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Columns - Magazine

Survivor Guide: Week 9

by Mark Miller

*Team listed in BOLD is my pick to win the game

 

Strong Play:

 

Kansas City (@ Cleveland) – The Browns made headlines on Monday with the news that they have finally decided that it was time to part ways with head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Hue Jackson led this team to an abysmal 3-36-1 record in his 2.5 years as head coach, including a winless 2017 season and winning just one game in 2016. Defensive coordinator Gregg Haley is taking over as interim head coach and he’s got a very tough task ahead of him this week having to face the red-hot Kansas City Chiefs in his first game leading this team. The Chiefs are 7-1 and coming off their second straight win against the Broncos this season. The game was never in doubt but they “only” scored 30 points after scoring 40 and 45 points against the Patriots and Bengals in the previous two weeks. It was also the first time that the Chiefs failed to cover the spread this season. QB Patrick Mahomes threw for more than 300 yards for a seventh straight week and finished the afternoon completing 70.6% of his passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns. Cleveland’s defense has done well against the pass, allowing just 7.0 yards per pass which ranks sixth in the NFL and has 12 interceptions which is tops in the league. Mahomes started the season without throwing a single interception in his first 4 games but has now thrown at least one pick in each of his last four games, so there is a decent chance Mahomes could turn the ball over via interception this week. Cleveland’s weakness is stopping the run as they are allowing 4.6 yards per carry and 138.9 rushing yards per game, which is 28th in the NFL. What’s worse is that they have allowed 12 rushing touchdowns which ranks dead last. I think that Kansas City will come out throwing against Cleveland, but once they take a commanding lead, they will allow their workhorse Kareem Hunt to take over and pound the ball on the ground. What I’ve been impressed with over the last two weeks is how much better Kansas City’s defense has played compared to the first six weeks of the season. Their pass rush has been better and they recorded four sacks against Case Keenum last week. If they can bring that same kind of pressure against QB Baker Mayfield on Sunday, they should be able to shut down the Browns Offense. There are times when a team may rally around a new coach, but I don’t think that will happen this week for Cleveland. Kansas City opened as eight point favorites but I think KC may blow them out making them a strong pick this week.

Next 3 Games:
Kansas City: vs. Arizona, vs. L.A. Rams, BYE
Cleveland: vs. Atlanta, BYE, @ Cincinnati

Chicago (@ Buffalo) – The Chicago Bears snapped their two game losing streak against the Jets last week and are now sitting back on top of the NFC North after the Vikings lost to the Saints on Sunday night. QB Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t sharp, but he did enough to help the Bears beat the Jets, including a 70-yard touchdown play to RB Tarik Cohen. Trubisky finished 16-29 for 220 yards and two touchdowns and didn’t have a single turnover. The Bears were without WR Allen Robinson and his status is up in the air this week against Buffalo. But let’s be honest, the Bears are going to win this game on the defensive side of the ball like they did against the Jets last week. The Bears Defense didn’t let the Jets move the ball all afternoon with the exception of three drives. The Jets were forced to punt to the football eight times and in those eight possessions they had a total of 36 yards. The Buffalo Bills average just 246.4 yards per game and they really struggle to pass the ball, averaging a league worst 149.1 yards per game which is the worst in the NFL, and it’s not even close. QB Josh Allen is only completing 54% of his passes for 6.0 yards per pass, but he will be sitting out again this week against Chicago. Derek Anderson obviously isn’t the answer either, so the Bills have decided to go back to Nathan Peterman, which isn’t much of an improvement. The Bears are going to dial up the blitz and force the Bills to beat them on the ground with RB LeSean McCoy. I don’t expect McCoy to do much in the game because the focus will be on him and the Bears Defense has only allowed an average of 87.5 rushing yards per game. On top of that, they are the only team in the league that has yet to allow a rushing touchdown on the season. That’s not a good omen for McCoy. This could be a low scoring game, but the Bears Offense will find a way to get the ball into the end zone once or twice and the defense will shutdown the Bills Offense with the possibility of shutting them out in this game. The Bears schedule gets tougher over the next few weeks so this would be an ideal week to take them.

