When you're in a fantasy football survivor league, it's absolutely crucial that you have a good look at every game on the schedule. One wrong choice could be the end of the line.
That's why having a good grasp on which games are likely to be one-sided is an extremely valuable asset for the survivor league player.
Allow me to give you a breakdown of five games out of the Week 3 action: two you absolutely should play, two you might want to play but shouldn't and one spicy prediction that's more for entertainment purposes than for pure survival.
Well, if you can survive without looking cool, that is.
With Peyton Manning, the Colts would probably be a 12-4 team this year. Without him, they may wind up with four wins. If the Colts are to get four wins, they wouldn't come early in the season against the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger played through a knee injury last week in Seattle, and his health is a slight concern. Still, in terms of overall talent, the Steelers are a far superior team. Better receivers, better defense and, as it stands now, a better quarterback.
I'm sure this will be the most common play in survivor leagues' Week 3, especially considering that on Yahoo!'s survivor league statistics, just under 45 percent of people picked the Steelers in Week 2.
Steelers over Colts is a surefire win in your survivor league.
A lot of people will be tempted this week to choose the Panthers over the Jaguars. I understand why. Cam Newton has thrown for a ton of yardage in each of his first two games, and the Jaguars offense played terribly in Week 2. Luke McCown threw for only 59 yards and four interceptions. That seems to suggest he Panthers will throw the ball all over the field, and the Jaguars won't be able to keep up.
Let me tell you, there's no way of knowing what's going to happen in this game.
First off, the Jaguars offense has enough players to be effective with proper quarterback play. The receivers are all right, the O-line is pretty good and the running backs and tight ends on the team are quality. McCown could have a great game in Week 3, or Blaine Gabbert could play Week 3—it could rain fireballs from the sky, for all I know.
It looks like a solid pick to take the Panthers over the Jaguars, but it's certainly not a safe bet. Avoid this game if possible.
To put it lightly, the Chiefs are in trouble. I couldn't put their situation honestly because Bleacher Report has rules about expletives, but suffice to say they will lose a lot of games this year.
Jamaal Charles is out. The defense has given up 89 points in two games. The offensive game plan now relies heavily on Matt Cassel, who is not good enough to carry a team. He's hardly even good enough to avoid stepping on his own feet.
The Chargers, on the other hand, have an extremely effective offense and a stud QB-WR combination in Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson. The Chargers really should win this game.
In any other set of circumstances, I would say pick the Patriots every week. They're really, really good. Of course, this week the Pats are up against a Bills team that could give them problems.
You remember how Vincent Jackson absolutely went off on the Patriots' secondary players, right? Well, the Bills' passing game has been great all season. Stevie Johnson is a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is proving to be a lot better than he was expected to be.
The Patriots have enough talent and the Bills have enough bad history that plenty of people in survivor leagues will want to pick the Pats, but it's really not a safe game with the Bills at 2-0.
How many years will I have to listen to people talking about the Texans being an up-and-coming team before they up-and-come already? Having followed the team casually for the last few years, they always make people think they're good enough to break out and then disappoint people.
This year, I think it will be different. The Saints played well in Week 2, but against an inferior opponent.
I'm still going to give the edge to the Texans, however.
The Texans offense is extremely potent. They have great players at QB and WR in Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, and the combination of Ben Tate and Arian Foster can be very effective at running back as well.
This is only for those who are willing to make the risky pick, but if you are trying to be fancy, Houston over the Saints is a daring pick that could easily work out.