Survival of the Fittest: Week 4

ahmad-bradshaw-coltsWeek 3 was decidedly closer than it had any right being, with the New England Patriots just barely getting by in the field goal war that was their (home) game against the Oakland Raiders, one of the consensus three worst teams in the league. On paper it should have been a blowout, and it had the statistical biggest probability of taking us into the next week of the survival football challenge, but that breath of relief you heard, that was me.

Let’s hope this week doesn’t bring any kind of heart palpitations for me, or for you either if you’re still alive in your survival league. But it is the first week of byes so we won’t be able to pick Seattle, Cincinnati, Denver (they’re already in the books for me), or any of the other teams who are off this week but who you wouldn’t pick anyway, even if your life depended on it.

The teams I’ve chosen so far in my survival football league have been:

Week 1: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Week 2: DENVER BRONCOS
Week 3: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

So, what do we do this week? As always I say go with the team that has the biggest possibility of victory based on how they’re playing, the opponent they’re facing, and on whether or not the team is at home. Statistics show that it’s not in your favor to pick an away team, but also that it’s difficult to determine a winner in divisional matchups too. Last year Cleveland devastated a lot of hopes when they won two games in a row, so picking the worst team and saying whoever faces them can come back to get you.

Here are several games that have the possibility of being the survivor of the week:

Pittsburgh against Tampa Bay. The Steelers are at home against a winless Tampa Bay team that has had defensive issues. After dismantling a tough Carolina defense this should be a cinch, right? Wrong. Remember how horrible Pittsburgh looked against Baltimore two weeks ago? Which team shows up here? Tampa should win at least one game this season. Trap game.

Kansas City against New England. The Chiefs dismantled Miami. Miami beat New England. Transitive property says that the Chiefs should beat New England on Monday night. If New England plays the way they did against Oakland this should be an easy Chiefs victory. I think it happens, but you would have to have nerves of steel to pick it in your survival league.

San Diego against Jacksonville. One plan of attack for survivalists is just picking the team that plays against Jacksonville, and San Diego is hot right now. This is a very popular pick this week, as it should be. Just don’t forget Blake Bortles is still an unknown and I wonder if the defense has gotten up to speed on him. This might just be a letdown game for San Diego, where they look past an opponent. If they don’t look past the Jaguars, though, this one does turn out to be an easy win.

Indianapolis against Tennessee. After starting the season 0-2 against two dynamic offenses, the Colts got it going against (you guessed it) Jacksonville last week, and they look to keep the pedal to the metal against a suddenly vulnerable Tennessee squad that has dropped two in a row. This is my pick of the week because Indianapolis is rolling on all cylinders and Tennessee looks lost at the moment. It is the biggest possibility of victory in week 4.

If you’ve already used the Colts in the challenge (probably last week) then you have another choice to make. Go with San Diego or Atlanta (even though Atlanta is playing on the road at Minnesota) if you’re stuck for options. Matt Ryan doesn’t play as well away from home as he does at home, but Minnesota is out of sorts and has a young quarterback making his first official start. That does not bode well for the Vikings.

So, I’m going with Indianapolis this week, hoping to stay perfect. Good luck in your survival challenge!

The Fantasy Ace

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