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Week 2 NFL Survivor pool strategy and picks

The NFL had a wild Week 1, with a solid mix of upsets and chalk. NFL season is back and with it come Survivor pools. We are here to provide some tips to stay alive all season.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs the football against the San Francisco 49ers during the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday update: The Browns beat the Bengals 35-30. Cincinnati got a late score for the back-door cover. At times the Bengals hung close, but Cleveland won with a relative amount of ease in what turned into a shootout. Congrats if you picked the Browns!

The NFL is back and Week 1 was a rousing success. The league had no positive Covid-19 tests heading into game day, and generally speaking the football was pretty solid considering there had been no preseason.

Week 1 brought with it some sizable upsets, including the Jaguars beating the Colts Titans, the Bears coming back to stun the Lions, Washington taking down the Eagles, and the Cardinals beating the 49ers in San Francisco. The upsets resulted in some early shake-up in Survivor pools. Plenty of folks have been eliminated, while others are through their first strike.

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, and used a Colts pick for the double elimination and Bills for the single elimination.

DK Nation is back this week to help with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps. We did fairly well in advice last week, but had some misses. Our safe picks were Chief and Ravens, both of which bore fruit. Our value picks were Colts and Chargers. The former knocked plenty of people out, while the latter escaped by the skin of their teeth. Our trap picks were Eagles and Steelers. The Eagles lost, while the Steelers handled business effectively against the Giants.

On to Week 2!

Safest picks

Cardinals over Washington
Chiefs over Chargers

Both Washington and Arizona are riding high after big wins in Week 1. However, Arizona is the decidedly better team in this one, and I think we see Kyler Murray shred this Washington defense. I have Arizona as a safe pick rather than value because I see more value when they face Miami later this year.

The Chiefs are going to be a safe pick more often than not. The Chargers barely beat Cincinnati last week, and I don’t see how they stop Patrick Mahomes & Co.

Best value picks

Titans over Jaguars
Browns over Bengals

Fool me once? The Jaguars stunned the Colts in Week 1, but I think we’re going to see them a bit overvalued because of the that. The Titans are worth a look on the point spread, and I think this is one they should handle with relative ease.

Meanwhile, Cleveland looked atrocious against Baltimore, but look for a bounce-back against a Bengals team that I think will struggle on defense against a better offense this weekend.

Trap pick

Bears over Giants
Saints over Raiders

Chicago is a 5.5-point favorite over New York after stunning Detroit and that was a game the Lions should have won handily. Chicago probably wins this game, but I have no interest in rolling the dice on them.

The Saints beat the Bucs last week, but that game was much about Tom Brady’s struggles and Drew Brees struggling in his own right. Traveling to Las Vegas, I think we see the Saints have a tough time against the Raiders.