Week 5 is in the books and hopefully you are still alive in your NFL survivor pool. We saw another big upset on Sunday night football as the Chiefs went down at home to the Colts. This is going to continue to thin the field and with four teams on bye, this is a difficult week to make selections. Going forward, it will only get tougher and more and more teams are unavailable to you, forcing some difficult decisions.
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What is a Survivor Pool?
There are several variations of the “Survivor Pool” format, but the most basic and common one is each week everyone in the pool has to select one team to win a game straight up, not against the spread. If the team gets a win, you survive the week and move on while if the team you pick ties or loses the game, you are eliminated from the pool and it is game over. The twist is that you can only use any team once, so anyone you pick is no longer available for future weeks, making it increasingly difficult as the season goes on. The pool ends when there is one player left who survives the longest and usually will take home a big pay day, depending on the pool and the structure.
Week 6 Schedule
Giants at Patriots -17
Panthers -2 at Buccaneers* Texans at Chiefs -5 Bengals at Ravens -11.5
Saints at Jaguars -1 Eagles at Vikings -3 Redskins -3.5 at Dolphins
Falcons -2.5 at Cardinals Titans at Broncos -2.5 Cowboys -9 at Jets
Steelers at Chargers OTB Niners at Rams OTB Seahawks at Browns OTB
Lions at Packers -4.5
*Game in London
OTB (Off the Board)
Week 5 Survivor Recap
It was smooth sailing for my selection and the most picked team as the Eagles were 49% of entries in Week 5. They crushed the winless Jets with monster defensive plays in route to a 31-6 victory. With the Dolphins having been on bye, it was no surprise that the majority of teams decided to pick on the Jets and take a spread that closed around two touchdowns.
The Patriots started sluggish and went down 7-0 to the Redskins. Once they woke up and kicked it in gear, it was no contest as they scored 33 unanswered. The Redskins are god-awful and head coach Jay Gruden didn’t survive the week, so they will be looking at a new coach. The Patriots were only used by 12% of teams last week, but that’s mostly because a lot of people already had burned them earlier in the season.
Here was the big landmine of the week. The Chiefs were 21% in survivor leagues which means 1/5 of the remaining teams just hit the curb. The Colts controlled the game on the ground and really kept Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense in check. The Chiefs were an 11-point favorite, which is why they were a popular choice, but one that was costly in Week 5. If you were able to avoid them, they are a useful team to still have in the bank as they will have some big spreads going forward.
Week 6 Survivor Picks
What a surprise that once again the Patriots are a fantastic Survivor pool pick. They are back at Foxborough where they are almost impossible to beat and sit as a 17-point favorite over the Giants. There is no denying that Daniel Jones has pumped some life into this Giants team, but in a spot like this, it is not going to make much difference. The Patriots defense has been fantastic and we know how they usually fare against rookie quarterbacks. As such, this is another spot to potentially burn the Patriots if you haven’t done so yet. The game is Thursday, so make sure to lock in your selection if you are in fact going with the biggest spread of the week.
Baltimore had a hard fought game last week against the Steelers and now Baltimore gets another division rival in the Bengals. This shouldn’t be nearly as tough of a test as Cincinnati is winless and coming off a home loss against Arizona. Baltimore may not have enough to challenge the top-end AFC teams come playoff time, but they easily should get past a Cincinnati team that is getting in contention for the top pick next season. A lot of people used Baltimore in Week 2 when they played Arizona, so they might not be available to a lot of people in your league.
Aaron Jones just scored another touchdown as I wrote this sentence. Last week, Dallas was beaten soundly at home by Green Bay, but they get the Jets, which is an immediate remedy to get back on track. The Cowboys are on the road, but still sit at a nine point favorite against the hopeless Jets. Taking teams on the road is not ideal, but if you have already burned teams like New England and Baltimore you have limited options outside of the Cowboys.
My Pick: Patriots
Teams I’ve already used (Week 1: Seahawks, Week 2: Ravens, Week 3: Cowboys, Week 4: Rams-L, Week 5: Eagles)
I’ve already used the Ravens who are a great pick this week as Cincinnati is just awful. The Cowboys are another option, but one that I have used so this is where survivor starts to get challenging. I have held off on using the Patriots until a week where I don’t have a great option and this is it.
Although the Giants have looked better, they are no match for New England especially in Foxborough. The spread is easily the highest on the board sitting at -17 and I will use the easiest choice on the board in a week where I was in a bit of a jam.
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Good Luck everyone!