Congratulations, survivors! Our picks advanced last week, and we’re back with our NFL Week 3 Survivor Pick.
Readers who tailed our Week 2 Survivor picks are in great shape for Week 3. While the Packers cruised past the Bears, Nathaniel Hackett kept Broncos backers holding their collective breath. The first-year head coach proved he’s in WAY over his head with another terrible display of coaching. Somehow, the Broncos squeaked out a victory, and those tickets advance to NFL Week 3.
Of the two teams we suggested avoiding, the Rams survived a fourth-quarter push by the Falcons and safely advanced. Anyone foolish enough to risk their entire season on the Cleveland Browns, however? YOU GOT FLACCO’D! The New York quarterback staged an epic comeback, and the Jets beat the Browns 31-30.
Overall, roughly 20% of survivor entrants got eliminated in Week 2. Add to the Week 1 bloodbath, and the average NFL Survivor pool is already down a staggering 60% of entrants through two weeks.
Let’s take a look at some NFL Week 3 Survivor Picks.
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NFL Survivor Strategies Recap
There are two basic strategies to consider when making your weekly survivor picks.
Strategy #1 – Survive And Advance
This strategy is simple. Take the best team available and hope they win.
This is an excellent strategy to use in office pools. Against a small number of entrants, there isn’t as much value in making contrarian picks. Play it safe and don’t try to outsmart your knucklehead friends.
Strategy #2 – Contrarian Picks With Value
For larger pools, more thinking is required. Simply picking the heaviest favorite each week isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to outlast up to one thousand opponents.
Your goal should be to target less popular options that are strong favorites. Easier said than done some weeks. Picking the most popular option seems great when they win, but if 60% of the pool joined you on that pick? You didn’t gain nearly as much win equity as you think.
NFL Week 3 Survivor Picks To Avoid
Los Angeles Chargers
I absolutely love this Chargers team, but there are a few reasons to avoid them as your NFL Week 3 Survivor Pick.
First and foremost, the health of Justin Herbert is in question. The quarterback went down hard during a 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in a Thursday Night Football thriller. Herbert has a number of bruised ribs and remains questionable to play on Sunday. It’s likely he’ll suit up, but safe to assume he won’t be 100%. That’s a concern.
Secondly, these Jaguars are not the pushover they were last year. Trevor Lawrence has looked impressive in back-to-back games, and a renewed team chemistry after the departure of Urban Meyer has these Jaguars clicking. This is a great example of using NFL Survivor strategy to our advantage. Some survivor entrants are picking the Chargers this week simply because it’s the largest available point spread. But against a scrappy Jaguars team with a less-than-100% Justin Herbert? No, thank you.
Finally, we’ll have better opportunities to use the Chargers as our NFL Survivor pick going forwards. If we survive Week 3, the Chargers are a strong option five of the next six weeks. Their schedule goes: Texans, Browns, Broncos, Seahawks, BYE, Falcons.
With an estimated 20-25% of entrants using the Chargers in NFL Week 3, there’s value in saving them.
Kansas City Chiefs
Another team I love this season is the Kansas City Chiefs, but don’t use them as your NFL Week 3 Survivor Pick.
The Chiefs play the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Last week’s look-ahead line on this game was Chiefs -2.5. The game re-opened Sunday night at Chiefs -6.5 and after being bet up briefly to -7, it’s come back the other way, sitting -5.5 as of Thursday, a move indicating sharp money on the Colts.
The Chiefs are 2-0, while the Colts have looked uninspired in their first two divisional games. A tie on the road against the Texans and a loss to Jacksonville have the Colts searching for their first win during their home opener.id
Historically, teams that enter NFL Week 3 without a win are extremely dangerous. The Colts know the stats: NFL teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs only about 10% of the time. Since 1970, 400 teams have started 0-2 and only 38 have made the playoffs. And if they go 0-3? Only five teams in 50 years have overcome that start to make the playoffs.
With their season on the line, and the Chiefs looking ahead to a tough Week 4 matchup against the Buccaneers, the Colts will throw everything they have at Kansas City. Their first home game of the season will provide some needed motivation. And while the Chiefs are the better football team, I don’t see them as hungry here as the Colts. A brutal stretch of games awaits the Chiefs on the other side of this one: Their next four opponents are the Bucs, Raiders, Bills, and 49ers. It’s possible they underestimate this Colts team.
The Chiefs are the most popular option in NFL Survivor Week 3, with over 35% of entrants backing them. There’s more value in avoiding them this week and hoping for a Colts upset.
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NFL Week 3 Survivor Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
Speaking of dangerous 0-2 teams…
The Bengals enter Week 3 with their season on the line. Tough losses against the Steelers and a Dak-less Cowboys team have this team fighting to stay alive much sooner than they hoped. Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-leading 13 times through his first two games, and the Bengals offense ranks dead last in the NFL.
The Jets, on the other hand, are fresh off an epic win against the Cleveland Browns. Flacco and company pulled off a huge comeback in the final minutes to steal a road victory and stun the Cleveland crowd.
This is a classic buy low/sell high spot on both the Bengals and Jets.
The Bengals offensive line is not good. That’s a much bigger problem against T.J. Watt and the Steelers, or Micah Parsons and the Cowboys. After two weeks, the Jets rank last in NFL defense this season. With their season on the line, the Bengals should come out firing in this one. Look for Burrow to make some plays downfield with that extra second in the pocket against this lackluster Jets defense.
This Bengals team has a ton of talent. They should play inspired football and torch the Jets. With less than 10% of survivor entrants picking the Bengals, it’s a great contrarian play loaded with value.