Week 6 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 6’s five most popular NFL survivor picks: Baltimore, New England, Dallas, Green Bay, and Kansas City. We’ll also recap the impact of last week’s results on NFL survivor pools.

This Week 6 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

The Chiefs lost at home to Indianapolis, meaning the second most popular choice has fallen in consecutive weeks. The Chiefs’ loss eliminated about 23% of entries that were alive entering the week. The Chicago Bears (4.3% popularity) and Los Angeles Chargers (3.0% popularity) also snuck into the top five in popularity numbers by the end of the week, and both lost as well. The overall public survival rate for Week 5 was about 68.6%, with the Chiefs’ loss-making up nearly three-quarters of those eliminations.

Week 5 also marked the second week in a row where our advice to subscribers largely avoided a major survivor loss, with only 0.4% of our subscriber entries getting the Chiefs as a recommendation. On the downside, our subscriber picks did recommend the Bears at a rate significantly higher than the public (12.2% vs. 4.3%). However, overall our Week 5 recommendations survived 84.6% of the time, well above the public rate. 

With the higher survival rate last week, the yearly edge for TeamRankings’ recommendations over the public also increased. The expected public survival rate through Week 5 is now at about 26% of all entries still alive in standard rules pools, while TR recommendations have survived at a 35% rate (proportionally, that’s about 35% better than the public).

Survivor Pool Pick Analysis For Week 6

Below we analyze the pros and cons of the five most popular survivor picks for Week 6. 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.

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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.

Baltimore Ravens (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 34%
Point Spread: -12

Pro: Reasonably high safety. Baltimore has 82% win odds (second highest of the week behind New England) against the 0-5 Bengals, which is nearly 10% higher than the next best option.

Pro: Diminishing near-term future value. The schedule gets much tougher for Baltimore after this game, and the next time we project them to have win odds above 70% in a game is in Week 15, at home against the Jets.

Con: Highest popularity. The Ravens were already one of the most popular choices in Week 2, and are at over 30% popularity so far this week.

New England Patriots (vs. New York Giants)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 23%
Point Spread: -16.5

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Pro: Highly likely to win. The case for New England, as has often been the case this year, is they are the safest play on the board. They get the Giants on a short week, and New York will be without their top tight end, wide receiver, and running back. All those absences mean the line is well above two touchdowns, and our models give New England a 91% chance of winning.

Con: Highest future value. As has been the case all year, the Patriots also have the most future value. They suddenly look like a better option in Week 8 when they play the Browns at home, and they also look like a great closing option for the final three weeks, when they play the Bengals, Bills, and Dolphins — though resting starters may muddy that picture. But this is also an attractive spot to use them when they have nearly 10% better win odds than Baltimore, and 20% better win odds than everyone else.

Dallas Cowboys (at New York Jets) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 13%
Point Spread: -7.5

Con: Safety dropoff from the top two options. Dallas travels to face the Jets, and New York quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to play for the first time since Week 1. That makes this one a little riskier than it would have been if he was out, as the Jets offense has been awful without him. As it stands, Dallas’ win odds are at 73%.

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Pro: This week looks as good as any. This might be the best spot to use Dallas, though, if you still have them available. The only other week where they have higher projected win odds is in Week 17 against Washington at home.

Green Bay Packers (vs. Detroit Lions)

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 9%
Point Spread: -4.5

Pro: They are almost certainly available. Compared to other teams in the top five in popularity this week, Green Bay has been little used so far in survivor. There is a good chance that many entries that are still alive have already used some combination of the Ravens, Patriots, or Cowboys.

Con: Lower win odds relative to popularity. The Packers’ win odds are at 69% over the Lions at home, which is a little riskier than other top options in recent weeks, but not a huge drop from the Cowboys in terms of safety. But with two double-digit spreads on the board this week, it is a big drop from the safest options.

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Pro: Future value. The Packers don’t look like they will be an option in most future weeks, but they do look like a popular choice next week when hosting Oakland, and could also be the safest choice in Week 14 when they host Washington.

Kansas City Chiefs (vs. Houston Texans) 

Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 4%
Point Spread: -5

Pro: Lower popularity than Cowboys or Packers. Relative to the teams similar to them in win odds, the Chiefs are not quite as popular.

Con: Risky win odds. You will want to keep an eye on injury news with the Chiefs’ offense. Tyreek Hill could return this week from the shoulder injury that has kept him out since Week 1, and Sammy Watkins also played only two snaps a week ago. Our models put their current win probability at 68%.

Con: Future value. The Chiefs are no longer second in future value, but they are still in the top five and look like a great option in Week 13 and Week 15 when they play the Raiders and Broncos at home, respectively.

Which Week 6 Pick Is The Best For Your Survivor Pool?

The teams above are the most popular survivor picks in Week 6, 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.

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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. 

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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