Week 5 Survivor Advice: Pros & Cons of Five Popular Picks

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In this post, we’ll analyze the pros and cons of NFL Week 5’s five most popular NFL survivor picks: Philadelphia, Kansas City, New England, the LA Chargers, and Minnesota. We’ll also recap the impact of last week’s results on NFL survivor pools.

This Week 5 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.


Fantasy Footballers readers can get a free 3-day premium trial to TeamRankings, including all game predictions plus picks for NFL survivor pools and pick’em contests. Get Picks Now

Last Week’s Survivor Picks Recap

After several weeks of above-average survival rates in survivor pools, the gauntlet finally came down in Week 4. The Rams were the second most popular Week 4 survivor pick with 29% national pick popularity, and lost to Tampa Bay; that was the single biggest survivor elimination result so far in 2019.

Indianapolis and Baltimore were also in the top five most popular choices last week and both lost. The Chiefs, who were the fourth most popular choice, barely survived with a late touchdown after trailing with one minute remaining. 

For our premium subscribers, we recommended taking the Chargers last week at a rate even higher than the public was selecting them (49% versus 44% for the public), and largely avoided the Rams (6% versus 29% for the public), who weren’t that much safer than some other options but were far more popular. That part of our strategy worked out beautifully.

The bad news was that fading the Rams (as well as the third most popular choice, Indianapolis) meant favoring less popular picks like the Ravens and Texans, and both of those teams were upset as well. Overall, both the public and our subscriber pick recommendations via our NFL Survivor Picks product were eliminated nearly half the time in Week 4, with the public surviving at a 54.6% rate while our recommendations survived 52.2% of the time.

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So far this season, an average of about 38% of all public entries are still alive heading into Week 5. In comparison, around 42% of all TR subscriber pick recommendations have survived to Week 5, putting our subscribers ahead of the pace.

Survivor Pool Pick Analysis For Week 5

Below we analyze the pros and cons of the five most popular survivor picks for Week 5. 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, 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.

Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Jets)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 45%

Point Spread: -13

Pro: High win odds. Betting market odds give the Eagles about an 86% chance of survival, which is slightly down from where the Chargers were a week ago as the most popular option, but still sufficiently high for a top choice.

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Con: The Eagles are the most popular choice among three public favorites this week. They have a similar safety profile to the Chiefs and Patriots but are being selected more frequently than the other two combined.

Pro: Lower future value than other popular picks this week. Philadelphia’s pick popularity is higher this week in part because they have less future value than the Chiefs or Patriots. That being said, the next likely survivor spot for them is in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins, and that could be a very attractive option.

Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Indianapolis)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 24%

Point Spread: -11

Pro: Higher win odds than the next tier of options. The Chiefs rank third in terms of safety this week, with an 83% chance of winning based on betting market odds. Our models are slightly more pessimistic, giving KC a 79% chance of winning. But either way, there is still a solid gap in terms of safety between the Chiefs (currently an 11-point favorite) and the next safest team (the Chargers as a 6.5-point favorite).

Con: Future Value. KC has the second-highest future value, behind only the Patriots. The Chiefs have even higher projected win odds in Week 13 (Oakland) and Week 15 (Denver) and could be a good counter to entries that will be playing against the Miami Dolphins in both of those weeks.

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New England Patriots (at Washington) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 16%

Point Spread: -15

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Pro: Safest team this week. The Patriots have an 88% chance of victory over Washington according to both the betting markets and our models. 

Pro: Relatively lower pick popularity than other favorites. New England is only the third most popular survivor pick of Week 5, and are well behind Philadelphia in terms of pick popularity. That’s a compelling combination.

Con: High future value. The biggest issue is that New England still has the highest future value of any NFL team, though the gap between the Patriots and Chiefs has closed. If you don’t use New England this week, the next two potential options are next week at home against the Giants and Week 7 at the Jets. But with the Giants showing signs of life with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and Sam Darnold likely to be back for the Jets in two weeks, those games may not be the cupcakes they looked like previously. (The Patriots do get Miami again, but that is in Week 17 when starters may be resting.)

Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 3%

Point Spread: -6.5

Pro: Not many other entries can use them. The vast majority of survivor entries that are still alive have already used the Chargers. That’s what happens coming off a week where only about 55% of the public survived, and most of those survivors picked the Chargers. In fact, LAC’s survivor availability is the lowest of any NFL team. If you still have them and want to diversify from more popular picks, this week may be your best spot.

Con: Dropoff in win odds from the top tier of teams this week. The Chargers are at 73% win odds, which is at least 10% lower than those top three options that are going to take up well over 80% of the public’s picks this week. 

Pro: Low future value. If you do not use the Chargers this week, the next week they are a top pick option may not be until Week 16 at home against Oakland.

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Minnesota Vikings (at NY Giants) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 3%

Point Spread: -5.5

Con: Dropoff in win odds from top-tier. Minnesota has about a 69% chance of beating the Giants on the road, a significant safety drop from the top three options this week. 

Pro: The Vikings do not have a lot of future value. However, they do look like the second-safest option in Week 8 when they host Washington and could be a solid contrarian play given all the entries expected to use Pittsburgh against Miami that week.

Which Week 5 Pick Is The Best For Your Survivor Pool?

The teams above are the most popular survivor picks in Week 5, 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. We invite you to give it a try with our free trial or to sign up for the season at the link below. 

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Good luck in your survivor pools this week!


Fantasy Footballers readers can get a free 3-day premium trial to TeamRankings, including all game predictions plus picks for NFL survivor pools and pick’em contests: Get Picks Now

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