We are officially reaching the quarter point of the 2017 NFL season this weekend. Aside from the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, every NFL team will have played their first four games by the close of Monday Night Football. We open with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears, and close with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting Washington.
The start of Week 4 means it is time to look at some of the best options for NFL survivor pools. For those new to this kind of contest, a survivor pool involves picking one team each week that you think will win. If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick a team twice. You could very well use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you won’t have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.
There is plenty of strategy in determining which team you will take each week, and SB Nation is here to help. We have three experts providing rankings for each week, and then some thoughts on weekly strategy. First up, we have a consensus ranking of all 32 teams, and which are most likely to win this week. That is followed by each writer making a pick, some reasoning for the pick, and some alternatives to consider.
Best picks: Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons
Last week I picked Green Bay and barely survived to tell you about it. I’m going with another 2016 playoff team with a home game in Week 4, the Seattle Seahawks. As a 49er fan I will smile for days if the Colts can escape Centurylink Field with a win, but I also know that is highly unlikely. The Colts don’t have a great pass rush and that is how to cause problems for the Seattle defense.
If you haven’t used the Atlanta Falcons yet, they are in a great spot going up against the Buffalo Bills at home. The Bills are coming off a great win over the Denver Broncos, but I don’t see how they keep pace with the up-tempo Falcons offense on Sunday. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a tempting play, but I don’t trust Blake Bortles to play well in two consecutive home games.
Best picks: Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons
My pick this week is Seattle. I know they’ve struggled this season but this team always plays their best at home. This game is not only at home but it’s also a primetime game on Sunday night. The Seahawks will be facing a quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who is making only his third start for Indianapolis. I can’t see the Seattle defense having a hard time controlling this Colts offense. My secondary picks are New England and Atlanta. New England struggled again on defense last week against Houston. Carolina might be exactly what the defense needs to get back on track. Even if the Panthers put up a fight, I can’t see them outscoring the Patriots. Atlanta will remain unbeaten and should easily take down Buffalo at home. The Bills will not be able to slow down this high powered Atlanta offense.