The top three of our Top 5 NFL survivor pool picks all won last week, though Gardner Minshew and the Jacksonville Jaguars gave our No. 1 pick of the Houston Texans a late-game scare. But players who picked the Texans moved on, as did those who picked the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Kansas City Chiefs. Here are our top five selections for Week 3.
1. Dallas Cowboys, -22 vs. Miami
It doesn’t get a whole lot more crystal-clear than this one. The Cowboys are on a roll with back-to-back double-digit wins over the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. The Miami Dolphins are historically bad, losing their first two games at home 59-10 to the Baltimore Ravens and 43-0 to the New England Patriots.
Oh, and the Dolphins traded away one of their best players in Minkah Fitzpatrick after the Patriots loss, too. There aren’t any great spots ahead on Dallas’s schedule to hold on to the Cowboys for, and there certainly aren’t any slam-dunk spots like this one. Take the free win and move on to Week 4.
2. New England Patriots, -21 vs. NY Jets
Or if you didn’t burn them last week, you could also take the other free win on the board this week in the New England Patriots hosting the New York Jets, who are down to third-string quarterback Luke Falk. The Patriots won’t have Antonio Brown after cutting him on Friday, but they won’t need him in this one.
I’m saving the Patriots for their Week 6 showdown at home against the New York Giants. But there’s nothing wrong with taking them here in an extremely safe spot.
3. Green Bay Packers, -7 vs. Denver
I’d personally wait for another week to go the contrarian route given how perfect of a Survivor Pool fit the Cowboys are, but if you are hoping for chaos among the two big favorites and want to go a different route, I think Green Bay is the best of the rest.
The Packers and the Vikings are pretty interchangeable in this spot as both have a couple of decent spots down the road to save them for (the Packers get Oakland at home in Week 7, Carolina at home in Week 10, and Washington at home in Week 14), but I lean towards Green Bay slightly as I trust Aaron Rodgers a lot more than Kirk Cousins.
4. Minnesota Vikings, -9 vs. Oakland
As mentioned above, the Vikings have some nice spots ahead (at New York Giants Week 5, home against Washington Week 8, home against Denver Week 11) worth saving them for, but this week is also fine. After last week’s interception thrown off of his back foot in the red zone, I’m not sure I could trust Kirk Cousins in my Survivor Pool at the moment.
5. San Francisco, -6.5 vs. Pittsburgh
San Francisco has looked really good this season, blowing out Tampa Bay 31-17 and Cincinnati 41-17 on the road. At home against a Steelers team that lost Ben Roethlisberger for the season last week, the 49ers will probably win. It’s an unconventional pick, but not a bad spot if you refuse to go with the big dogs.