While the biggest favorites prevailed in Week 2, a good amount of heads still rolled in NFL survivor thanks to the Browns and Bengals. About 25% of the big Circa contest went bust. What will NFL survivor Week 3 bring? 24% in ESPN’s Eliminator Challenge were also lost, thanks to Cleveland and Cincinnati.
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.
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 Week 3: The Obvious Chalk
Week 3 contains far more danger than Week 2. Nobody clears the 75% implied threshold. So, what to make of the top favorites we do have?
Both the Chiefs and Chargers have several games down the line where they’ll be double-digit favorites or close. The Vikings get the Bears, Jets and Giants at home. So, plenty of future value exists for all three. It may be a good week to fade the top chalk and dig a little deeper on the board, especially considering none of these are close to a lock winner.
As for the spots, the Chiefs look potentially interesting as under-owned favorites if people gravitate toward the home teams. Andy Reid has a legendary record with extra time to prepare. Leagues in which you can only fade each team once make the Chiefs especially interesting. You likely won’t be excited to pick against the Colts too often once they get healthy. So, keep an eye on their injury report. If they still have no weapons this week, the Chiefs may roll like the Jaguars did.
Less Clear But Still Strong Favorites
That this is the group that passes for medium favorites tells you all you need to know about NFL survivor Week 3. A bunch of short road favorites, almost all playing divisional games and a couple working with short weeks. Yikes.
The Bills and Eagles look like they’re in store for higher-scoring affairs if early results are any indication. Combined with playing divisional road games (and a short week for Buffalo), these games look like stay-aways. Of the two, Buffalo has far more future value, but the Eagles do get Jacksonville and Pittsburgh at home in the coming weeks.
Most people will probably prefer to use Cleveland later in the season with Deshaun Watson at QB. Sweating a Thursday Night Football slopfest between the Browns and Steelers doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but it probably merits a look compared to the rest of this slate. The Steelers offense had another brutal day. Mitch Trubisky on the road against a good defense could get ugly. The defense did not exactly shut down a mediocre New England offense, allowing Mac Jones more than 7 YPA.
Taking too much from small samples can be dangerous. But down the stretch last season, the Rams seemed to find the formula to completely shut down Kyler Murray. He looked completely inept against them in the playoffs. And aside from that stirring comeback in the fourth quarter this week, the Cardinals have basically looked like a very bad team. Better spots exist to use the Rams, but hardly anyone will likely play them this week.
Two Sneaky, Contrarian Options For NFL Survivor Week 3
Anyone who listened on the Giants last week squeaked one out that the team arguably didn’t deserve, having been gifted six points on Carolina fumbles in their own territory. Anyone who didn’t listen has the option to click them this week. However, note that fading Cooper Rush has proven a recipe for disaster for survivor players so far. He’s prevailed as a decent underdog twice now between this year and last. And the Giants should probably be 0-2 based on having been outgained 5.6 to 5.1 YPP.
If you want the super-contrarian option, look no further than the Chicago Bears. Hey, there is basically no chance you will play them for the rest of the year. And Davis Mills has been an atrocious road QB. Check out these splits:
- Home: 7.71 YPA, 14 TD, 1 INT
- Road: 5.21 YPA, 4 TD, 9 INT
Good luck in NFL Survivor Week 3.