(Image credit Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
Week 4 is officially in the books and hopefully you have survived and are now looking at who to pick Week 5 of the regular season for your survivor pools.
Again, I would like to remind everyone about What a survivor pool is and its rules. A survivor pool is a weekly contest where people select one team straight up per week to win their game. If a team that a participant in the Survivor pool chooses wins like the Cincinnati Bengals did last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars then the participant in the survivor pool advances to the next week. But, now you can't choose the Cincinnati Bengals anymore for the rest of the season. But if the team that the participant in the Survivor pool chose the team that lost as the New Orleans Saints did against the New York Giants then the participant is eliminated from the pool.
Now that we know the rules in a survivor pool, here are the Top 5 options, A trap Survivor pick, and a survivor pick that I would have gone with if I was not eliminated in survivor (Again, Why is Mike Tomlin still the head coach for the Steelers again?) for week 5 of the 2021 NFL season.
Week 5 Top 5 Survivor Options
Overall Record (16-4)
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Miami Dolphins
To me, this is the safest pick to make in survivor. It is a safe pick as the Buccaneers will be the home team in this game. Tampa Bay’s Offense is completely stacked and if Lenard Fournette performs the way he did last week then he should run all over this Dolphins defense who got exposed by Peyton Barber. Their secondary has done a solid job but they are going to have a handful with the amount of depth with the Buccaneers receiving core. I doubt Gronkowski plays this game but this offense should perform well in this game. The Buccaneers defense should perform well especially with how bad the Dolphins o-line is and Austin Jackson has not been the best player either. The only thing that the Dolphins match up with is coaching as Brian Flores is a really good coach. It would be surprising if the Buccaneers lost this game.
2. New England Patriots at Houston Texans
This game is a complete mismatch. I got to say Davis Mills is absolutely terrible. Bill Belichick has been known to expose against rookie quarterbacks and I expect Mills to once again struggle. I have no hope at all in the Texans at all until QB Tyrod Taylor returns from his injuries. The Patriots almost defeated last season's Super Bowl champions. The Patriots have the better defense, quarterback, offense, and coaching in this game. The only reason why the Patriots are not ranked #1 is due to the fact that they are not the home team. Keep in mind the Patriots do have future value in survivor Week 7 against the New York Jets and Week 17 against an incompetent Jacksonville Jaguars team where the patriots will be fighting for a wildcard spot in the playoffs. But if the Patriots lose this game then I will be completely shocked.
3. Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions
I really like the Minnesota Vikings in this game. This team almost defeated the Cleveland Browns last week. The Lions defense is a lot worse than the Cleveland Browns defense is. The Lions lost DE/EDGE Rusher Romeo Okwara due to a Torn Achilles which is a huge loss as Trey Flowers is also dealing with an injury and could miss this game as well. I doubt that Cousins will face a ton of pressure at all if Trey Flowers does not play this week. My biggest issue with Kirk Cousins throughout his career with the Vikings is that he doesn't have the strong ability to adapt to pressure. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen are must start in fantasy as they are facing the Detroit Lions dumpster fire secondary. I'd even take a chance at starting Tyler Conklin in fantasy as well. Dalvin Cook should have a big game against the Detroit Lions and their run defense is not good at all. I also need to say this but Jared Goff is horrible. He made some terrible throws last week against a beaten-up Chicago Bears defense. If it wasn’t for Halapoulivaati Vaitai’s contract I would have absolutely had Jared Goff being the worst contract currently on the Lions offense. It is going to get worse for Goff as he will be without Taylor Decker and Frank Ragnow who are out due to an injury. Both Decker and Ragnow are the best offensive lineman on this team not named Penei Sewell who has been up and down so far in his young career. The Vikings don't have a ton of future value in Survivor except for maybe Week 14 where they will face the Pittsburgh Steelers who are one of the worst teams in the AFC. The Vikings are a big strategic pick to make in Survivor this week.
4. Carolina Panthers vs Philadelphia Eagles
To me, this is the underdog survivor pick of the week. Carolina is a good pick to make this week in Survivor not only because they are the home team because that is icing on the cake. But boy was I fooled on Philadelphia Week 1 against the Falcons because their defense is absolutely terrible. The Panthers have a ton of weapons on offense and should have an easy job going against this terrible defense. Especially with Sam Darnold who has competent coaching, consistent receivers, and a solid o-line. No Christian McCaffery in this game but Chuba Hubbard is a solid option as well to have as a running back. The main reason why I have Carolina as a top survivor pick is because the Eagles could lose a large chunk of their starting offensive lineman. This is going to be a tremendous advantage for Carolina especially with how good their defense is getting to the quarterback. Look at last week as Kansas City’s defense was completely beaten up and they gave a lot of pressure to Jalen Hurts. If you did not take Carolina Week 1 or 3 this would absolutely be another good time to take the Panthers in survivor. The only team on their schedule I would contemplate using them in Survivor would be the Atlanta Falcons where they will be in 100% tank mode.
5. Las Vegas Raiders vs Chicago Bears
I really like the Las Vegas Raiders in this game. Especially in how good this Raider defense has been and they are going to steamroll this terrible Chicago Bears o-line. The Bears will have a tough time blocking Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Even though their secondary is decent the Bears don't have too much at receiver excluding Allen Robinson and maybe Darnell Moody. The Raiders should have a solid time shutting Cole Kmet and Jimmy Graham down in this game. I have no clue what the Bears will be doing at QB. I was never a big fan of the moves they made with the offensive line but Alex Leatherwood has been solid with his role on the o-line. This will be another test against Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks. While the raiders are mediocre with weapons the Bears secondary is beaten up and the receivers should have a solid performance in this game. I questioned why Josh Jacobs was active last week as he looked injured but I think he will be healthier this week. I also think the Raiders have the better coach as I don’t think Matt Nagy is a good coach and he is holding this team back. The Raiders will also be the home team in this game.
Trap Survivor Pick: Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts I am not a fan of this game at all. First off the Ravens honestly should be 1-3 but are lucky to have the best kicker in the league bailing them out. Both offensive lines are dealing with injuries and it has shown with both teams due to Wentz struggles and injuries and why Ravens games are closer than they should be. Both defenses are really solid and could have a big impact on how this game goes. If this game was in Baltimore I would feel confident with the Ravens but since this game is in Indianapolis I am leaning with the Colts. This is a trap game and I would stay far away from this game both spread-wise and in the survivor pool. The Ravens have future survivor value in Week 9 against the Vikings and Week 13 &18 against the Pittsburgh Steelers so there are different opportunities to take the Baltimore Ravens.
Record 3-1 (Week 1: Jax, Week 2: Cin, Week 3: DAL, Week 4: Ten)
Who I would of went with for my Survivor Pick for Week 5: Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions
I don't want to use the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Las Vegas Raiders as there are plenty of weeks to take them in survivor pools. I can’t use the Carolina Panthers because they were my Week 3 pick... This came down to the New England Patriots or the Minnesota Vikings. It was a tough decision to make for me as there is a lot to like about choosing both teams in Survivor this week. I will take the Minnesota Vikings in survivor as they have lower future value in fantasy football and the Lions are too beaten up and terrible.
Teams Used: (Week 1: 49ers, Week 2: Steelers, Week 3: Panthers, Week 4: Bengals, )