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Survivor Pool Picks: Week 9, 2022

By Matthew Schiff | 11/3/22

No Upset picks this week. Remember to stay away from divisional rivalries, games where weather might have an unexpected impact, and games where key players have a questionable injury status.

P.S. A Huge Shoutout to the Phillies and the World Series. Back-to-back nights of incredible baseball by both teams and history making each night. Go Phils.

#3: New England over Indianapolis
(4-4: BAL, cin, PHL, DAL, kc, tb, LV, ind)

In this spot, we could easily choose Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Buffalo or Philadelphia but with this week’s pick, we look to old faithful, Bill Belichick in New England for a win. Most of the games are less than a field goal difference and the projected blowouts, are teams you probably used earlier in the season.

Some people in New England are upset that the Pats didn’t make a blockbuster move to improve their team at the trade deadline. Why? Belichick is known for putting together the rejects of other teams and making them a playoff contender.

Dealing with injuries to Mac Jones and Damien Harris, the team has found itself right in the middle of the playoff race again. Jakobi Meyers is putting together a consistent season and Rhamondre Stevenson has quietly taken over the lead back position. This is not a shootout type offense, rather one that surprisingly is efficient in spite of being an average scoring team who has committed the most turnovers (16) in the league.

It's the defense that has been stifling and extremely opportunistic (4th in the league in takeaways) that has made the difference. Case and point, they have given up less than 16 pts a game over the last four, less than 300 yards in the last two (three of last five).

The Colts might be without Jonathan Taylor again, and clearly, the offensive line isn’t opening the holes that they did last year for the league leader.

This game is shaping up to lean towards the home team in Foxboro. So don’t bet against the maestro and take the Pats.

#2: Miami at Chicago
(5-3: NO, BUF, kc, det, PHL, sf, DAL, MN)

The Broncos traded their best defensive player for the second year in a row at the deadline. This year, edge rusher Bradley Chubb moved to the Sunshine state to help shore up a defense to match the offense they’ve put together.

At 5-3, the Dolphins are in the thick of a second half playoff run. Last time they were 6-2, the team fell apart, so on top of adding Chubb, Miami added another San Francisco piece in running back Jeff Wilson. He and Mostert made up the rushing attack in the bay, and are now reunited in Miami with head coach Mike McDaniel, then the offensive coordinator in San Francisco. With Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, Mike Gesicki and now a respectable duo in the backfield, this Dolphins team is primed to go head-to-head with any AFC team.

But what about the Bears? They sent Roquan Smith packing and then turned around and used one of those picks to pluck Chase Claypool away from Pittsburgh. It’s the Bears hope that Claypool and Fields become the centerpieces of an offense that will be around for years to come.

In the meantime, look for the Dolphins to visit a sunny Soldier Field with temps in the 60’s. Perfect conditions for a Bears slaying.

Patrick Mahomes

#1: Kansas City over Tennessee
(4-3: den, lac, GB, BUF, LAR, tb, PHI)

I’m sure when the schedule makers looked at this week, they said “wow, Chiefs/Titans. It will be one heck of a game.”

Well, that might have been the case last year, or the year before. Times have changed in Music City. Derrick Henry has returned from injury to a shell of the team that he played for in 2021. A.J. Brown is gone and the team is lacking secondary weapons to take the pressure off the running game and offensive line.

The Chiefs meanwhile almost have an embarrassment of riches on offense. This week they get to tryout their new toy in Kadarius Toney, the first-round pick of the NY Giants. He can flat out RUN!!! While JuJu Smith-Schuster has become Mahomes’ steady, Toney might become the next Tyreek Hill (if he can stay healthy). This kid had 4.2 speed out of college, and combined with the offense they play in Kansas City, is the ideal fit. So much so, that if the Giants had not taken him 12 picks earlier, it was anticipated that KC would’ve chosen Toney in the first round in 2021.

With all these accolades, and the fact that the KC defense seems to be gelling again under Steve Spagnuolo’s leadership, take the Chiefs in a week where you’ve probably already used Buffalo and Philadelphia.