NFL Pick'em Pool Strategy, Confidence Rankings: Straight Up Picks Week 3

Last season, we went 181-90-1 (66.8%) in our weekly pick’em article for confidence ranking formats, selecting a winner for each of the 272 regular season games. We nearly missed perfection in Week 3, correctly selecting 15 of the 16 contests, and finished the year strong – going 68-24 (73.4%) from Week 13 to Week 18.

In preparation for the 2022 campaign, we evaluated each roster unit-by-unit, ensuring that there was not anyone more prepared to tackle the weekly slate this fall.

In Week 1, we successfully navigated an abundance of chaos, finishing 10-5-1, with correct underdog selections on the Pittsburgh Steelers (+7.5), New York Giants (+6), and Minnesota Vikings (+2.5). In Week 2, our streak of seven consecutive weeks with 10-plus correct picks came to an end due to an abundance of chaos, including the Cleveland Browns blowing 13-point lead in the final two minutes, and the Las Vegas Raiders failing to hold onto a 23-point second-half cushion. Nevertheless, we are back at it for Week 3!
2021 NFL Pick’em selections!

I will start by ranking each of my selections in order of confidence and provide reasoning on all of my top picks.

NFL Week 3 Pick’Em Pool Confidence Rankings

2022 Weekly Results

  • Week 1: 10-5-1
  • Week 2: 8-8

2021 Weekly Results

  • Week 1: 10-6
  • Week 2: 10-6
  • Week 3: 15-1
  • Week 4: 9-7
  • Week 5: 13-3
  • Week 6: 9-5
  • Week 7: 10-3
  • Week 8: 8-7
  • Week 9: 9-5
  • Week 10: 5-8-1
  • Week 11: 8-7
  • Week 12: 7-8
  • Week 13: 11-3
  • Week 14: 12-2
  • Week 15: 11-5
  • Week 16: 11-5
  • Week 17: 13-3
  • Week 18: 10-6

Week 3 Selections

1. Los Angeles Rams
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. Los Angeles Chargers
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Green Bay Packers
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. Philadelphia Eagles
9. Cincinnati Bengals
10. Cleveland Browns
11. Miami Dolphins
12. Carolina Panthers
13. Tennessee Titans
14. Chicago Bears
15. Denver Broncos
16. New York Giants

NFL Pick’Em Pool Strategy Week 3

Rams (vs. Cardinals)

If not for the Arizona Cardinals miraculously erasing a 20-0 halftime deficit in Week 2 against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Rams would be favored by a touchdown in this matchup. In Week 1, Arizona was demolished by the Kansas City Chiefs, losing 44-21 in a game in which they were out-gained by over 200 yards. The Rams struggled in their season opener, but much of their poor performance can be attributed to the typical Super Bowl hangover, and the rest of it can be attributed to the fact that Los Angeles did not play any of their starters for any meaningful amount of time during the preseason. Matthew Stafford was limited throughout camp with an elbow injury. Both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson had their reps limited due to soft tissue injuries during the summer. Los Angeles looked much-improved in Week 2 against an underrated Atlanta Falcons team – jumping out to a 28-3 lead before getting a little too comfortable in prevent defense in the fourth quarter. The Rams should roll in this matchup, especially if J.J. Watt is limited or out on Sunday.

Vikings (vs. Lions)

It is an NFL truism that bettors should not overreact to results from Week 1 of the season. A less common piece of advice that is offered – definitely do not overreact to Week 2 either. As more and more teams have strayed away from playing their starters during the preseason, we have seen more and more volatility during the early portion of the regular season. In Week 1, the Minnesota Vikings looked like one of the best teams in the league. In Week 2, Minnesota could have fooled a casual fan into thinking that they are going to be picking at the top of the upcoming draft. In reality, the Vikings are somewhere in between these two results – definitely not in the upper echelon of talent, but neither are they as bad as they showed against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football. Kirk Cousins once again struggled in primetime, but there was also an unnerving lack of commitment to running the football by Minnesota, which made life more difficult on everyone else in the offense. Expect Head Coach Kevin O’Connell to get back to a more balanced approach in Week 3 against their division rivals. The Detroit Lions have one of the worst secondary units in the entire NFL, which should lead to another big day for Justin Jefferson and company. Despite the rest disadvantage, Minnesota is well-positioned to get back into the win column this weekend.