Next 3 Games:
Chicago: vs. Detroit, vs. Minnesota, @ Detroit
Buffalo: @ NY Jets, BYE, vs. Jacksonville

Decent Play:

Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay) – Jameis Winston helped dig the Buccaneers into a huge hole and they were forced to remove him from the game and replaced him with Ryan Fitzpatrick with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter. What followed was Fitzmagic time with him digging the Bucs out of an 18-point deficit scoring a field goal and two touchdowns on three of the four drives he led. The Bucs ended up tying the game on an 18-yard touchdown pass to TE O.J. Howard and then completed the two-point conversion with 1:05 remaining in the game, but the Bucs defense let up a game-winning field goal. Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter has already announced Fitzpatrick will be the starter this week against Carolina, but he hasn’t committed to him long term. This will be the first time Fitzpatrick has faced the Panthers since 2009 and in that game he only completed 11 of his 22 passes for 123 yards. The Panthers Defense has only allowed 221.33 passing yards per game over the last three weeks and the defense has at least three takeaways in three of their last four games. Although Fitzpatrick played well against the Bengals, he did have five interceptions in his three previous starts before Winston took over. If Carolina can hold WR Mike Evans to under 100 yards in this game, they’ll help put the offense in position to win this game. The Carolina offense is starting to roll and they should put up points against a Bucs team that has allowed at least 30 points in five games this season. The Panthers put up 36 points against the Ravens last week which is the most points Baltimore has allowed all season. Granted, the Panthers Defense deserves credit to help give the offense good field position, but the Panthers ran a balanced offense and Cam Newton and RB Christian McCaffrey combined for 97 rushing yards and two touchdowns. I expect that the Panthers will control the clock and could possess the ball for at least 35 minutes in this game. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble moving the chains or scoring a couple of touchdowns against this Buccaneers team that is allowing a league worst 33.3 points per game.

Next 3 Games:
Tampa Bay: vs. Washington, @ NY Giants, vs. San Francisco
Carolina: @ Pittsburgh, @ Detroit, vs. Seattle

Minnesota (vs. Detroit) – If you told me that the Vikings would hold Drew Brees to 120 passing yards and still lose, I’d call you a liar. But that’s exactly what happened on Sunday night in the Vikings’ 30-20 loss against the Saints. The Vikings Defense did a good enough job to give themselves a shot to win, but their offense had two bad turnovers that led to 14 points for the Saints. WR Adam Thielen had 103 yards, extending his streak of 100+ receiving yards to eight straight games, but the very reliable Thielen had a crucial fumble on the Saints 14-yard line with 1:11 left to go in the first half. It was a very bad turnover because the Vikings were moving the football at will and they most likely would have scored at least a field goal. Instead, the Saints recovered the fumble and turned it into seven points. The Vikings Defense has played well over the last few weeks and should be able to shut down the Golden Tate-less Lions Offense this week. Detroit’s offense really struggled last week against Seattle and completely abandoned the run in the second half. Matthew Stafford threw for 310 yards, but he was under pressure for most of the game and was sacked three times and had six pass deflections. Minnesota’s defense has 21 sacks and eight interceptions on the season and their goal is going to be to dominate the Detroit offensive line. Minnesota’s defense has allowed an average of 188 passing yards over the last three games and Stafford has struggled at times against the Vikings averaging just 223 passing yards per game over his nine  games against Minnesota. If Detroit decides that that they won’t bother to get RB Kerryon Johnson involved in this game, I don’t think Detroit will have a chance in this game. Because I think Minnesota’s defense will slow down this Lions Offense I think Minnesota will end up winning this very important NFC North battle this week.

Next 3 Games:
Detroit: @ Chicago, vs. Carolina, vs. Chicago
Minnesota: BYE, @ Chicago, vs. Green Bay

