Week 6 survivor moved the needle about as much as a Green Party presidential candidate. Only 2% of entries were knocked out as the eight most popular picks all won. Will a Week 7 with three double-digit favorites deliver us more of the same old gridlock or will there finally be a shakeup?
As it currently stands, 91% of entries are on four teams, with 83% on the top three. Before we jump into our pool picks, let's take a look at how we did last week:
Week 6 picks
Best Bets: 2-0 (YTD: 11-2)
Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 6-1)
Traps to avoid: 0 eliminations avoided (YTD: 6)
On to the Week 7 picks!
New England Patriots (-7) vs. New York Jets
The Patriots are three plays from being 5-1 and holding sole possession of first place in the AFC East. New England defensive coordinator Steve Belichick has to be licking his lips more than usual this week because this is a bad matchup for New York on both sides of the ball, especially when they're on offense. The Jets have scored the fewest touchdowns in the NFL, finding the end zone only seven times in five games. QB Zach Wilson was picked off four times in their first meeting and has the second-lowest completion percentage (57.3) of any starting quarterback. His rookie counterpart Mac Jones boasts the third-highest (71.1). New York's defense is allowing 69.2% of passes to be completed, which ranks 27th in the NFL.
If the Pats don't win this game, their season is effectively over. Nearly 18% of entries are on them this week. Their future value is a Week 17 game at home versus Jacksonville.
Arizona Cardinals (-17) vs. Houston Texans
Houston's defense ranks in the bottom five in rushing yards per carry, passing yards per attempt and total points allowed. Odds-on MVP favorite Kyler Murray and the Cardinals rank second in passing yards per attempt and have been carving up much better teams than the Texans, scoring 31 or more points in five of their six games. This isn't a fair fight and is about as close to a lock as you can get in the NFL.
Forty-five percent of entries have picked Arizona. The Cardinals have a fairly tough schedule with most of their future value coming in a Week 15 contest at Detroit.
Los Angeles Rams (-15.5) vs. Detroit Lions
This is another "buzzsaw offense versus pillow defense" matchup. The Rams are scoring nearly 30 points per game, while the Lions are giving up an average of 28.3. I'm sure that Detroit QB Jared Goff would like to exact revenge on his former team but, unlike Liam Neeson, Goff's particular set of skills are nothing to fear. I don't see him putting up the four-plus touchdowns necessary to beat the Rams and neither does Vegas.
Only 8% of entries have locked in Los Angeles, partly because 58% have already picked the Rams this season. If you can lay off them for another week, you'll be among the 34% that have them available to use in Week 8 (at Houston) or Week 13 (vs Jacksonville).
TRAPS TO AVOID
Green Bay Packers (-9.5) vs. Washington Football Team
I promise I'm not a Green Bay hater, even though I'm including the Packers here again after listing them as a potential trap last week against the Bears. They won the game, but were up by only three points late in the fourth quarter. The five teams the Packers have beaten have a combined record of 12-17. They've won one game by more than two scores and it was at home against the Lions, who led Green Bay 17-14 at the half. It wouldn't shock me if a Washington team that hung around with the Chiefs for three quarters in Week 6 pulled off an upset at Lambeau Field.
The Packers are the second-most popular survivor pick this week at 20%. They have a Week 10 home game versus a Seattle team that may be without Russell Wilson and a Week 18 game at Detroit.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals defense ranks seventh in fewest yards allowed per carry and third in fewest yards allowed per passing attempt. Both of their losses have been by a field goal. The Ravens have won five in a row but that includes a last-second 66-yard field goal to beat the Lions and a 16-point fourth quarter deficit at home against the Colts. One area of weakness for Baltimore has been its penchant for giving up big plays in the passing game. The Ravens surrendered 24 passes of 20-plus yards, seventh-worst in the NFL. This plays into one of Cincinnati's strengths, as the Bengals have a trio of extremely talented receivers and an aggressive young quarterback in Joe Burrow. Rookie wideout Ja'Marr Chase already has seven 30-plus yard catches, four of which have gone for touchdowns.
Close to 1% of entries are on the Ravens, who have a Week 10 game at Miami.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference and nfl.com.