Chargers (vs. Jaguars)

The Chargers were the preseason media darlings, but only barely held-on to defeat the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1, despite Derek Carr playing one of the worst games of his career. Los Angeles had the ball for over 32 minutes against the Raiders, and dominated the time of possession to an even greater extent in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers were unable to secure a win against Kansas City, but they had six more first downs than their opponent, nearly 100 more yards of total offense, and committed only three penalties. Another second-half lull in which they had only 84 yards of offense across five drives raises some question marks about Head Coach Brandon Staley’s ability to make in-game adjustments, but this is still a talented football team capable of taking care of business at home in Week 3. The Jacksonville Jaguars are a franchise on the rise, but they are still climbing, and thus, are unlikely to pull an upset against a Los Angeles team that is getting healthier by the week (assuming Justin Herbert is good to go). The return of J.C. Jackson will pay enormous dividends for this secondary unit, which will give Los Angeles a great opportunity to be competitive on a consistent basis. Expect them to get the job done on Sunday at Sofi Stadium.

Chiefs (vs. Colts)

As I mentioned on my weekly podcast, this is unquestionably the best version of Patrick Mahomes that we have ever seen. On Thursday Night Football, Mahomes did not play his best game, nor did he have his most prolific stat line. Yet, he did a good job avoiding pressure, and made the big throws when he needed to make them – notably throwing a dime to Justin Watson in the third quarter to cut the Kansas City Chiefs’ deficit to only three points. Perhaps more importantly, this is one of the better defenses that the front office has compiled in recent years in Kansas City. Both George Karlaftis and Leo Chenal have made an immediate impact on this side of the ball, making Kansas City an extremely well-rounded roster. On the other side of this matchup, the Indianapolis Colts are winless through two games – having tied against the Houston Texans, followed by a 24-0 shutout defeat at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shaquille Leonard and Michael Pittman are on-track to return to the field this weekend, but even their presence is unlikely to be enough to earn their first win of the new campaign. The Chiefs are better on both sides of the ball, and there is an exponential difference in talent at the quarterback position. Expect Kansas City to win this one comfortably.

Packers (vs. Buccaneers)

I joined the Food for Thought podcast earlier this week, during which I outlined my thoughts on this matchup more thoroughly. Simply, the Green Bay Packers are nowhere near as talented as they were in 2021. The loss of Davante Adams not only hurt the offense, but it will force the defense to be on the field for longer periods of time this fall, which will result in regression on this side of the ball as well. Nevertheless, Aaron Rodgers and company have a good opportunity to steal a win in this spot, with the laundry list of players dealing with injuries for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the moment. Mike Evans will be suspended for this contest. Carlton Davis III, Leonard Fournette, Russell Gage, Chris Godwin, Robert Hainsey, Akiem Hicks, Julio Jones, Scotty Miller, Cade Otton, Breshad Perriman, and Donovan Smith were each limited or did not practice at all on Wednesday. Assuming that Godwin, Jones, and Smith are each out this weekend, it is difficult to see where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are able to generate offense in this contest. Rodgers and the Packers should not need to be great to walk out of Raymond James Stadium on Sunday with a win.

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Nick Galaida (nickgalaida)

  • A failed high school pitcher, Nick discovered that he has a higher aptitude for analyzing and writing about sports than he does playing them. To his friends, he is better known as “The Commish.” When he’s not organizing a fantasy league, placing a bet, or writing an article, he’s probably nose-deep in a book—further illustrating the point that his niche in this world is as a nerd rather than an athlete.

  • CalledK3

    Refreshing and thought provoking Content 💯
    TY RG
    Btw ~ there is no such thing as a “failed” high school pitcher.
    Any ball player with the stones Toe the rubber and compete …. is Success. 🔥

    CalledK3

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