Dallas (vs. Tennessee) – The Dallas Cowboys had a bye in Week 8 but they still found a way to make headlines by trading for WR Amari Cooper last Monday. With this week’s game being played on Monday night, Cooper has had an extra day to get familiar with the Cowboys Offense and get on the same page with QB Dak Prescott. Like Dallas, Tennessee is coming off a bye as well. The Titans were one of the biggest stories in the NFL through the first four weeks of the season and riding a three-game winning streak, coming off two great wins against the Jaguars and Eagles heading into Week 5. But things have been downhill since then, averaging just 10.33 points per game during their current three-game losing streak. QB Marcus Mariota is averaging just 171.67 passing yards per game and has thrown for 129 yards or less four times this season. Mariota has a very tough matchup this week against a Cowboys Defense that allows just 217 passing yards per game (fourth in the NFL) and has allowed just eight passing touchdowns on the season, which is tops in the NFL. Meanwhile, Tennessee has five passing touchdowns this year, three of which have come from Mariota. In other words, I think Tennessee is going to have a lot of problems moving the football through the air. But Dallas has also been great against the run, allowing 3.6 yards per carry which ranks second in the NFL and has allowed just four rushing touchdowns on the year. Tennessee’s running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis have been nothing short of disappointing this season, averaging a combined 78.6 yards per game with Lewis averaging 3.8 yards per rush and Henry averaging a pathetic 3.3 yards per carry. I would be shocked if the Titans Offense generates more than 10 points this week. But it’s also not like the Cowboys Offense has been explosive this season either. Again, it will be interesting to see how Cooper is integrated into this offense, but this will be a ground and pound game by Dallas, feeding RB Ezekiel Elliott 25-28 times in this game. His running should tire out the Titans Defense and could start to open up the passing game. With Cooper on the field, it could open up opportunities for Cole Beasley to excel this week. Due to the fact that I think Tennessee will have a lot of issues moving the chains this week it makes the Cowboys a good option in Survivor Pools, especially given their schedule, with games on the road in Philly and Atlanta over the next two weeks.

Next 3 Games:
Tennessee: vs. New England, @ Indianapolis, @ Houston
Dallas: @ Philadelphia, @ Atlanta, vs. Washington

Risky Play:

Houston (@ Denver) – Don’t look now, but the Houston Texans have won five games in a row after starting the season 0-3. They are playing very well, but I still remain cautious because they haven’t played any really great teams outside of the Patriots in Week 1. On top of that, they lost a very important piece to their offense, WR Will Fuller, for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the fourth quarter on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. With Fuller out, Houston decided to pull the trigger and trade for Demaryius Thomas to fill his void. Thomas will have to fly to Houston to practice with his new team and then fly back to Denver to take on his former team, but with only a couple of days to really learn the Houston playbook, Thomas may not have a huge impact this week. Then again, he may want to seek revenge on his former team. Prior to their game against Miami, QB Deshaun Watson was sacked 16 times over the previous four games, but only one of those sacks came the prior week. Even though he threw five touchdowns against Miami, his most impressive stat may be that he wasn’t sacked a single time last week. Maybe progress is being made with that offensive line, but even if progress is being made, I don’t think that they stand a chance this week against Denver’s pass rush. RB Lamar Miller has started to really explode over the last two weeks, hitting triple digits in rushing yards both weeks, totaling 233 rushing yards and 5.8 yards per carry. The one way to beat the Broncos Defense is by running the football. Denver is allowing 5.1 rushing yards per carry, which ranks 31st in the NFL and has also allowed eight rushing touchdowns on the year. Denver has allowed 14 receiving touchdowns on the year, which should mean good news for WR DeAndre Hopkins, but with Fuller out and Thomas just getting acclimated, the Broncos Defense will focus on Hopkins this week which is more reason why Miller will need to carry the ball 22-25 times this week. On defense, Houston’s pass rush is going to be a problem for QB Case Keenum. The Broncos offensive line was dominated against Kansas City in Week 8 and allowed five sacks on the day. I’m expecting Keenum to be under pressure throughout this game. Houston has been strong against the run, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry and 95.1 rushing yards per game so far this season, which means Broncos running backs Phillip Lindsay and Devontae Booker could be in for a long day. If Houston was completely healthy, I’d probably move them up a spot or two, but due to the injuries, Denver’s defense could keep the Broncos in this game and keep this a low scoring affair which is the reason I think it’s a risky play this week.

Next 3 Games:
Houston: BYE, @ Washington, vs. Tennessee
Denver: BYE, @ L.A. Chargers, vs. Pittsburgh

