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, Cole Beasley 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 Packers (over the Lions) in Week 2. After this game, I can no longer pick Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams to prevail the rest of the way.
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 — GREEN BAY over Detroit
WEEK 3 — PHILADELPHIA over Cincinnati
WEEK 4 — L.A. RAMS over N.Y. Giants
WEEK 5 — SAN FRANCISCO over Miami
WEEK 6 — N.Y. GIANTS over Washington
WEEK 7 — BALTIMORE over Pittsburgh
WEEK 8 — KANSAS CITY over N.Y. Jets
WEEK 9 — TENNESSEE over Chicago
WEEK 10 — PITTSBURGH over Cincinnati
WEEK 11 — HOUSTON over New England
WEEK 12 — DALLAS over Washington
WEEK 13 — MINNESOTA over Jacksonville
WEEK 14 — CAROLINA over Denver
WEEK 15 — ARIZONA over Philadelphia
WEEK 16 — SEATTLE over L.A. Rams
WEEK 17 — INDIANAPOLIS over Jacksonville
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 (Jaguars, Bengals, Jets, Washington Football Team).
c) Historically speaking, it’s best to avoid prime-time games between teams of similar stature.
WEEK 1 PREP WORK
AMAZE YOUR FRIENDS: 15 Super-Fun Facts For Week 1
PASSING FANCY: QB-starter rankings for Week 1
RUN TO DAYLIGHT: Week 1’s listing of top 60 PPR tailbacks
CATCHES AND TARGETS: Top 70 PPR wideouts for Week 1
LARGE AND IN CHARGE: Week 1’s top 30 PPR tight ends
WEEKLY SURVIVORS: Our updated ‘suicide’ picks for 2020
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, Buccaneers, Chargers, Panthers or Falcons.
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 plausible suggestion: The Lions coming up short against the Bears in Week 13, but rebounding for a crucial home win over the Packers in Week 14.