If you are unaware of what NFL survivor picks are, the basic concept is you make NFL picks throughout the season, but you can only pick a team once. Once you lose, you’re knocked out, so choose your Week 1 NFL Survivor Pool picks wisely.
If you are new to reading my survivor articles, what I do is outline my “lock of the week,” my “value of the week” and my “high-risk, high-reward pick.”
The lock of the week details what team I think has the best chance of winning their matchup. This would most likely be a good team that plays a bad team. The lock is also the official pick for NFL Survivor Pools, meaning we will not reuse a “lock.” My value pick of the week details a mid-tier team that has a good matchup. And finally, my high-risk, high-reward pick details a bad team that has a good matchup. It may be worth it to look at the NFL betting odds for these games and place some bets as well.
Week 1 NFL Survivor Pool Picks
Lock of the Week | Best Pick for NFL Survivor Pool Week 1
Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans
During Week 1 of the NFL season, I always like to pick a playoff team that is matched up against a loser team. Due to Week 1 being so unpredictable, it makes sense to take a team that you know is better than the team that they are playing.
In this case, the Baltimore Ravens are matched up against the Houston Texans. Reports have surfaced throughout the offseason that the Ravens are going to be passing the football a lot more. With the additions of Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers, a receiver room that was one of the worst in the NFL last year all of a sudden looks better. The Ravens get their first opportunity to test the new offense at home against Houston. Outside of Jalen Pitre, the Texans do not pose any sort of threat in regards to its defensive backfield for Lamar Jackson.
Houston is heading into Week 1 of the 2023 regular season with a rookie quarterback and a rookie head coach. It is going to take time for things to gel and starting the season with a tough matchup is going to be tough. While Houston found a little success running the ball last year, Michael Pierce, Roquan Smith and Kyle Hamilton are sure to make that difficult.
This is a case where one team is much better than the other and like I said before those are the matchups that you need to take in your week one survivor pool.
NFL Survivor Picks Lock of the Week: Baltimore Ravens
Value Pick of the Week | Week 1 NFL Survivor Pool Picks
Washington Commanders vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals are in absolute shambles right now. They have no quarterback, a rookie head coach who is obviously not prepared to be a head coach and no direction on defense. Josh Dobbs is starting for them this week. Josh Dobbs. Oh yeah, and if it is not crazy enough, Arizona cut Colt McCoy in favor of Dobbs. I know McCoy is nothing special, but he is miles better than Dobbs.
Arizona’s ineptness at fielding an NFL team should be just what the Washington Commanders need to start its season out on a high note. Sam Howell is the new shot-caller in our nation’s capital. While he had been ranked as one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, what we have seen out of him has been positive. While at North Carolina, Howell threw for 10,000+ yards and 92 touchdowns. Yes, the NFL is a huge step up from ACC defenses in most cases, but once again, the Commanders play the worst team in the NFL Week 1.
Washington also sports a better defense than people want to give them credit for. With Daron Payne, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen, the Commanders still possess one of the best defensive lines in the game. Arizona needs to run the ball to win this game and with that defensive line, it is going to be tough to come across open running lanes.
Value of the week: Washington Commanders
High Risk, High Reward Pick of the Week | Week 1 NFL Survivor Pool picks
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Maybe I am wrong in my thinking, but I have zero faith in the Denver Broncos this season. While people point to Sean Payton as an upgrade as head coach, they still have Russell Wilson throwing the ball. Wilson is not a great quarterback and oftentimes tries to do too much, as opposed to doing just enough to win. A major Week 1 divisional matchup should give the Raiders enough firepower to compete in this game. Jimmy Garoppolo is the new sheriff in Vegas and the positive behind that is he has worked with Josh McDaniels before, going back to their time in New England. Garoppolo is good enough to move the ball somewhat downfield and with McDaniels, it should strike some sense of semblance.
Last year, the Broncos gave up 1,866 yards on the ground, and with Josh Jacobs leading the NFL in rushing last season, he should be a focal point of the Raiders’ offense this week. If Las Vegas can get the run game going, it may be a long day for the Broncos, because we know Wilson is not good enough to win a game by himself.
High Risk, High Reward of the week: Las Vegas Raiders
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