NFL Survivor pools in Week 1 was a bloodbath. Some of you were fortunate enough to play in pools where the Colts still kept you alive with a tie. That was not the case in Circa Survivor, where Colts entries were part of the 46.5% of $1000 entries eliminated before Monday Night Football! In ESPN’s free contest, only 26.4% advanced to NFL Survivor Week 2. In DraftKings’ $1 million contest with $100 entries, 27.8% of the competitors are already out after picking the Titans, 49ers or Bengals.
If you are still alive, our congratulations. Moving forward, remember that you must plan for the long term, and you must take into account the size of your pool. The larger the pool, the more contrarian a path you should plan. It’s not as simple as clicking the biggest favorite every week.
Reaching the end and splitting the pool 50 ways kills much of your expected value. Plus, avoiding the top pick of the week gives you a chance of seeing the biggest chunk of your rivals knocked out.
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Be sure to scroll to the bottom to compare NFL Week 2 moneylines and bonus offers across sportsbooks in your state.Editor’s Note
NFL Survivor Show: Week 2
NFL Survivor Week 2: The Obvious Chalk
Unless you are all playing in leagues with early rebuys/mulligans, I’m guessing readership will take a hit this week. A Week 1 bloodbath saw a number of favorites go down, including the Bengals backed by the author. Thanks, Joe Burrow.
In any case, those who did advance through the dicey Week 1 will find themselves with a plethora of options. Five big favorites adorn the card, each at home, which sounds like a reprieve.
Green Bay finds itself in perhaps the iffiest spot. Just how bad has this passing offense become without Davante Adams? Sure, things look better if a rookie WR snags a 75-yard TD. But the fall from the past two years was pretty stunning. Rodgers has averaged 4.8 YPA and 5.7 YPA now in his two most recent games without Adams. We should probably expect something subpar in that department going forward, but it’s tough to say what that means against a Bears team that played in complete slop against an inexperienced QB in Week 1.
The Rams also looked atrocious in Week 1, barely putting up a fight against the Bills at home. How much of that was the Bills being great and how much was the Rams’ poor play-calling and a potentially nagging injury to Matt Stafford? If you lean more toward the former, grab the Rams and expect a bounce. But the latter would mean a recurring issue going forward.
Since Denver has yet to play at the time of writing, this will also be an interesting one to track. If they have a rough go in Seattle, this will probably be the most attractive play in a week where all of the top options look pretty similar. The line might drop and people might favor the bigger favorites. But, Houston got dominated in the YPP department by Indianapolis (5.7 to 4.4). And Denver only has one more projected big-favorite spot (Week 7 vs. Jets), unless you’re into picking London games.
Less Clear But Still Strong Favorites
Not previously anywhere near the radar for NFL survivor Week 2, the Bengals have popped up as a potential play due to the injury to Dak Prescott. Suddenly, the Bengals hit the road to face Cooper Rush and the Cowboys.
Yes, the Bengals sucked royally in Week 1. But, we have seen time and again over the years that teams can bounce back from horrendous Week 1 losses. And while Rush did beat the Vikings last year, he could scarcely move the ball against Tampa Bay’s prevent defense. Remember that the Bengals have a pretty difficult schedule, which makes them a tough play later in the season in most weeks. Keep an eye on pick% here. If people are avoiding the Bengals because of that Week 1 stinker, you can pinch your nose and play them at low ownership.
The Browns would make me quite nervous. They beat the Panthers on the strength of their running game, as Jacoby Brissett was terrible with 4.3 YPA. Cleveland got an equal number of first downs (7) rushing as they did passing. That formula seems unlikely to work as well against a Jets defense that just held the Ravens to 3 YPA on the ground.
One Sneaky, Contrarian Option For NFL Survivor Week 2
The G-Men had the offense humming against Tennessee in Week 1, and Saquon Barkley has to be licking his chops at facing a Panthers team that just got steamrolled for 217 yards rushing by Cleveland. Brian Daboll has that unit looking far better than it has ever looked in recent years, and fading bad QBs on the road is always a decent place to start. Absolutely nobody will click the Giants, and if chaos reigns at the top of the board again, you’re practically in the endgame already.
Good luck in NFL Survivor Week 2.