Lets get this going! The season starts today and it’s time to finalize your Week 1 survivor pool choice. We had a lot of success last year, especially with the “Avoid” selections, and I’m excited to bring you the 2015 series of Survivor picks!
I have a few rules, or guidelines really, that I take into account each week when making selections. I am not afraid to select a road team. Road teams win 40 percent of the time – that is about 100 wins per season that you are leaving on the table. Eliminating them as a selection puts you at a disadvantage from the start. I do, however, avoid divisional games at all costs. Now, I know what you are thinking – “a team wins a divisional matchup 50 percent of the time. Eliminating them as a selection puts you at a disadvantage from the start.” I disagree. Divisional games are far too unpredictable. Lastly, I am not in the business of saving the strong teams for later in the season. You won’t have a chance to use them if you gamble with a loser early on.
Carolina (at Jacksonville) – Losing Kelvin Benjamin definitely hurts the Panthers in the long run, but they are built around Cam Newton and the run game which is still intact. The front seven of Carolina will give Blake Bortles and the Jaguars some trouble. While it probably wont be a blowout, the Panthers will control the game and come away with a Win.
Indianapolis (at Buffalo) – The Bills have a lot of issues right now. LeSean McCoy is banged up and less than 100%, their offensive line leaves something to be desired, and Tyrod Taylor is the starting quarterback.
Arizona (vs. New Orleans) – On average, Drew Brees has a passer rating that is 15 points lower on the road than when the Saints play at home. The Cardinals held opponents to the fifth-fewest points per game (18.7) in 2014 and their stinginess should continue under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher.
Miami (at Washington) – I like Kirk Cousins more than Robert Griffin III, but anyone behind that offensive line will struggle. The Dolphins added Ndamukong Suh in the offseason to bolster their defensive line and Ryan Tannehill has plenty of weapons to put up enough points this Sunday.
New England (vs. Pittsburgh) – Tom Brady has something to prove and the Steelers have a high-powered offense – even while Le’Veon Bell is out. The Patriots have an easy schedule this year and there will be plenty of other times to pick them.
Green Bay (vs. Chicago) – Divisional game. Green Bay shouldn’t miss a beat without Jordy Nelson, but you’ll have the option to take this matchup later in the season if there is a huge disparity between the teams.