Great, you are back for another week. Let’s continue to sweat along with our survivor picks as we progress through the season. The results were pretty strong on both the tails (3-1) and the fades (1-1). As the season continues, the good news is that we begin to receive more information to help with the decision making process. Let us move forward and look at survivor picks for Week 3 of the NFL season. Prior to the season, I broke down some survivor pool strategy tips, and now it is time to put that into action.
Each week throughout the season, I will break down both survivor picks I am tailing and fading. They will be ranked in ascending order of confidence. Some weeks will have more options than others based on the schedule, the teams we have taken, and the point in the season that we are at. Based on that, the direction of the picks will change throughout the year. As the season progresses, we will be forced to take more risks. Ultimately though, the methodology should remain the same.
The assumption is that we will be working off four lines each week. My picks for each line will be broken out, as team scarcity will come into play the further we get into the year.
Week 2 NFL Survivor Picks
Games to Tail
Baltimore Ravens vs. Indianapolis Colts
With Anthony Richardson likely out this week, the offense changes drastically for the Colts. While Gardner Minshew has had some success in the past, he now has to run an offense that was created for and tailored to Richardson. To say that they don’t share the same skill set would be an understatement.
Baltimore has one of the strongest defenses in the league, and that will make things quite difficult for Minshew. The fact that this is a Colts team still without Jonathan Taylor makes things only harder. Indianapolis’ defense has not been as good this season, and a healthy Lamar Jackson should have no issues leading the charge.
Even with J.K. Dobbins out for the year, the Ravens haven’t had any issues running the ball. With Zay Flowers, Baltimore has another explosive weapon while they continue to have the ability to control the clock.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
For a half on Sunday, it looked like the Cardinals were going to pick up a victory. This is despite the fact that Joshua Dobbs is under center and they are actively tanking. The Giants then stormed back to victory, and order was restored.
The expectation is that will continue this week as the Cowboys come to town. Dallas never gave that same Giants team a chance in a 40-0 beatdown to begin the season, and they dealt the Jets a similar fate. Quite simply, the Cowboys’ defense is a force and it is hard to imagine Arizona’s offense having the ability to do anything.
San Francisco Giants vs. New York Giants
It is a short week for the Giants and they are at less than full strength. Even if everyone was active, that would still be the case for New York but they will be without Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas, among others. The Giants’ offensive line has struggled to begin the season with Thomas being active, so this week things will be even worse. And the fact that it comes against a fierce San Francisco defense and Nick Bosa makes things even worse.
Not having Barkley will put even more pressure on Daniel Jones, and it is difficult to expect him to have time to throw. San Francisco could have to deal with the absence of Brandon Aiyuk, but they also have plenty of other weapons to turn to. Ultimately though, this comes down to the 49ers defense and the Giants offense having to make due without Barkley and Thomas.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears
Despite their Week 1 loss at home, we know how tough it is to play in Kansas City. The Chiefs are one of my survivor picks for the week for many reasons; one of which is that they can’t afford another similar loss. The good news is that the Chicago Bears are simply that bad so they should have no problems playing along.
After scoring just 17 points last week against Jacksonville, we are still waiting for Patrick Mahomes to get going offensively. Through two games, the Bears are allowing 387 total yards, an average of 32.5 points, and a 54.8% third down rate. Quite simply, it is hard to win games when that is the case.
Games to Fade
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans
To be clear, I do still think that the Jaguars will emerge victorious on Sunday, but there is doubt in my mind. Divisional games are always tough, and the Texans do need to win at some point, right?
Last week, the Jacksonville failed to distinguish themselves by scoring just nine points against the Chiefs. The Jaguars are last in the league with a 25% third down rate and are 21st points scored. On the defensive side, Jacksonville is 25th in the league with an average of 256.5 passing yards allowed. This is something that can be exploited.
Rookie quarterback CJ Stroud has 626 passing yards and two touchdowns through two games and he has yet to throw an interception. These teams have a history with each other and this is a game where anything can happen. Well, that is unless we see Trevor Lawrence really find his groove. But if he does, maybe Stroud can keep up with his newly found chemistry with Nico Collins.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a matchup of two teams that are each 2-0. While one of these teams was expected to be here, the other has been a pleasant surprise. The latter takes the field at home on Monday night in primetime, and the impact of that has to be factored in here.
Considering where we had assumed these teams to be at the start of the season (After all Jalen Hurts is a lot better than Baker Mayfield), it is a bit shocking to see this as just a five-point spread. The Eagles were ultimately lucky to defeat both the Patriots and Vikings to begin the season as each team ceded multiple opportunities to win. At the same time though, Tampa Bay can say the same about their victory against Minnesota, and the Bears are not very good.
With that being said Mayfield has shown the ability to move the ball down the field, 490 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he has two strong receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Rachaad White is beginning to emerge on the ground, and this is more about not being able to count Tampa Bay out. The Eagles are allowing a lot of passing yards and Tampa’s defense has also been strong. Through two games, the Buccaneers are eighth in the league with 17 points allowed.
Washington, Buffalo, San Francisco
San Francisco, Baltimore