NFL betting: Week 3 survivor pool picks

·5 min read

After a wild Week 1 where 63% of entries were buried, the carnage continued in Week 2 with 39% written off. If things continue at this pace, survivor pools will be over before Justin Fields records double-digit completions in a game. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers account for 66% of entries thus far in Week 3, setting the field up for another giant rug pull.

Before we charge into Week 3, let's take a look at how we fared in Week 2:

Week 2 picks

Best Bets: 2-0 (YTD: 3-1)

Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 2-1)

Traps to avoid: 2 eliminations avoided (YTD: 5)

On to the Week 3 picks!

All lines from BetMGM.

BEST BETS

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Washington Commanders

If styles make fights, Washington's equipment manager may want to bring some backup towels to throw in. The Commanders are surrendering an absurd 7.5 yards per carry through two weeks. Philadelphia's offense ranks fifth in that category (5.2 ypc) and first in yards per passing attempt (9.1 ypa). MVP candidate Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will have no problem putting up points against a porous Washington defense allowing 29 points per game.

Philadelphia's revamped defense held the Minnesota Vikings to seven points on Monday night and ranks fourth in yards per attempt (4.9) and fifth in completion percentage (57.8%), while Commanders QB Carson Wentz is tied with Joe Flacco for the third-most poor passes this year (18).

The Eagles rank fifth in DVOA. You have to scroll quite a ways down to find the Commanders at 24th.

Philadelphia is the fourth-most popular pick this week, but only 6.8% of entries are on them. They have quite a bit of future value with games against the Texans, Bears, Commanders (at home), and Giants (twice).

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. (Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports)

LEANS

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at New England Patriots

I picked against Bill Belichick in Week 1 with the Miami Dolphins and I'm doing it again this weekend. The Ravens were cruising to victory in Week Tua before injuries and miscommunications in the secondary were exploited by Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to erase a 21-point deficit. New England doesn't have the weapons on offense to burn Baltimore, but the Ravens certainly possess the firepower to give the Patriots headaches when they have the ball. Lamar Jackson ranks third in QB rating this season, just behind Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Miami's speed gave New England's defense fits in Week 1, and Jackson isn't the only Raven with wheels; Rashod Bateman hit 21.48 mph on his 75-yard touchdown reception last week, which is the second-fastest speed for a ballcarrier this year.

Baltimore is the seventh-most popular pick this week, at 2.1%. The Ravens' future value lies in games against the Giants, Panthers and Falcons.

Cleveland Browns (-4.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The only thing that makes me queasier than putting survivor entries on Jacoby Brissett is watching Mitch Trubisky helm the Pittsburgh offense. His 5.1 yards per passing attempt is league-worst among active starting quarterbacks and his 76.1 QB rating ranks fourth-worst. Cleveland's defense hasn't played as well as the sum of its parts in 2022, but this is a nice bounce-back spot after choking away a 13-point lead to the Jets in the final two minutes last week. Brissett has actually availed himself decently enough through two starts, but the real battle Thursday night will be on the ground. The Browns top the NFL in rushing yards, while the T.J. Watt-less Steelers rank 29th in run stop win rate.

At 0.67% owned, Cleveland offers a ton of value in large survivor pools. The Browns' future value is on the road at Atlanta, Houston and Washington.

TRAPS TO AVOID

Minnesota Vikings (-6) vs. Detroit Lions

Each of the last three matchups between these teams have been decided by two points and I have zero interest in fading a Lions run game that's averaging 7.2 yards per carry and 3.8 yards before contact. Minnesota can take advantage of the Detroit secondary, but the Lions can return the favor on offense against a Vikings defense that ranks 30th in DVOA.

Minnesota is the fifth-most popular survivor pick, at 4.25%.

Cincinnati Bengals (-5) at New York Jets

We're doing this for the third straight week. I can only imagine the ecstasy Marie Kondo would feel watching the 2022 Bengals, because that offensive line is a mess. Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-high 13 times through two games and lost to a much worse Jets roster on the road last season.

Nearly 11% of entries are attempting to spark joy with the Bengals this week, making them the third-most popular pick.

Los Angeles Chargers (-7) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Tender ribs are fantastic at a BBQ joint and not so great when they're in your starting quarterback. Jacksonville ranks fourth in quarterback knockdowns per passing attempt and their defense ranks third in DVOA behind the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Right tackle is still a huge concern for a Chargers team that's one hit away from Chase Daniel suiting up. Mix in the fact that over 30% of entries are on the Chargers and you have plenty of reasons to fade them this week.

Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, teamrankings.com, ESPN, Football Outsiders, and fantasypros.com.