Week 5 was a quiet one for Survivor pools. The top six most frequently used teams all made it through, so only about 3% got bounced. It is now the bye-week portion of the schedule, so things are about to get significantly more interesting. Be sure to check out Awesemo’s new NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool when making your NFL bets and survivor picks the rest of the way. Here are some potential NFL survivor pool picks for Week 6.
What is an NFL 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 must select one team to win a game straight up, not against the spread. If the team wins, that player survives the Week; if that team loses, the player is eliminated. The twist is that teams can only be used once, making it increasingly difficult as the season goes on. The pool ends when there is one player left.
Week 6 NFL Schedule
|Buccaneers (-7) at Eagles|
|Dolphins (-3) at Jaguars||Packers (-4.5) at Bears||Bengals (-3) at Lions|
|Texans at Colts (-10)||Rams (-10.5) at Giants||Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington|
|Vikings at Panthers (-1)||Chargers at Ravens (-3)||Cardinals at Browns (-2.5)|
|Raiders at Broncos (-3.5)||Cowboys (-4) at Patriots)||Seahawks at Steelers (-4.5)|
|Bills (-5) at Titans
Week 5 NFL Survivor Pool Picks Recap
The Ravens were the official pick in this column last week. They were foolishly described as a safe selection but turned out to be anything but. They needed a blocked field goal, a missed field goal, multiple 2-point conversions and overtime to defeat the colts. A win is a win, though, so Ravens backers move on to Week 6. The Ravens have looked shaky in multiple wins this year, so the bright spot is players will not have to worry about using them again. After miracle wins against the Colts and Lions, it will be hard to trust them again
The Cowboys handled their business in a much more convincing fashion. They never trailed against the Giants and were beneficiaries of both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley leaving the game in the first half. While it would be better to still have Dallas around moving forward, this was as good a spot as they are projected for all year in the NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers provided slightly more drama, coming out flat in the first quarter. After trailing 10-7 through 15 minutes, they dominated the rest of the way, outscoring Miami 38-7. Tampa is conservatively one of the top three teams in the NFL right now, so choosing when to play their card will be a major strategy decision in survivor pools.
New England Patriots
New England was another solid strategy choice, as they are not currently expected to be favored by more in any future games. They were the fourth-most popular selection in Yahoo survivor contests in Week 5 and certainly gave players a scare. They trailed the lowly Texans by 13 midway through the third quarter before scoring 16 unanswered points. They are not quite a good enough team to ever feel great about them in survivor, but a Week 7 matchup with the Jets is likely the only other time they will be in consideration.
Week 6 NFL Survivor Pool Picks
Teams Already Used: San Francisco 49ers (W), Cleveland Browns (W), Denver Broncos (W), Cincinnati Bengals (W), Baltimore Ravens (W)
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are Week 6’s biggest favorites as of Monday night, laying 10.5 to the Giants. They also have the third-highest future value score in Awesemo’s NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool, so this is a key strategy decision this week. Looking ahead at their schedule, they project to be the largest favorites in Week 13 (home against Jacksonville) and second largest in Weeks 7 and 8. This week they are in New York, which is a minor concern. However, the bigger concern is being stuck playing a 4- or 5-point favorite late in the season burning the Rams earlier.
The Colts are the only other double-digit favorite in Week 6. Their strong showing against the Ravens is encouraging, and they are at home against a bad Texans team. While teams on a short week are a bit scary, the matchup more than makes up for it. The Colts are not expected to be favored by more than 6 at any other point this season. Even when they are 6-point favorites, there are other solid options those weeks. Expect the Colts to be popular.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were used by over 20% of players in Week 5 and could approach that number again this week. Heading into Week 6, they have been used by almost 50% of survivor players. Of course, that number includes players who were eliminated at some later point, so that does not mean 50% of the remaining field has used them. They are 7-point favorites on the road in Philadelphia this week, and they are also favored by 7.5 or more in the final two weeks of the season. The longer players can survive without playing Tampa, the bigger the edge will be late.
Week 6 NFL Survivor Pool Pick: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are by far the best strategy play based on current information. The severity and volume of injuries in Week 5 needs to be monitored, though. There are clearly better options in all of the remaining games that they are favored, so not much will be lost by using them this week. From a strategy standpoint, it might be worth switching to the Bengals (-3 at Detroit, if available) or Steelers (-4.5 against a Russell Wilson-less Seahawks) if the Colts are popular late in the week. That is a pivot only necessary in larger pools. For smaller pools, make it easy and stick with Indianapolis, barring major bad injury news.
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