Sunday update: The Patriots-Chiefs game has been postponed with the league hoping to play the game either Monday or Tuesday. Survivor pool rules on postponed games likely vary, but if for whatever reason you were considering this game (you shouldn’t have been), avoid it.
We’re back for Week 4 of the 2020 NFL regular season. The NFL has run into a Covid-19 issue this week, with the Steelers-Titans game postponed at least a day or two due to positive Titans tests. The game is on track to take place next Monday or Tuesday, but any issues with testing in the coming days could still change that.
Week 3 brought a couple upsets of note. The Cardinals lost at home to the Lions while the Chargers lost at home to the Panthers. Both teams had seen their stock rising in recent weeks, but Week 3 showed they both have work to do. It did not shake up Survivor pools too much, but some folks are out after last week.
If you’ve never played in a Survivor pool, it’s a pretty straightforward deal. You pick one team each week that you think will win. If your team loses in Week 1, you’re eliminated (unless it’s a double elimination pool). If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick the same team twice. You could use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you would not have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.
Survivor pools are usually either a single elimination contest or a double elimination contest. I am in one of each. I took a Week 1 strike in my double elimination pool thanks to the Colts, but survived Week 2 with the Cardinals and Week 3 with the Patriots. In my single elimination pool, my first three weeks included the Bills, Titans, and Browns.
DK Nation is back this week to help with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps. We had a solid Week 2 with our advice. Our safe picks were the Colts and Cardinals, and Arizona suffered the upset. Our value pick was Browns over Washington, and while WFT gave Cleveland some trouble for stretches, the Browns pulled away with relative ease. And hopefully you followed our advice on trap picks. The Chargers were upset by Carolina and the Eagles finished in a tie with the Bengals.
On to Week 4!
The Covid-19 postponement of Steelers-Titans raises an important point for Survivor pools. This is not a game I’d pick for Survivor, but if you decide to use either team, be wary of the game getting postponed again if testing raises any red flags. Meanwhile, Vikings-Texans is on track to play Sunday, but again, be wary of any red flags before game day.
LA and Baltimore are both double digit favorites. There’s always potential for letdown, but I just don’t see it. The Giants lost to the 49ers second and third string last week, and Washington will be missing two of its best pass rushers. I suspect the Rams will be the most popular pick of the week.
Best value picks
Buccaneers over Chargers
Rams over Giants
The Chargers were riding high after nearly upsetting Kansas City in Week 2, but came back to earth against the Panthers in Week 3. Traveling east is not going to make this any easier. The Bucs don’t have a ton of long-term value with their best value in road games.
The Rams don’t offer Week 4 value because a huge number of contestants will pick them. However, their remaining value includes road games at Washington and Miami and a home game against the Jets. Each of those weeks you’ll likely find better value, so why not use LA now?
The Packers are riding high undefeated and coming off a win in New Orleans, while the Falcons might fire head coach Dan Quinn sooner than later. This seems moderately ripe for an upset, and isn’t worth the potential headaches.