For those who didn't change their week 9 pick from Houston to another team, the Survivor Pool wasn't so friendly. I backed the Texans before Deshaun Watson was injured, but like pretty much everyone else, I altered that pick. The Texans are not usable until they can figure out the quarterback situation.

The Survivor Pool hasn't been near as treacherous in recent weeks than it was in the early going of 2017. Good teams are emerging, allowing for more confidence when picking in the Survivor Pool. With that being said, there are some tough plays this week based on several teams already picked for several Survivor Pools.

Best Pick

Carolina Panthers

I don't love Carolina on a consistent basis, but this matchup just doesn't work for Miami.

The Dolphins don't have an answer on offense and the Panthers are going to enter this Monday night contest with a dominating defense. And despite an offense that lacks much firepower, the Panthers have been better in recent weeks in running the ball, averaging 4.1 yards per carry in the last three games, up from their season average of 3.7 yards per carry.

Much of that has to do with Carolina's new offensive direction of actually using Cam Newton in the way he is designed as a quarterback. He's running more, forcing defenses to be more honest in how they defend the Panthers.

This game comes down to Carolina's defensive edge. The Panthers allow just 17 points per game, with just 12 points per game in the last three games. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have gotten worse, going from allowing 22 points per game for much of the season, to giving up more than 30 points per game in the last three games.

The Dolphins' defense isn't doing what it did earlier this season and stopping the opposition. The offense isn't good enough for Miami to support a leaky defense. Carolina hasn't been flashy on offense, but the defense is by far good enough to stop an anemic Miami offense.

Sleeper Pick

Chicago Bears

Each week is proving what many already believed -- Aaron Rodgers covers up a lot of warts on the Packers. And those warts are taking center stage on a weekly basis without Rodgers at the helm.

While everyone is selling the Bears short on offense, it isn't that much different than the Packers. In the last three weeks, Green Bay is averaging 4.6 yards per play. Chicago is averaging 4.5 yards per play. While the Packers are throwing for more yards per game, the Bears are far outdistancing Green Bay on the ground, going for 152 yards per game in the last three games, compared to Green Bay's 110 yards per game on the ground.

In this game, though, it once again comes down to defense. The Packers haven't had a great defense for years. But they've been able to take chances because their quarterback can mask all those deficiencies. That quarterback is gone, so the defense has slipped in recent weeks. The Packers are giving up 5.9 yards per play in the last three games, more than a full yard more than what Chicago allows. That's a major problem, even against an offense like Chicago.

It's tough to pick the Bears with much confidence, but you get Green Bay on a short week and on the road against a team coming off a bye.

Be Careful

Detroit Lions

After watching the clinic by Matthew Stafford in week 9, it's difficult to be worried about the Lions in week 10, especially against Cleveland. But, this is just the kind of game that gets Detroit in trouble. The Lions generally stay close to any competition, playing up against good teams and playing down against bad teams.

This is especially true coming off a short week against a Cleveland team exiting its bye week.

Most distressing, though, is that if the Browns could figure out its offense for a game, the defense actually hasn't been that bad. The Browns actually only allow 4.9 yards per play on defense, a top-10 mark in the NFL. Offensively, they can't stop turning over the football, but in the NFL, that eventually evens out over time.

And with the Lions struggles inside the red zone, this could be closer than many believe. Detroit's defense isn't as good as many believe, allowing 5.8 yards per play in the last three games.

It would be easy to back the the Lions in this position, but the Browns actually don't match up too bad in this game. The Lions are having trouble scoring touchdowns and eventually that's going to hurt them in a game like this. I wouldn't take the chance this week.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games.

Scott Levine can be reached at or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH

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