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NFL Survivor pool, Week 3: Strategy and safe, value, trap picks

The NFL season is back and that means Survivor pools once again. We are here to provide tips to stay alive all season.

Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Denver Broncos reacts after the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 12, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The NFL is back for Week 3. We have two weeks down and 15 to go, and plenty of questions remain. Are the undefeated Panthers or Raiders legit? Will the 0-2 Vikings turn it around? The list of questions is endless and this final weekend of September should start to answer some of these questions.

The week opens on Thursday with the Houston Texans hosting the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football. The unbeaten Panthers are a notable story, but the big news is that Houston will send out rookie QB Davis Mills while Tyrod Taylor recovers from a hamstring injury.

There’s plenty to sort out for fantasy rosters and betting decisions, but it’s also time for your third NFL Survivor pool decision. A Survivor pool involves picking one team each week you think will win. If your team loses, you’re eliminated. If your team wins, you advance to the next week to pick again. The catch is that you cannot pick the same team twice.

We had a mixed bag with last week’s picks. Both safe picks (Browns, Bucs) won, but we split on value picks with the Packers beating the Lions but the Steelers losing to the Raiders. I ended up going with the Browns after using the Rams in Week 1, so I remain alive in my pool.

You’re welcome to just take the team favored by the most points this weekend, but there is strategy to consider if you want to survive to the end. DK Nation is here to help with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps.

Safest picks

Broncos over Jets
Bills over Washington

Denver is the biggest favorite this week, but we’ll get into more detail on them below. Josh Allen is struggling a bit, but after seeing Washington barely beat the Giants last week, I suspect Taylor Heinicke has a stinker in the works this week.

Best value picks

Broncos over Jets

Denver is going to be THE pick in Survivor this week. They’re double digit favorites at home against a god-awful Jets team. Denver hosts Detroit in Week 14, but otherwise has few matchups where you’re likely to use them. I don’t know how good this Broncos squad is, but they are decidedly better than the Jets.

Trap pick

Panthers over Texans

The Panthers are 2-0 and the Texans are starting a rookie on Thursday. I don’t blame folks for taking this game in Survivor, but I’m staying away. I think Carolina will win, but with a short week to prep for a new quarterback — even if he is a rookie — and heading on the road for the first time this season, I suggest staying away from the Panthers.