This week we need to start with an important note. Now that we’re entering the final stretch of the 2019 season, this will be our final weekly NFL survivor article for Fantasy Footballers. We hope you have enjoyed reading about our data-driven pick’em contest strategies.

If you’d like to get our recommended picks for your pool for the rest of the season, along with weekly writeups and access to data like public pick popularity trends and future schedule projections, we invite you to subscribe to our Football Survivor Picks product. For a limited time, we’re offering some exclusive mid-season discounts for Fantasy Footballers readers.

With that, back to our regularly scheduled program, where we’ll analyze the pros and cons of NFL Week 10’s five most popular NFL survivor picks: New Orleans, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Green Bay, and Kansas City. We’ll also recap the impact of last week’s results on NFL survivor pools.

This Week 10 survivor pool analysis is brought to you by TeamRankings, the only site that provides customized survivor pool picks that maximize your edge. Since 2017, TeamRankings subscribers have reported nearly $1.5 million in survivor pool winnings.

Last Week’s Survivor Picks Recap

The three most popular choices from Week 9 survived, though it was dicey. San Francisco got a closer game from Arizona than expected, winning by 3 points. Seattle went to overtime at home against Tampa Bay, and won the toss and drove for a winning score. Green Bay and the New York Jets, the next most popular entries, were not as fortunate. With their losses, plus some other smaller ones, the public survived at an estimated 86% rate for the week.

Our subscriber recommendations largely avoided the popular 49ers and Seahawks, and were heaviest on Buffalo against Washington, with 36% on the Bills. After that, three other teams were each recommended to about 16-17% of our subscribers: Carolina, Cleveland, and Dallas. Carolina and Dallas got the win, but Cleveland managed to lose a game against a quarterback who had never started and when they had more yards and fewer turnovers. As a result of that, and a few other recommendations, our subscriber recommendations advanced 78% of the time.

Overall, the public has survived at approximately a 16% rate to Week 10, and our recommendations at a 17% rate. Our subscribers also have a higher percentage of 49ers, Vikings, Bills, and Chiefs still available for future use compared to the public, which could be important in the coming weeks.

Survivor Pool Pick Analysis For Week 10

Below we analyze the pros and cons of the five most popular survivor picks for Week 10. To be clear, we’re not implying that any of these teams are necessarily the best pick for your pool — because there is no such thing as a universally “best” survivor pick.

For example, if you’re in a pool that requires making two weekly picks later in the season, your optimal pick strategy is likely to favor taking a bit more risk early on. If you’re in a tiny, standard-rules pool with 10 or 15 friends, being more conservative is usually a better call.

Whatever your pool situation, though, the analysis below will help you weigh the pros and cons of the picks you’re most likely considering.

Note: Data referenced below was current as of Thursday morning, and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.

New Orleans Saints (vs. Atlanta)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 45%
Point Spread: -13

Pro: Highest Win Odds. Drew Brees is back, and the Saints have an attractive matchup against rival Atlanta, who are 1-7 and 30th in points allowed per game, and have a league-low 7 sacks on defense. Our models put them at 83% win odds.

Con: High Popularity. New Orleans has also been little used in survivor until now. That means most entries have them available, and a high number is using them. The Saints are at 45% pick popularity. Relative to their win odds, that is a pretty high figure that lowers some of their value. 

Pro: Future Value. This does look like the best option to use New Orleans based on projected win odds, and the only one where we currently project them as a top-three option. They do, though, have three other weeks where we project their win odds at 70% or better and could be a good future lower popularity play.

Indianapolis Colts (vs. Miami)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 40%
Point Spread: -10.5

Pro: Win Odds on par with New Orleans. The Colts are tied for the second-highest win odds this week. The betting market has them at 81%, and our models have them a little lower at 78%. However, Jacoby Brissett’s status is still uncertain, and that could be holding down some of their value and is something to monitor. Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer would get the start if Brissett cannot start.

Con: High popularity. Indianapolis is at 40%, meaning you have a situation where not one, but two teams are at high popularity and a loss by either eliminates a large chunk of the pool.

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Pro: Future value. The Colts have not been a popular choice until now in survivor, and likely will not be again for the rest of the year. And with good reason, as this is certainly their juiciest matchup of the season. So if you want to use them, this is probably the spot to do it. 

Baltimore Ravens (at Cincinnati) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 6%
Point Spread: -10

Pro: Win Odds similar to the two most popular options. Baltimore’s win odds are virtually identical to Indianapolis and just behind the Saints this week.

Pro: Pick Popularity and Expected Value. With Baltimore coming in at only 6% while two other teams take up nearly 85% of all picks, they have really high value this week.

Con: Likely not available. There’s a reason their pick popularity is low, as they were heavily used in Weeks 1, 2, and 6.

Con: Future value. Baltimore has the best future value of any of the most popular choices this week, and in particular, looks like an attractive choice in Week 15 when they host the New York Jets.

Green Bay Packers (vs. Carolina)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 2%
Point Spread: -5.5

Kansas City Chiefs (at Tennessee) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 2%
Point Spread: -5.5

We will discuss Green Bay and Kansas City together here, since they have similar pick popularity and win odds, and as a result similar strategy considerations.

Con: Win Odds Drop from Top Options. Both the Chiefs and Packers have win odds around 69%, a drop from the safety of the top three options of between 8% and 15%. 

Pro: Low popularity combined with a pair of highly popular other teams. That drop in win odds is offset by the difference in popularity, and the situation this week with two teams with 40%+ popularity. Think of it this way. While the Colts and Saints are likely to win, and both have win odds of at least 77%, the chances that at least one of them loses this week is between 32% and 35% (depending on whether you use our win odds or market win odds in your calculations). That’s actually higher than the individual chance that the Packers lose (or the Chiefs lose). But if one of those popular options loses, you get a massive gain with at least 40% of the remaining pool getting eliminated.

Con: Both have some future value. Kansas City looks like a safer option in both Week 13 (vs. Oakland) and Week 15 (vs. Denver), at which point it is expected that Patrick Mahomes will certainly have fully healed. Green Bay is an attractive option in Week 14 when they host Washington.

Which Week 10 Pick Is The Best For Your Survivor Pool?

The teams above are the most popular survivor picks in Week 10, but that doesn’t mean one of them is the best pick for you. Every possible pick has an expected value and future value associated with it, and those values vary based on the characteristics of your pool.

We built our NFL Survivor Picks product to do all of the number-crunching needed to identify the best picks for your pool. You answer a few questions about your pool’s size and rules, and it provides customized pick recommendations for all of your entries using the latest matchup data, betting market odds and public picking trends from national survivor pool sites.

The proof that it works? Over the last two NFL seasons, our subscribers have reported winning over $1.5 million in survivor pool prizes. For a limited time, we’re offering some exclusive mid-season discounts for Fantasy Footballers readers. Whether you subscribe or not, good luck to you going forward. 

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