Ever hear of an NFL survivor (or ‘suicide’) pool?
It’s a simple game of chance, where hyper-focused and ambitious contestants are asked to select one lead-pipe cinch 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, if we had Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, Stefon Diggs and the Bills beating the Jets at home in Week 1 … by virtue of that, BATSBY Sports could not designate Buffalo for victory again during Weeks 2-17.
The same holds true for the Titans (over the Jaguars) in Week 2. After this game, I can no longer pick Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry (last year’s NFL rushing champion) and breakout wideout A.J. Brown to prevail the rest of the way.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 2020 NFL SCHEDULE GRID
Now for the kicker: Any incorrect picks automatically knock a contestant out of the pool; and if any suicide owners should be left standing in the pool by Week 17 — an implausible occurrence for me in recent years — they’re entitled to all or some of the winnings (which can be quite lucrative).
Here are BATSBY Sports’ updated picks for 2020. Adding to the degree of difficulty, we can choose teams to lose no more than twice.
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
2020 SURVIVOR/SUICIDE PICKS
WEEK 1 — BUFFALO over N.Y. Jets
WEEK 2 — TENNESSEE over Jacksonville
WEEK 3 — L.A. CHARGERS over Carolina
WEEK 4 — HOUSTON over Minnesota
WEEK 5 — NEW ORLEANS over L.A. Chargers
WEEK 6 — MINNESOTA over Atlanta
WEEK 7 — L.A. RAMS over Chicago
WEEK 8 — KANSAS CITY over N.Y. Jets
WEEK 9 — ARIZONA over Miami
WEEK 10 — PITTSBURGH over Cincinnati
WEEK 11 — TAMPA BAY over L.A. Rams
WEEK 12 — DALLAS over Washington
WEEK 13 — CHICAGO over Detroit
WEEK 14 — SAN FRANCISCO over Washington
WEEK 15 — BALTIMORE over Jacksonville
WEEK 16 — PHILADELPHIA over Indianapolis
WEEK 17 — DENVER over Las Vegas
SURVIVOR LEAGUE RULES TO LIVE BY
a) Whenever humanly possible … please target a home team to win that particular week.
b) When in doubt, exploit presumed bottom-feeder clubs on the road (Redskins, Jaguars, Bengals, Jets).
c) Historically speaking, it’s best to avoid prime-time games between teams of similar stature.
d) Don’t clamor for the Chiefs, Niners, Saints, Bills, Ravens or Packers in Week 17 — out of fear of these powerhouse clubs clinching a playoff spot (and seed) before the NFL’s final weekend.
e) Whenever feasible, avoid picking against the Cowboys, Browns, Giants, Eagles, Buccaneers or Broncos.
f) The golden rule: Only pick significant home upsets from games involving intra-divisional opponents.
g) Don’t live in fear of picking a team to lose one week … and then bouncing back the following Sunday.
One suggestion: The Lions coming up short against the Bears in Week 12, but rebounding for a crucial home win over the Packers in Week 13.