Week 3 Survivor Pool: The safest bets and off-the-radar options


If you used our NFL survivor pool picks and avoided the traps we mentioned last week, you're in great shape as you look to advance to Week 4.

This week's slate of games includes several intriguing options. Of course, you'll want to look ahead at the schedule just in case you'd rather save a particular team for later on in the season. If you plan ahead, that automatically puts you ahead of a number of players in your pool.

Here are the trendy picks, under-the-radar options, and traps to avoid in survivor pools for Week 3. (All lines from our partners at PointsBet Sportsbook).

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Trendy Picks

Carolina Panthers (-8) at Houston Texans

The Panthers appear to be a far better team than we expected them to be heading into the 2021 season. With Sam Darnold at the helm, Carolina is 2-0 on the campaign with victories over the New York Jets and a New Orleans Saints team that crushed the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. This week, they take on a Houston Texans team that may also be better than we anticipated but will be without quarterback Tyrod Taylor due to a hamstring injury. It'll be a long night for rookie QB Davis Mills, who will be making his NFL debut in primetime. This should be a lock.


Denver Broncos (-10.5) vs. New York Jets

Another team that's 2-0 out the gate, the Broncos have looked solid on both sides of the ball and now get to face a Jets team that was pummeled by the Patriots in Week 3 thanks to four Zach Wilson interceptions. Don't expect Wilson to make as many mistakes this time around, but Denver should have no problem taking care of business against this anemic offense.

Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence has not looked like a No. 1 overall pick through his first two games. The former Clemson star has already thrown five interceptions and only completed 50 percent of his passes while posting a 57.1 QB rating. The Cardinals defense struggled vs. the Minnesota Vikings after a dominant performance vs. the Tennessee Titans, but it should get back on track vs. a Jags team that could end up having the top pick again in 2022.

Under the Radar

Tennessee Titans (-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Titans have looked shaky through their first couple of games but perhaps an overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks will give them some momentum. Derrick Henry carried Tennessee in the win and if the rest of the offense wakes up, Indianapolis is in for a rough one. Especially if Carson Wentz can't suit up.

Cleveland Browns (-7) vs. Chicago Bears

A tight game vs. the Texans won't inspire confidence in many heading into Week 3, but you shouldn't worry about the Browns. With only two percent of players picking Cleveland vs. Chicago, it's a solid sneaky play regardless of whether Andy Dalton is under center or rookie Justin Fields makes his NFL debut.

It's A Trap!

Buffalo Bills (-8.5) vs. Washington Football Team

The Bills should win this game, but we aren't about to bet our survivor pool life on it. We wouldn't be surprised to see Washington's front seven give Josh Allen some trouble and make it a close one. It's a much tougher test for Buffalo after breezing past a Jacoby Brissett-led Miami team in Week 2. Save the Bills for later, like a Jets game or something.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Steelers could have T.J. Watt back in Week 3, which obviously is tremendous news for their defense as they look to slow down Bengals QB Joe Burrow. However, Ben Roethlisberger now finds himself on Pittsburgh's growing list of injuries with a pectoral issue. He hasn't been great this season to begin with, so adding this to the mix makes the Steelers a far too risky survivor pool play this early in the campaign. Pass.