It turned out to be a pretty nice Week 1 for my Survivor Pool picks as all four of my selections won. While my NFL Survivor Pool philosophy mostly involves fading, or going against, bad teams, I sprinkled in a bit of fading for Week 1 (Miami, Green Bay) along with some normal picks (New England, Dallas). So now as we enter Week 2 let’s look at some of the results from last weekend and see if some of the real bad performances are indicators of strong fade teams throughout the season, and especially in Week 2, or if these games were just a bump in the road for the losing teams.
Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Picks: to Fade or Not
Week 1 result: 31-23 loss vs. Packers
Week 2 Opponent: +2 vs. Cardinals
The Bears put up a good fight in Week 1. The game was close until the end. But overall I think the Bears are going to be a team to fade this season. They probably played one of their better games of the season at home against their biggest rival, but they did not even cover the spread when the final seconds clicked off the clock. I won’t be fading the Bears this week against the Cards, but there are some potentially juicy spots coming up in the next several weeks (Week 3 at Seattle and Week 5 at Kansas City).
Week 1 Result: 31-10 loss at Jets
Week 2 Opponent: “pick’em” vs. Titans
Wow, did the Browns look bad in Week 1. The Jets are a team that is going to stink (I don’t, however, have them as a fade team), but they looked like a Super Bowl contender against Cleveland. Josh McCown was really their best option at QB for Cleveland, but he was hurt and replaced by Johnny Manziel because of injury and is listed as questionable for Week 2. This team has a very tough schedule coming up. And while I won’t be fading them this week against another bad team, from Week 4 on this team is outmatched by pretty much every one of its opponents and will be lucky to win more than a couple games this season.
Week 1 Result: 27-14 loss at Bills
Week 2 Opponent: -7 vs. New York Jets
Wanted to include this one since the Colts looked like one of the worst teams in Week 1. But of course I am not going to fade this team. Buffalo looks like an excellent squad this year. Indy just had a bad game. This team will still likely win its division, although I am not sure about them as a Super Bowl contender after that Week 1 performance. But you have to remember the Patriots had a game like this last year where they got their butts kicked in Kansas City. They bounced back to win it all. Indy will get their act together and they should get back on track this week at home vs. the Jets on Monday Night Football.
Verdict: NO FADE
Week 1 Result: 17-10 loss vs. Dolphins
Week 2 Opponent: +3.5 vs. Rams
Washington, as expected, looked horrible in a Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. While it was not a blowout, I think the Dolphins struggled more than the Redskins excelled. Miami made Washington look better than they should have in keeping the game close throughout. But the Redskins definitely look like a fade team to me. QB Kirk Cousins stinks, and this team just has a bad aura around it this season with everything from the team name controversy to the RGIII situation. However, they do have a pretty easy schedule, and at quick glance I don’t see many good fade spots in the coming weeks. Week 5 looks like a possible nice spot at the Falcons as Atlanta looked really good in their Monday Night Football win over Philly last night.
Week 1 Result: 20-9 loss vs. Panthers
Week 2 Opponent: +6 vs. Dolphins
I thought the Jaguars would be better this season. I really did. And it’s only one game, but they looked like the same old Jaguars to me in another embarrassing loss. This team has a very difficult schedule as well, but they will not be an automatic fade for me… not quite yet, at least. I am going to watch this team closely the next few weeks to see if this was just a bad opening game or if this team will completely stink again. Will not fade this week, but this team has a schedule that sets up for fading starting next week at New England (followed by at Colts in Week 4). Watch this game closely on Sunday in anticipation of a possible fade Week 3.
Verdict: WAIT AND SEE
Week 1 Result: 42-14 win at Buccaneers
Week 2 Opponent: “pick’em” at Browns
Tennessee played one of the best games of any team in the NFL on Sunday in a total annihilation of the Bucs. Rookie QB Marcus Mariota looked like a grizzled veteran, and the whole squad played as a team. Very impressive. However, you have to look at the opponent here. Tampa Bay is likely one of the worst teams in the league this season. But you can’t completely ignore this result. And I am currently taking Tennessee of my fade list even though they were one of my top fade teams in the offseason. They can be added back on the list with a poor performance this weekend in Cleveland. But for now you have to color me impressed with the Week 1 result. Also some very smart bettors I know think the Titans can win 8 or 9 games, so that’s another reason to be confident in this club.
Verdict: NO FADE
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 1 Result: 42-14 loss vs. Titans
Week 2 Opponent: +10 at Saints
Yikes. Ugly, Ugly, Ugly. That is the best way to describe Tampa’s Week 1 performance in their home opener. Looks like rookie QB Jameis Winston is well behind the curve to start his career, and there was a real lack of effort here in all phases of the game. A lot of NFL Survivor Pool competitors will be fading the Bucs this season, and I will be one of them. New Orleans should be the most popular pick in Survivor Pools this week, and I for one will be on them as well.
Week 1 Result: 33-13 loss vs. Bengals
Week 2 Opponent: vs. Ravens (no line yet)
This is another team I expected a big improvement from this season. They didn’t show any real signs of life in Week 1. However, I am not ready to give up on this team yet. They have a very difficult schedule this season, so improvement might not translate into many wins. But I think this team will pull a couple big upsets this season and expect them to be a solid betting team against the spread. Also they have the excuse from Week 1 that they had an injury to QB Derek Carr and also that Cincinnati is one of the best regular-season teams in the NFL. I will be watching the status of Carr closely this week and might fade the Raiders if he does not play. However, I don’t see myself going against them much this season overall.
Verdict: NO FADE