Week 1 Survivor Pool Success Hinges on Preseason Week 3 Performances

NFL Preseason Week 3 is known as the dress rehearsal for the Regular Season Week 1 of the NFL. In NFL Preseason Week 3, teams will play most of their starters at least for the first half of the football game, and some will play into the third quarter.

As we know, Week 1 of the NFL Regular Season is one of the most dangerous weeks for a Survivor Pool as there are a lot of unknowns. We are here to help as we key in on a few specific teams to watch that will lead to selections for your NFL Week 1 Survivor Pool.

Minnesota Vikings versus Dallas Cowboys: On Saturday August 29 the Minnesota Vikings take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings have been the darlings of the NFL Preseason, looking very impressive in their first few games. The Vikings play on the road in Week 1 versus the San Francisco 49ers. We try to stay away from road teams in the NFL as over 60 percent of home teams win each Sunday. The San Francisco 49ers have not looked impressive this preseason, and the off-field turmoil continues with the latest arrest of starting linebacker Ahmad Brooks. The Vikings should be motivated to play versus the Dallas Cowboys as Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner enjoyed years of success in Dallas before moving on in their respective coaching careers. This is a maturity game for a young Minnesota Vikings team, and if they do well versus top competition then the Vikings might a top Survivor Pool selection in Week 1 of the NFL Regular Season.

The Dallas Cowboys have not shown much of anything during this preseason with the exception of rookie Randy Gregory, who is wearing future Ring of Honor and possible Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware’s old number of 94. Gregory has recorded a sack in each game. If Gregory can keep up his level of play it would be a huge boost to the Cowboy defense that just lost starting Cornerback Orlando Scandrick for the season due to injury. The Dallas Cowboys battle the struggling New York Giants in Week 1 of the NFL regular season, and a pass rush may be the best defense against Eli Manning and his favorite target, Odell Beckham Jr. If the New York Giants struggle in their annual preseason game versus the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys starters look good versus the Minnesota Vikings, we will consider the Dallas Cowboys, who would be a large home favorite as a Survivor Pool recommendation in Week 1.

Speaking of the New York Jets, we looked their way as soon as Week 1 NFL Spreads were released. The Jets seemed to have recovered from the Geno Smith punching distraction and will play the forever-rebuilding and often-injured Cleveland Browns at home in Week 1. The Cleveland Browns do have a strong defense and a good offensive line, but their playmakers do not scare anyone. The Jets have not looked impressive in their preseason games versus the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons. We know what the Browns have to offer and will watch the Jets carefully to see if the team will jell together in time for a Week 1 Survivor recommendation.

The Miami Dolphins are 0-2 in the preseason but have looked impressive in both loses. Newly-acquired Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh has brought some heart to the Dolphins defense, and the offense is clicking in the second year of Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor’s scheme. His scheme is the same offense used by Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Miami Dolphins play on the road versus the Washington Redskins in Week 1. The Washington Redskins are best described as dysfunctional and just lost nearly-signed starting LB Junior Galette for the season due to injury. If the Dolphins continue their strong play versus the high-powered offense of the Atlanta Falcons and the Washington Redskins continue to be the Washington Redskins then the Miami Dolphins will also be a rare road Survivor Pool recommendation in Week 1 of the NFL Regular Season.

The Cincinnati Bengals take on the Chicago Bears in Week 3 of the NFL Preseason. We believe the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the deepest teams in the NFL on both sides of the football. Unfortunately, the Bengals, as they proved last week versus Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are historically inconsistent. The Bengals travel to Oakland to take on the improving, and possibly relocating to Los Angeles, Raiders. The Bengals will need to show us they want to be a good team with a strong performance against the Chicago Bears for us to recommend a NFL Week 1 Survivor Pool play.

The aforementioned Chicago Bears take on Super Bowl hopeful Green Bay Packers in Week 1. The Bears are not offering up much fight these days on the defensive side of the ball but do have some skill on the offense with strong-armed quarterback Jay Culter, running back Matt Forte, and one of the smoothest route runners in Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Green Bay Packers suffered a huge loss on the offense when their best deep-play Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson was lost for the season due to injury. As long as the Green Bay Packers have future Hall of Fame Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers’ offense should continue to be one of the best in the NFL. What concerns us more than the Jordy Nelson injury is the Green Bay Packers defense. We are one of the few sites that believe the Green Bay Packers defense to be overrated. It is easy to play defense when your team is up by 21 points in the third quarter because your offense is so good. The Packers played the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3 of the preseason in what may be the most entertaining game of the week. We will see how the Packers offense looks without Jordy Nelson and if the defense can hold up verses a high-powered offense. Depending on the Green Bay Packers performance versus the Philadelphia Eagles they may also be an early-season road recommendation over the Chicago Bears.