Atlanta (@ Washington) – The Washington Redskins improved to 5-2 with their road win against the Giants on Sunday and now have a 1.5 game lead on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. Adrian Peterson, who many people didn’t think would have a big impact on this team, ran for 149 yards against the Giants, including his 64 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the nail in the coffin. Washington faces off against a beat-up Atlanta Falcons Defense that is allowing 4.8 yards per carry, which means there is a good chance that Peterson will hit the century mark for the third time this season. I think he will at least reach 90 rushing yards because he has only failed to reach 96 yards twice this season. Atlanta’s defense also struggles against the pass and is allowing opposing quarterbacks to average 8.1 yards per pass and have allowed 17 passing touchdowns on the season, which is tied for 27th in the NFL. Only Cincinnati, San Francisco and Tampa Bay have allowed more passing touchdowns. I think Washington will put up points against Atlanta’s defense, but I believe that the Falcons Offense may be able to light up the scoreboard this weekend. QB Matt Ryan has done a very good job this year protecting the football and has only thrown two interceptions so far, which comes a season after throwing 12 interceptions. He is also on pace to throw for more touchdowns this year than he did last year and he should eclipse that number in next 2-3 games. Ryan is also completing passes at a 71.1% rate which is also a career high. What the Falcons need to do is figure out a way to get WR Julio Jones into the end zone. Even though he is second in the NFL with 812 receiving yards, he still hasn’t scored a single touchdown this year. If Atlanta can figure out a way to get Jones to score once or twice, they should definitely beat Washington. Due to the fact that Atlanta’s defense is banged up and allowing 30.3 points per game, I am a little skeptical that they can pull out a win on the road this weekend.

Next 3 Games:
Atlanta: @ Cleveland, vs. Dallas, @ New Orleans
Washington: @ Tampa Bay, vs. Houston, @ Dallas

Pittsburgh (@ Baltimore) – The Ravens and Steelers faced off against one another back in Week 4 and Baltimore came out ahead 26-14 after shutting Pittsburgh’s offense out in the second half and outscoring them 12-0. Baltimore succeeded in shutting WR Antonio Brown down in that game, holding him to five catches for 62 yards. That was the 14th time in 18 career games against the Ravens that Brown has been held to less than 100 receiving yards. He has only averaged 74.5 receiving yards against the Ravens in his career and has only four career receiving touchdowns against them and I’m expecting Baltimore to keep him in check again this week. Baltimore also did a great job against RB James Conner, holding him to just 19 rushing yards and 2.1 yards per carry. Conner has exploded in recent weeks rushing for 110, 111 and 146 yards since their Week 4 meeting, but those yards came against Atlanta, Cincinnati and Cleveland. It has been rumored that Le’Veon Bell would return in Week 9, but even if he does, I expect Pittsburgh to ride Conner for most of this game. Baltimore’s defense has allowed an average of 144 rushing yards per game over the last two weeks against the Panthers and Saints, but I think they’ll get back on track this week against the Steelers and will limit the damage by Conner and hold him to less than 70 yards in this game. Baltimore has lost two in a row and three out of their last four. They have also allowed 60 points over the last two weeks which should be good news for Pittsburgh. Although I think Pittsburgh will find ways to score some points, I do think it will be a challenge and Baltimore will not make it easy for them to march down the field. Pittsburgh’s defense has played much better since their game against Baltimore, having won three in a row and are allowing less than 19 points per game over their current three game stretch. Plus it’s not like they played the Cardinals during that stretch, instead they have held the Falcons to 17 points and the Bengals to 21. Additionally, they haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and haven’t allowed a team to rush for 100+ yards since Week 2, which means Ravens RB Alex Collins and the newly acquired Ty Montgomery will have problems getting into any kind of rhythm this weekend. Because I think most of Baltimore’s points will come from kicker Justin Tucker’s legs rather than from their quarterback, wide receivers or running backs, Pittsburgh should be able to pull off the win on the road even though they are underdogs in this game. But due to the fact that this could be a low scoring game, it could come down to a field goal for either side, which is the reason I’m not comfortable taking either team this weekend. Instead, I would opt to hold off on taking Baltimore until Week 12 when they host the Oakland Raiders.

Next 3 Games:
Pittsburgh: vs. Carolina, @ Jacksonville, @ Denver
Baltimore: BYE, vs. Cincinnati, vs. Oakland

Avoid:

