Thank goodness Aaron Rodgers came back from the week 1 grave. If not, my Survivor Pool, like those who gambled on the New Orleans Saints, would be over.
Once again, Rodgers showed that he was basically unbeatable against the Chicago Bears and did what was necessary to survive week 1.
This week, there is one clear option available in the week 2 NFL Survivor Pool, so if that team loses, there will be few left to play for the remainder of the season.
Teams Used: Green Bay
Los Angeles Rams
I'd be surprised if too many deviate from the Rams this week. Los Angeles started slow against Oakland in week 1, but eventually flexed its muscle in the second half. With its first home game on tap for week 2, I'd expect a faster start and even better results against a lifeless Arizona team.
I was anticipating a better Arizona team heading into 2018. However, this group looks like it will take a few weeks to start gelling together. It doesn't mean that the over pick I took in NFL totals for the Cardinals should be tossed just yet, but it does mean that Arizona will struggle mightily against the Rams.
Los Angeles just holds too much of an edge offensively over Arizona. David Johnson should find some room to run against a Rams team full of pass rushers and defensive backs, but it won't be enough to overcome what the Rams can do consistently on the offensive side of the ball. Arizona's defense is a work in progress and the youth movement that Arizona is hoping will make great strides, will once again want to avoid looking at the week 2 tape.
Arizona couldn't get off the field in week 1 against a Washington team without anywhere near the weapons the Rams will employ. Los Angeles looked good running the ball, which Arizona struggled to stop in week 1. This game has a 13-point spread for a reason. Don't overthink week 2.
Denver looked better than I anticipated in week 1 against a Seattle team that I have too many questions about.
The offensive line impressed me for the Broncos, which should be a boon against the Raiders' defensive line. Oakland can't get pressure on the quarterback, and that will once again haunt Oakland in week 2 against Denver.
The Broncos can run the ball and Case Keenum showed that he can sling it around the football field. Defensively, this isn't the same Denver team we've become accustomed to, but don't dismiss this defensive line.
It created havoc for Russell Wilson in week 1, and it will do the same in week 2 against an Oakland offense that appears to be regressing.
I'm not a big home-field advantage fan, but Denver does own an edge when playing at home. Oakland won't get back to its winning ways in week 2.
Los Angeles Chargers
There's a popular strategy in Survivor Pools -- the anti-(insert team name here) strategy. I don't normally employ that, because the NFL is so unpredictable, it's difficult to pinpoint a team to lose every week (other than the Browns in the past few years).
This year's team is likely to be the Buffalo Bills, which looked like a bad college football team in week 1 against Baltimore.
However, that happened in a continual rain storm and the game went sideways early. When that happens, it's common for teams to get blown out, even if the talent level isn't that far off.
Buffalo's offense needs some help, but the Chargers didn't look like their elite self in week 1 against Kansas City. Most importantly, the Chargers were bad against the pass, which should at least help Buffalo.
Once again, home-field advantage is overblown, but in the case of Buffalo it matters. It matters that the Chargers are traveling from the West Coast and will likely be reminded of how bad the Bills can be in the pregame. This is still a defense that is one year removed from going to the playoffs, so the Bills aren't as bad as they looked last week. I'm not saying Buffalo will win, but this will be closer than people believe.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more fantasy football coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH