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NFL Week 3 Survivor Pool Picks & Analysis: Bengals Have Most Value After Slow Start

NFL Week 3 Survivor Pool Picks & Analysis: Bengals Have Most Value After Slow Start article feature image
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Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was another rough week for survivor pools as about 25% of entries were taken out in Week 2. The state of Ohio was the main culprit as neither the Cleveland Browns nor the Cincinnati Bengals could manage a win against the New York Jets or Dallas Cowboys respectively.

The Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos ended up as the most popular picks overall, but I had both teams overvalued heading into the week. Neither was able to cover, but both teams survived upset bids at home.

My pick in last week’s article was the Indianapolis Colts. After the article was written, Shaq Leonard, Michael Pittman, and Alec Pierce were all ruled out. Pretty concerning!

After updating for injuries, Indianapolis fell below the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers in expected value.

I contemplated the Bucs at 1% ownership because I do like to get contrarian in these bigger pools, but I ended up picking San Francisco because of their tough remaining schedule and very little future value.

The 49ers’ starting quarterback broke his ankle but they won anyway. That’s football for ya.

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But enough with the Week 2 recap, let’s look at Week 3 and the rest of the season:

This week doesn’t have a lot of big favorites so will be interesting to see how ownership shakes out in the end.

The biggest favorite of the week are the Chargers at “home” as seven point favorites.

After plugging in my model percentages and projected ownership using the survivor tools over at TeamRankings, let’s take a look at the top teams for Week 3.

Buffalo has the most immediate expected value but I have a guess we are going to say that a lot this season. The Bills are just really damn good.

Tampa Bay also pops on this list. The market thinks this game is a tossup so it won’t be highly owned. The Buccaneers also have plenty of games of future value as well to consider before burning them so early.

You may be wondering why the Chiefs or Chargers aren’t on this list. They are both projected to be 30% taken or more.

At that ownership you are better off looking elsewhere and hope one (or both) of them falter. That’s the basic game theory that will improve your win rate over time.

I don’t want to use the Bills or Bucs just yet, so I’m looking into that next group.

Chicago is intriguing with zero future value and if you are in a pool that picks two games in upcoming weeks, I think they would be my pick here.

My Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (at New York Jets)

The Bengals have looked atrocious in the first two weeks. That’s why we are getting them at this price.

Can you imagine telling someone last year at the Super Bowl that the Bengals wouldn’t be touchdown favorites against Joe Flacco and the Jets?

Sure, they have some other games on the schedule coming up that are enticing, but if you can’t trust them against the Jets then I’m not sure you can trust them against anyone else either.

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