Miami (vs. NY Jets) – The Jets had another pathetic showing last week against the Bears, losing 24-10. They generated just 207 total yards of offense and only had 12 first downs. QB Sam Darnold only averaged 5.3 yards per pass while the Jets ground game was also pitiful and their running backs Isaiah Crowell and Trenton Cannon rushed for 35 yards on 19 carries (1.8 ypc). Miami’s defense has not played well this year, allowing 143.1 rushing yards per game (tied for last in the NFL) and are allowing opposing receivers to average 12.8 yards per catch (30th in the NFL), but I think they’ll be happy to face the Jets Offense for the second time this season. In their first meeting, Sam Darnold threw for 334 yards but was picked off twice, one of which resulted in a touchdown. Miami also held Crowell to 35 yards on 12 carries. I’m expecting Miami’s defense to force the Jets Offense into a ton of three-and-outs in this game. My biggest concern for Miami is their quarterback play. As of right now, I’m expecting Brock Osweiler to get the start again this week, because it is being reported that Ryan Tannehill can’t get anything behind his throws. No matter who gets the start at quarterback, I think Miami will go with a run-heavy attack with Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore, who has surprisingly run the ball very effectively this season and has averaged 5.0 yards per carry over the last four games and is averaging 4.6 ypc on the season. I’m expecting another low scoring game like their first matchup, with turnovers being the deciding factor. If possible, I’d recommend avoiding both of these teams this week.

Next 3 Games:
NY Jets: vs. Buffalo, BYE, vs. New England
Miami: @ Green Bay, BYE, @ Indianapolis

Seattle (vs. L.A. Chargers) – The Seattle Seahawks moved into the sixth seed with their dominating win against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They improved to 4-3 and have won four of their last five games. The only loss over these last five games came against the Rams, and they nearly defeated them but ended up blowing a fourth quarter lead. Either way, no one expected the Seahawks to be this competitive, especially without Earl Thomas. In their four wins, the Seahawks Defense has played very well and has only allowed 47 points. They are also only allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for 7.0 yards per pass, which ranks fourth in the NFL and have only allowed a total of 14 touchdowns on the season. They also have the second-best takeaway differential at +10 with 16 takeaways while the offense has only turned the ball over six times on the season. Needless to say, they’ve been very impressive. Their opponent this week, the L.A. Chargers, have done just as well protecting the football and are tied with them with six turnovers. Phillip Rivers has a TD:INT ratio of 17:3 and has thrown at least two touchdowns in every single game this season. My biggest concern for the Chargers is their defense. It appears they will be without the services of Joey Bosa once again this week, and although they have improved over their last couple of games, you have to keep in mind the type of competition they’ve played against which includes the Bills, 49ers, Raiders, Browns and Titans. Not exactly potent offenses. On the other hand, the Chargers Defense couldn’t stop top tier offenses like the Chiefs or Rams. I think that Seattle will have some success against the Chargers this week, but I don’t think it will be on the level of the Chiefs or Rams. For the Chargers offensively, RB Melvin Gordon is expected to return to the starting lineup after sitting out their game in London and having a bye last week, which will be a big boost to their offense. I am expecting an exciting offense-filled game which could come down to the wire. I would pass on either of these teams this week and would rather take the Chargers next week against Oakland or take them in Week 12 against Arizona.

Next 3 Games:
L.A. Chargers: @ Oakland, vs. Denver, vs. Arizona
Seattle: @ L.A. Rams, vs. Green Bay, @ Carolina

Oakland (@ San Francisco) – When the NFL created the schedule, they were looking forward to 49ers franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo flooding the primetime games. Now that Garoppolo is injured and the 49ers proving to be one of the worst teams in the league, the NFL must be dreading the ratings this Thursday night when the 49ers take on cross-bay rival Oakland Raiders which is also one of the teams the 49ers are fighting for that rightful ownership of worst team in the league. San Francisco finds new ways to lose each week and their loss to the Cardinals last week could be their worst of the season. Not only that, but it was the second time that they outplayed the Cards and still managed to lose. The Raiders on the other hand were at least somewhat competitive in their game against the Colts for three quarters before getting blown out in the fourth quarter and allowing the Colts to score 21 unanswered points for a 42-28 win. The Raiders Offense hit a wall after they tied the game at 28 and were forced to punt and turned it over via fumble and on downs in their last two possessions. The defense couldn’t stop Indy, allowing them to score on seven out of their eight possession, not including the final possession when they took a knee. That gives some hope to a 49ers offense that has been nothing short of embarrassing over the last two weeks. Am I confident that the 49ers offense will be able to put points up against the Raiders? No, absolutely not, especially if Nick Mullens play in place of the injured C.J. Beathard. Am I even confident that the 49ers defense will be able to stop the Raiders? Somewhat, but I can’t say with certainty. But the same also goes for both the Raiders Offense and defense. Neither team can be relied upon, which is why you should abandon the thought of taking either team this week.

