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The Best Week 9 NFL Survivor Pool Picks & Strategy | Colts & Cowboys

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What a Week 8 it was for survivor pools. The overwhelming chalk (Cincinnati) went down, and the second-most popular team (Kansas City) needed to win it inside of the last two minutes. Be sure to check out Awesemo’s new NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool when making NFL bets and survivor picks the rest of the way. Here are some potential NFL survivor pool picks for Week 8.

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 9 NFL Schedule

Thursday

Jets at Colts (-10.5)

Sunday

Browns at Bengals (-3) Broncos at Cowboys (-8.5) Texans at Dolphins (-7)
Falcons at Saints (-6) Raiders (-3) at Giants Patriots (-3.5) at Panthers
Bills (-14.5) at Jaguars Vikings at Ravens (-5.5) Chargers (-2.5) at Eagles
Packers (-1) at Chiefs Cardinals (-2.5) at 49ers Titans at Rams (-7.5)

Monday

Bears at Steelers (-6.5)

Week 8 NFL Survivor Pool Picks Recap

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams made it look easy in Week 8, blowing out the Texans 38-22. The game went as expected, with the Rams as huge favorites coming in. They were the fourth-most popular team in Yahoo survivor pools. The Rams are projected to be at least 8.5-point favorites in seven of their nine remaining games, so it is better to save them if possible.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills struggled early, with their game with Miami tied at the start of the third half. Afterwards, Buffalo got it together, outscoring the Dolphins 23-8. The Bills got 15% of the survivor pool through to Week 9, but they have the best future value in Awesemo’s NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool. Saving them for late in the season makes for a position for those who made it this far.

Cincinnati Bengals

The showed why fading the most popular pick of the week is normally a great strategy decision. Based on their spreads, the Bengals were roughly as likely lose as the Chiefs. However, more than three times more of the field was on the Bengals. In DFS no wants a 45%-owned player more than a player at 15%. The Bengals threw away a 31-20 lead in the second half of the fourth quarter en route to losing to the Jets. As a result, the survivor pool competition is a lot thinner this week.

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs were this column’s official pick last week and made good on it. It was not pretty, but they got it done in the end with a 20-17 victory. Based on how poorly they played, no longer having the Chiefs available might be a benefit. They face the toughest remaining schedule in the league (by opponent win percentage.) Their easiest remaining game according to the NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool is Week 14’s matchup against the first-place Raiders, and it would be hard to trust the Chiefs in that one.

Week 9 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Teams Already Used: San Francisco 49ers (W), Cleveland Browns (W), Denver Broncos (W), Cincinnati Bengals (W), Baltimore Ravens (W), Indianapolis Colts (W), Arizona Cardinals (W), Kansas City Chiefs (W)

Week 10 spoils survivor players for choice, with seven games featuring a team favored by 6 or more points. Late-week pick distribution will be especially important this week. Check out Yahoo’s distribution as it gets closer to Sunday for an idea on which teams are more valuable. If any of these teams are especially overlooked, they could become a stronger value.

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are the second-largest favorite in the NFL for Week 9, trailing only Buffalo. The Colts have a great stretch ahead of them, with Week 10 featuring another home game against the Jaguars. This column has already used them, making them ineligible for being the official pick, but Week 9 or Week 10 is the time to use them if they are still available.

Buffalo Bills

As referenced above, the Bills are the largest favorites on the slate despite being on the road at Jacksonville. They also have the highest future value score in Awesemo’s NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool, although that might change with the Rams dominance and the trade for Von Miller (the optimizer has not updated post Week 8 at the time of writing.) Either way, there are plenty of appealing matchups left for the Bills, so they should be left for future weeks.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are 7-point favorites hosting the 1-7 Texans in Week 9. The Dolphins are also 1-7, but they have played much better than Houston, particularly after the return of starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Using Miami would be a bold choice — after all, they lost to the Jaguars already this year. However, this week or Week 15 against the Jets (also at home) are the only times to consider it. If playing in a very large pool where leverage against the field is a must, the Dolphins might be the best pick.

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Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys kept their one-loss record intact last week without Dak Prescott in the lineup. He was questionable, and betting markets clearly expect him to be back for Week 10, with the Cowboys 8.5-point favorites against the visiting Broncos. The Cowboys’ future value of (59) is barely above average in NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool. The future value is on a 100-point scale, with 50 being average. The Cowboys are too thin if Prescott misses the game but should have no problem with the 4-4 Broncos otherwise.

Week 9 NFL Survivor Pick: Dallas Cowboys

The Colts are the pick if they are available, but if not, go with Dallas. They are only favored by at least 7 points twice more this season. In both of those weeks there will be bigger favorites available, so the opportunity cost is low. The Cowboys have been dominant since their Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers, and that is not likely to change against a Broncos team that just traded away their best defensive player. If for some reason Prescott ends up missing the game, pivot over to Miami. That should not be the case, though, so lock in Dallas with confidence.


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If you’re interested in other NFL DFS tips for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL DFS stacking. View our FanDuel NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL rankings. We also have NFL showdown projections and single-game ownership projections. Take a look at our NFL line-ups, inactive player list and NFL depth chart list.
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