NFL Week 10 survivor pool picks, predictions: Fade dysfunctional Colts in Saturday’s debut
The Raiders should easily beat an Indianapolis team integrating a new head coach in Jeff Saturday on Sunday.
Once again, we saw a wild week in the NFL nearly upend a large portion of those select few remaining contestants in the survivor pool. And the remaining choices are getting harder by the week.
We survived last week with our glaringly obvious choice of the undefeated Eagles against the NFL-worst Texans, and our sleeper pick of the Chiefs barely came through in overtime. We were wise to avoid the Bills, who lost outright to the Jets in easily the biggest shocker of the weekend. That knocked out 5.7% of the remaining pool in the Circa Survivor contest, which boasts just 115 remaining contestants from the original 6,133 entries (1.9%).
Will we see any other surprising results in Week 10? With the way this season has gone, that feels like a near-certainty. Here’s how we’d attack this week in your survivor pool:
Las Vegas Raiders
If you’ve been living under a rock over the last 48 hours, let me catch you up to speed: the Colts fired head coach Frank Reich on Monday, then replaced him with former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday, who has never coached at any level beyond high school – something owner Jim Irsay praised as shielding him from the “fear” that drives coaches to use analytics.
If that doesn’t sound like the NFL’s version of a three-ring circus, I don’t know what would. It doesn’t help that Saturday is taking over a Colts team that ranks 31st in DVOA thanks to an offense that ranks dead last behind sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger, whose QBR (34.2) would rank 30th across the full season.
All that is to say that Indianapolis – which doesn’t have a single coach on the roster who’s called offensive plays before – could be in for a world of hurt on Sunday after yet another blowout loss this past weekend. The Raiders have some issues of their own, but they pale in comparison to what we’re seeing on the other side.
New York Giants
If you’re still alive after nine weeks, your best bet is to play it safe and try to survive another week. But if you’re feeling risky, there’s value in fading the Texans this week against a Giants squad that has somehow won six of its first eight games.
That’s probably a bit misleading as to how good New York really is, which we saw laid out bare in last week’s loss to the Seahawks. Still, the Giants are an above-average squad with a risk-averse offense that thrives on its versatile rushing attack and a defense that ranks eighth in points allowed per game (19.6).
Conversely, the Texans rank near the bottom of the league in every advanced metric and have just one win to their credit all season long. Much of that can be laid at the feet of sophomore passer Davis Mills (32.8 QBR), easily the worst starter still standing in the NFL. I’d rather risk my pool on the Raiders or even the Eagles if you have them available, but if you’re feeling lucky, the Giants are a solid play.
Team to avoid
This probably goes without saying given all of the questions swirling around the Bills ahead of this matchup. But with just six favorites of at least six points this week at BetMGM, you may be tempted to ride with the Super Bowl favorites this late in the year. Don’t fall for it.
The biggest issue here is the health of Josh Allen, who suffered an elbow injury in Week 9 and is questionable to suit up on Sunday. That comes on the heels of his worst performance of the season, when he threw two interceptions and finished without a passing touchdown for the first time all year in last week’s loss to the Jets.
That’s to say nothing of this week’s opponent in the Vikings, who quietly own the NFL’s second-best record and have a terrifying offense when everything is clicking. If Allen is healthy, the Bills should still win this game, but there’s way too much risk here to stake your pool on it.
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