Next 3 Games:
Oakland: vs. L.A. Chargers, @ Arizona, @ Baltimore
San Francisco: vs. NY Giants, BYE, @ Tampa Bay

New England (vs. Green Bay) – Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady should make for an entertaining game on Sunday night and this could be a fun shootout between two generational quarterbacks. The Patriots Offense struggled against Buffalo, but I’m expecting the Patriots to clean things up and be ready to face the Packers Defense. The Packers made a couple of mistakes in Week 8, most notably Ty Montgomery’s bone-headed decision to return the kickoff in the fourth quarter only to fumble. Montgomery has since been traded to Baltimore which makes this Aaron Jones’ backfield. But like the Patriots, I think the Packers will be ready and Rodgers will spread the ball around to Davante Adams, Geronimo Allison, Randal Cobb and Jimmy Graham. The Packers have not won or lost consecutive games this season, so this could be the first time this season they lose back-to-back games. The Packers Defense played well against an explosive Rams team but they couldn’t get a stop when they needed it most after Montgomery’s fumble. Will the Packers be able to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots Offense? I think to an extent. There are times New England has looked like they are clicking on all cylinders and other times they can’t get the offense going, but the same can be said for Green Bay’s offense as well. Hopefully we are treated to an offensive filled game on Sunday night, and if it turns into a shootout like everyone is hoping, this one could go back-and-forth all night. I would rather you enjoy this game without having to sweat it out and would suggest taking Green Bay next week against Miami and hold off on taking New England until Week 12 when they face the NY Jets.

Next 3 Games:
Green Bay: vs. Miami, @ Seattle, @ Minnesota
New England: @ Tennessee, BYE, @ NY Jets

Bold Prediction:

New Orleans (vs. L.A. Rams) – The two hottest teams have a showdown on Sunday and if things keep shaping up the way they have been, this could be a preview of this year’s NFC Championship game. The L.A. Rams are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL, but they were tested against Green Bay in Week 8. Their game took a turn in the second quarter when Mark Barron tackled RB Aaron Jones in Green Bay’s end zone for safety. They were trailing 10-0 at the time and that safety kick started a 23-3 run. It wasn’t the best game that the Rams have played this year, but QB Jared Goff still finished with 295 yards and three touchdowns, while he was sacked five times. RB Todd Gurley was effective running the ball 25 times for 114 yards and he could have had five more yards and a rushing touchdown at the very end of the game, but he decided to just fall down on the five yard line and let the clock run out. Todd Gurley is up for a real test this week because the Saints have the top-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 3.1 yards per carry and 72.3 rushing yards per game, both first in the NFL. In order to beat New Orleans, the Rams will need to throw the ball because the Saints are allowing 300 passing yards per game and have given up 15 passing touchdowns on the season. They are also allowing opposing receivers to average 12.4 yards per catch which is a good sign for Rams receivers Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. The Saints got their revenge against the Vikings despite Drew Brees throwing for only 120 yards, which is very impressive. Timely takeaways by the defense turned into 14 points was the difference in the game. One of the Rams’ weaknesses is stopping the run, as they are allowing an average of 4.7 yards per carry and they are going to have their hands full against running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. There is a chance that the Rams will keep Brees in check this game, but they will eventually fold with Kamara and Ingram wearing them out. They won’t just do it by running the football, but Kamara, especially, will also tire them out by catching the football. I am expecting this to be a shootout between these two teams, but something is going to have to give. The Saints have won six straight after taking a loss in the opening weekend and even though their only loss came at home, I think the crowd in New Orleans is going to give an extra boost of energy and they’ll be very loud, which could possibly affect how well the offense will be able to hear Goff. Personally, I wouldn’t take this game, but if you were looking to make a bold pick this week, I’d take the Saints.

Next 3 Games:
L.A. Rams: @ Philadelphia, @ Atlanta, vs. Washington
New Orleans: @ Cincinnati, vs. Philadelphia, vs. Atlanta

Week 9 Survivor Pool Rankings:

1.    Kansas City Chiefs
2.    Chicago Bears
3.    Carolina Panthers
4.    Minnesota Vikings
5.    Dallas Cowboys
6.    Houston Texans
7.    Atlanta Falcons
8.    Pittsburgh Steelers
9.    Miami Dolphins
10.    Seattle Seahawks
11.    Oakland Raiders
12.    New England Patriots
13.    New Orleans Saints

Mark Miller
Mark Miller writes the Survivor Picks column for Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter.