Week 9 is up the next and so far, it’s been a pretty quiet season in terms of massive upsets. Although many survivor pools are thinning out a little, most still have a healthy number of teams left as the second half of the season gets underway. Things can change rapidly, and with each week getting more difficult, we will be in for our toughest test yet to Survive Week 9.
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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 weeks in the future, 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 9 Schedule
49ers -9.5 at Cardinals
Texans -2.5 at Jaguars Redskins at Bills -9.5 Vikings at Chiefs OTB*
Jets -5.5 at Dolphins Bears at Eagles -5.5 Colts -1.5 at Steelers
Titans at Panthers -3.5 Lions at Raiders -2 Bucs at Seahawks -6.5
Browns -2.5 at Broncos Packers -3 at Chargers Patriots -3.5 at Ravens
*OTB – Off the board
Cowboys -7 at Giants
Week 8 Survivor Recap
About 50% of teams went with the Thursday night game as the Vikings were a massive home favorite over Washington. Truth be told, the game wasn’t as easy as it should have been, but once Case Keenum went down, the Washington offense became completely stagnant. The Vikings were able to lean on solid defense and just enough offense to continue the winning streak and avoid a massive home loss for the second consecutive year. On the survivor side, this was clearly the most popular choice and everyone moved on without much of a sweat.
This game also was dicey at times, but the Dolphins deciding to all out blitz late in the second quarter turned the tide. In the end, it was a 13-point victory for the Steelers and although they didn’t cover the spread, all we care about in Survivor is the fact that they are moving on. In most years, Pittsburgh is a team that we ideally would want to save, but this year’s version it actually feels great to cross them off the list without much drama. The Dolphins seem to be playing a little better, but they are still winless and anytime they play even an average team, expect them to be picked on in survivor pools.
The third most popular choice at 19% we had the Rams in London going against the Bengals. They Rams were responsible for one of, if not the biggest upset of the year against Tampa a few weeks back, but there was no repeat performance. Instead, it was a relatively easy week for Rams backers and Cincinnati once again was a great team to pick on in survivor.
Week 9 Survivor Picks
A ton of people burned Buffalo a few weeks ago when Miami came to town. They didn’t look great in that game and then looked awful against Philadelphia, so it’s clearly not the most comfortable team to back. Still if you haven’t used the Bills then this is a spot you have to consider as 1-7 Washington comes to Buffalo. The spread sits at 9.5, which is going to be towards the top of the Week 9 list and we will not being without Buffalo available the rest of the way.
San Francisco 49ers
This is a short week and they are traveling to Arizona, but we do have to consider San Francisco as a possible survivor play this week. They are still undefeated and this rushing attack is a problem for the rest of the league. Last week, Tevin Coleman had a casual four touchdowns and on defense, Nick Bosa is destroying opponents. All of this adds up to a 9.5-point favorite against the 3-4-1 Cardinals so it’s one of the highest spreads you will see on this slate. Most people should have San Francisco available as this undefeated start hasn’t come made them a massive favorite in too many weeks so far.
Seattle is a 6.5-point favorite against Tampa, but with the lack of monster spreads, this is another spot to look at. The hawks sit at 6-2 on the year and despite losing both at home they are traditionally much stronger there. Tampa is always an erratic team and as I mentioned earlier they played spoiler earlier in the season, but this is a tough spot on the road. Jameis Winston needs to limit the turnovers or Tampa has no shot. I would consider Seattle if you don’t have teams like the Bills or 49ers available.
My Week 9 Pick : 49ers
Teams I’ve already used (Week 1: Seahawks, Week 2: Ravens, Week 3: Cowboys, Week 4: Rams-L, Week 5: Eagles, Week 6: Patriots, Week 7: Bills, Week 8: Vikings)
This to me is easily the hardest week of the season as we don’t have a ton of severe mismatches on the schedule. Miami and the Jets are playing each other and Cincinnati is on a bye so immediately we are eliminating some of the easiest teams to pick on week to week. If I had the Bills available, I probably would go to them as they are a useful team to get rid of, but I used them against Miami in Week 7. Since I already took Seattle in Week 1, I would have to back a team in a close spread if I decide to not use the 49ers. To me, that is an unnecessary risk and although I don’t love the spot for San Francisco, they are easily the best option for me with the teams I have available.
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Good Luck everyone!