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NFL picks, Week 8: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

We’re back with more NFL picks, including Week 8 straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

We’re back for another week of football! The San Francisco 49ers have a bye this week, but that might just make the football better. The 49ers are a dumpster fire right now, and I am looking forward to enjoying some fairly tension free football. I am in a couple money fantasy leagues. In one that is a keeper league, I’m 11th out of 14 teams, and have begun the rebuilding process with some trades. In the other, an eight team non-keeper league, I’m in first place with a two game lead on second place. I want to win, but pressure is not huge at this point. So, I can enjoy football without getting to angsty.

The 49ers might not be playing, but I am still making my regular picks. We start today with straight up picks, and also a look at my Survivor pool. With the Survivor pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive. If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done. I went simple last week with the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have generally been a good team to pick against. The previous week I went with the Tennessee Titans over them.

Of course, this week the Browns are hosting the New York Jets. Josh McCown has been cleared to return to practice, but his status remains unknown for the Browns. If he cannot go, Kevin Hogan would likely start while Cody Kessler works through the NFL’s concussion protocol. I don’t know if I have the stones to take Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets this week. Some other options include the Minnesota Vikings at the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Denver Broncos at home against the San Diego Chargers. Tough calls this week.

Thursday Night Football this week features a fairly hideous matchup between the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. I actually think this could end up being some decent football, but the AFC South remains a bit of a mess. The Jaguars entered the season with high expectations, but have stumbled to a 2-4 record, and Gus Bradley is on the hot seat. The Titans are continuing to rebuild and are looking to be in decent shape at 3-4 and in second in the division. The Titans are a 3.5-point favorite. More public money is on the Titans than the Jaguars, and i am kind of inclined to go with the road team getting the hook. I’ll take a three-point Jaguars loss!

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Jaguars @ Titans: Titans (Jaguars cover)
Washington vs. Bengals (London): Bengals
Chiefs @ Colts: Chiefs
Raiders @ Buccaneers: Raiders
Seahawks @ Saints: Seahawks
Lions @ Texans: Texans
Jets @ Browns: Browns
Patriots @ Bills: Patriots
Cardinals @ Panthers: Panthers
Chargers @ Broncos: Broncos
Packers @ Falcons: Falcons
Eagles @ Cowboys: Cowboys
Vikings @ Bears: Vikings