NFL Survivor League: Three Teams To Pick (And Avoid) Entering Week 9

The Bills are in one of their best spots of the season


November 4, 2021

The Cincinnati Bengals coughed up an 11-point lead with seven minutes left against the Mike White-led New York Jets and surely cost an extensive number of NFL survivor league players their chance at the end-of-season prize.

It’s the second time this season the team we chose held a double-digit lead in crunch time and blew it (New Orleans Saints, Week 4). That sort of luck, obviously, will get you eliminated. And if you’re in a pick ’em league, chances are you’re not going to finish in first with two or more losses.

Still, the show goes on.

The locks of Week 8 — the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams — both won, to the surprise of nobody. Two of the three teams we recommended to stay away from either lost by a field goal (Arizona Cardinals) or won in overtime (Tennessee Titans), as well.

Anyway, let’s move on to Week 9. Here are three teams to pick — all of which are favored by double digits — and three others to avoid with odds according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Three teams to pick
Buffalo Bills (-14.5, -1125 moneyline)
Opponent: at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Bills have been included as our lock of the week on a few different occasions, and it seems Week 9 against the Jaguars fits that bill. Buffalo looks like a team that can claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed, and survivor players should feel confident with the upcoming matchup. The Jags, after all, rank 27th in points scored and 28th in points allowed. The Bills do, however, have the New York Jets remaining on their schedule twice, including Week 10.

Indianapolis Colts (-10, -525)
Opponent: vs. New York Jets
Are you willing to bet against Mike White and the 2-5 Jets? The Colts came up short after a pair of game-changing interceptions from Carson Wentz during a Week 8 loss to the Titans, but should be hungry to bounce back against an inferior team. Of course, if you’re looking for a better matchup given the Jets’ recent success — no, we can’t believe we’re saying that either — Indianapolis has the Jaguars (Week 10) and Houston Texans (Week 13) still on the schedule.

Dallas Cowboys (-10, -435)
Opponent: vs. Denver Broncos
These teams seem to be heading in two opposite directions. The Cowboys earned a “Sunday Night Football” win despite being without Dak Prescott while the Broncos just traded the face of the franchise in Von Miller. It helps Prescot is expected to play. The Cowboys don’t have a ton of games survivor players should feel they need to stay away from — Chiefs in Week 12, Cardinals in Week 17 — but this spot, especially with Dallas at home, feels like a good one.

Teams to avoid:
Baltimore Ravens (-6, -250)
Opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Ravens are coming off a bye, which makes them a bit more enticing, but given Baltimore’s latest clunker against the Bengals in Week 8, it may be best to see how they respond. Baltimore definitely could cover the six-point spread en route to a dominating win — the Vikings just lost to Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush, after all — but Minnesota always tends to be a wild card in the betting circles. Baltimore also has the Miami Dolphins on its Week 10 agenda, which figures to be a better spot.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5, -145)
Opponent: vs. Cleveland Browns
Which Bengals team are you going to get? Cincinnati hasn’t been real consistent this season, and a Week 8 loss to the 2-5 Jets one week after routing the 5-2 Ravens is the best depiction of that. The Browns haven’t exactly been anything to write home about since a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs either, and even that doesn’t hold much weight now with Kansas City struggling. But an in-division game is one we want to stay away from.

Miami Dolphins (-6.5, -290)
Opponent: vs. Houston Texans
Both of these teams stink, and it feels like a game where anything can happen. You shouldn’t feel the need to include either Miami or Houston in your survivor picks all season.

The Week 9 pick? Buffalo Bills
Record: 6-2

Teams used: San Francisco 49ers (Week 1), Cleveland Browns (Week 2), Denver Broncos (Week 3)New Orleans Saints (Week 4)Dallas Cowboys (Week 5)Indianapolis Colts (Week 6), Arizona Cardinals (Week 7), Cincinnati Bengals (Week 8)

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