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Fantasy Football 2012: 'Survivor Pool' Picks for NFL Weeks 1-17

Saints QB Drew Brees (5,476 yards passing, 46 TD last year) draws a Sunday night home game against the Chargers—his old team of five seasons (2001-05)—on Oct. 7.
Saints QB Drew Brees (5,476 yards passing, 46 TD last year) draws a Sunday night home game against the Chargers—his old team of five seasons (2001-05)—on Oct. 7.Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterSeptember 5, 2012

Ever heard of an NFL survivor pool?

It's a simple game of chance, where contestants are asked to select one lead-pipe lock for wins in Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., with the caveat of only using a particular club once per season (in victory, at least).

For example, I have Chicago defeating Andrew Luck and Indianapolis at home for Week 1. By virtue of that, I cannot designate the Bears for any wins in Weeks 2-17.

The same holds true for the Patriots (over the Cardinals) in Week 2; after that game, I can no longer pick the AFC champs to prevail the rest of the way.

Any incorrect picks automatically knock a contestant out of the pool. And if anyone should be left standing by Week 17—an impossible task for me last year—they are entitled to all or some of the winnings (which can be quite lucrative in some leagues).

Here are my final survivor picks for 2012. Adding to the degree of difficulty, I will choose teams to lose no more than twice. 

Survivor Picks

Week 1: Chicago over Indianapolis 

Week 2: New England over Arizona

Week 3: Dallas over Tampa Bay

Week 4: Baltimore over Cleveland

Week 5: New Orleans over San Diego

Week 6: Arizona over Buffalo

Week 7: San Francisco over Seattle

Week 8: Green Bay over Jacksonville

Week 9: Seattle over Minnesota

Week 10: Pittsburgh over Kansas City

Week 11: Houston over Jacksonville

Week 12: Philadelphia over Carolina

Week 13: Detroit over Indianapolis

Week 14: Buffalo over St. Louis

Week 15: Cleveland over Washington

Week 16: Tampa Bay over St. Louis

Week 17: San Diego over Oakland

Survivor Rules to Live By

1. Above all, target a home team to win that particular week.

2. When in doubt, exploit bottom-feeder clubs on the road (Colts, Vikings, Jaguars, etc.).

3. It's best to avoid prime-time games between teams of similar stature.

4. Don't use the Packers, Patriots, 49ers or Ravens in Week 17—after they've clinched playoff spots.

5. Avoid picking against the Cowboys, Lions, Broncos and Titans.

6. Only pick home upsets from games involving intra-divisonal opponents.

7. Don't be afraid to pick against the world-champion Giants in the latter half of the season (big run of daunting opponents).

8. When considering intra-divisional foes, don't be afraid to guarantee Team A's victory the first time around and Team B's triumph on the flip side.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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