Another hurdle in the survivor season has emerged – the bye weeks. Six teams are off in Week 5, which means the selections are even slimmer. Check out the game-by-game analysis for this weekend’s games.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
– Pass on this battle of teams who are in for a long 2011 season after playoff berths a year go.
Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings – There are about four or five games this week where the point spread is less than three. Most of those games are tough to predict and therefore should be avoided in these pools. This is one of them.
Eagles @ Buffalo Bills – Like I said last week, wait until the Eagles straighten it out before taking them. As for Buffalo, a win over the Eagles – despite their struggles – would be significant.
Raiders @ Houston Texans – Houston will be without Andre Johnson for a few weeks, but don’t let that make you feel less confident about the Texans. They will focus on the run with Arian Foster and be just fine in this stretch. However, I would likely wait until they are at full strength until selecting them in survivor.
Saints @ Carolina Panthers – Upset alert. Carolina is a home underdog this weekend against a divisional opponent and Cam Newton continues to play well. They looked good against the Chicago Bears on the road last week and squandered several opportunities to win that game. The Saints are in the middle of a three-game road trip and I expect them to be picked off in one of these games (Week 6 at Tampa Bay).
Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars – The Bengals were expected to be the laughing stock of the NFL this season, but they have not been embarrassing this season. They are 2-2 and their two losses have come by a total of seven points. Their schedule picks up later in the season, but most people had the Bengals around 4-12 this season and they already look to be surpassing that win total. Avoid this game.
Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Injuries to your starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and running back, Rashard Mendenhall, are never good. However, the Steelers are also going to be without James Harrison and their offensive line is a mess. I am not going to recommend taking Pittsburgh until players are healed and their line begins to create some protection.
Seahawks @ New York Giants – The Giants are coming off a big west coast win and now welcome the Seahawks to the Meadowlands. As one of the biggest favorites of the weekend, the Giants are at home and playing in a non-divisional game, which makes them a top selection for Week 5.
Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers – The Buccaneers are another team traveling from one coast to another this week, and they are also playing on a short week. Look for the 49ers to return home and play a close one with the Buccaners. Avoid.
New York Jets @ New England Patriots
– This is still a divisional rivalry and you only have to look to the January playoff game to understand that anything can happen in these types of games. Stay away.
Chargers @ Denver Broncos – AFC West matchup that I would also avoid. I would wait until the Chargers are home if you still have them available.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Packers @ Atlanta Falcons – In Week 2, I liked Atlanta to rebound and beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home since I raved about how good Matt Ryan is in the Georgia Dome. However, they luckily escaped with a victory in a wild game where Michael Vick had to leave early. This week, I just don’t see what is much different from the divisional playoff game nine months ago when the Packers embarrassed the Falcons and Aaron Rodgers picked that defense apart. I still would not suggest the Packers on the road, but I am having trouble finding a way that Atlanta can win this game.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Bears @ Detroit Lions – The 4-0 Lions at home on Monday Night Football is great for the NFL. The exciting and explosive Detroit offense will take on the Bears in an NFC North divisional duel. It is hard to imagine the Lions at 5-0 because of their recent history, but they are one win away. You have to expect them to come out fired up at home and all the intangibles are in their favor in this one. For survivor purposes, I would stay away with that risk of the divisional upset.
There are not many Week 5 options and the
NEW YORK GIANTS are my top selection for this weekend facing a Seattle Seahawks team coming from the West coast to play in a 1 p.m. start. Your next options would be one of the home teams, either New England or Detroit. However, the Giants are going to be the most popular Week 5 option and should be taken if you have them.
Saints – Carolina continues to play well and the Saints can be picked off when not in the Super Dome.
Good luck in Week 5!