of too-close-to-call matchups, and several trap games. So, let’s get into it.
Green Bay Packers
Cleveland had a nice three-week run and the Packers are banged up, but Brandon Weeden is not leading the Browns to a victory at Lambeau Field. I admitted in last week’s “Fake Football, Real Questions” that I bought into Weeden as a decent fantasy option in 2013, but that was a mistake. The Browns are winless in games started by Weeden this season and he has more interceptions than touchdowns on the year. Cleveland has a pretty good defense, but the offense continues to put them in a bad position and Aaron Rodgers is going to take advantage of those mistakes. Even with Randall Cobb out and James Jones questionable for this game, the Packers have enough weapons to outgun the Browns. Green Bay is the biggest NFL favorite in Las Vegas this week and they are definitively my choice in Survivor leagues, assuming you haven’t already used the allocation.
Kansas City Chiefs
Who would have imagined when the season began that Kansas City would be favored by almost a touchdown over the Texans? Certainly not many people, but the Chiefs have been outstanding this year on their way to 6-0, while Houston has been a very disappointing 2-4, including a 38-13 dismantling last week at the hands of the Rams. It doesn’t look like Matt Schaub is going to play this week and even though he has struggled mightily in 2013, Texans fans shouldn’t be too anxious to see T.J. Yates or Case Keenum at the helm of the offense. Kansas City’s defense is giving up just 10 points per game at home this season and Houston hasn’t averaged much more than that over the last four weeks, all Texans losses. I expect the Chiefs to remain undefeated, while Houston runs its losing streak to five games.
This is where things get tricky. As I said, I think there are two clear picks for Survivor purposes this week, so I recommend you stick to the Packers or Chiefs. But if I’m pressed to pick a third choice, it never hurts to go with a home team coming off a bye facing an opponent that will be quarterbacked by a player that until last week was on the practice squad or a guy that was just signed off the street. This is otherwise known as the Dolphins hosting the Bills, and while everything screams Miami in this one, I’m always leery of the divisional games and Buffalo has been a feisty team at times this year. Still, Miami seems like a decent bet since Buffalo has been less competitive on the road in 2013 and there is a decent chance Matt Flynn will be taking snaps for the Bills.
Favorite to Avoid
In four games without Justin Blackmon, the Jaguars averaged less than eight points per game. In two games with him, they are averaging almost 20 points. Meanwhile, the Chargers are traveling cross country on a short week to play a 1:00 game in the Eastern time zone. San Diego has also followed up every surprise win this year (at Philadelphia and versus Dallas) with a loss. Fresh off a big victory over Indianapolis on Monday Night Football, it seems entirely possible that the Chargers will be looking past the winless Jaguars, perhaps already thinking about their bye next week. The bottom line is that San Diego is not a good enough team that you should bet your Survivor life on them. But they are currently the second choice of participants in the Yahoo game and are being selected by almost 30% of the remaining teams. Maybe they live up to the 7.5-point spread, but I have my doubts.
Bonus Favorite to Avoid
Another team that is getting a lot of love from people still alive in the Yahoo game is Atlanta, currently the fourth choice of remaining participants. Despite getting upset at home on Monday Night Football in Week 5 in a game in which they lost arguably their best player in Julio Jones, the Falcons are favored by a touchdown this week over division rival Tampa Bay. While the Buccaneers are 0-5, they have been competitive in three of their five losses, and let’s not forget that Atlanta is riding a three-game losing streak of its own. Despite being a relatively-big favorite at home to a winless team, I would not be comfortable risking my Survivor league on a one-win team that will feature Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas, and a gimpy Roddy White in Week 7.