In this post, we’ll analyze the pros and cons of NFL Week 7’s five most popular NFL survivor picks: Buffalo, San Francisco, Green Bay, New England, and Kansas City. We’ll also recap the impact of last week’s results on NFL survivor pools.
This Week 7 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.
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Last Week’s Survivor Picks Recap
If you did not have New England and Baltimore last week, the two most popular choices and the two biggest favorites, then you were at risk of elimination. Dallas losing to the Jets eliminated 14% of survivor entries, the Chiefs and Chargers both losing took out another 4% each, and the Rams and Falcons also were selected by more than 1% of entries and lost. Put it all together, and 26% of the public was eliminated last week.
For TeamRankings, our subscriber recommendations largely mirrored the public when it came to the top two teams (though we were slightly up on Patriots recommendations versus the public, and slightly below the public on Baltimore). However, we were not as heavily on Dallas or the Chiefs. Our subscriber recommendations were higher on Washington because the point spread moved to 6 points by game time, and Washington was not very popular with the public (outside the top five) and had very low future value. Our recommendations to subscribers were also relatively higher on the Packers. Both of those games went our way in close fashion, and as a result, only 11% of all of our subscriber recommendations lost in Week 6.
When you add in Week 6 results to our previous survival advantage, cumulatively the public has survived through to Week 7 at 19% overall, while our subscriber-recommended entries have survived 31% of the time through six weeks. That is a healthy 61% proportional increase over the general public as we head into the middle of the season.
Survivor Pool Pick Analysis For Week 7
Below we analyze the pros and cons of the five most popular survivor picks for Week 7. To be clear, we’re not implying that any of these teams is 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.
Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 67%
Point Spread: -16.5
Pro: Buffalo is the safest pick on the board in Week 7. They draw Miami, and that has been a recipe for very high win odds so far this season.
Con: Highest popularity of any team this season. Getting to face Miami at home, plus not being a survivor choice until now (and thus being available for everyone to pick this week) means that they have very high popularity. In fact, about two-thirds of all entries are picking Buffalo so far.
Con: Future value is high in the coming weeks. Buffalo looks like one of the safest options again in Weeks 9 and 11. We separately wrote about how Miami is impacting survivor pools and looked at some of the strategy options you can consider to go against the “pick the team playing Miami” crowd, including for Week 7, so check that out.
If you do trade off some safety this week for future value, Buffalo plays Washington at home and Miami again within the next four weeks and will be far less popular because most entries will have already used them by then.
San Francisco 49ers (at Washington)
Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 21%
Point Spread: -10
Pro: Next tier of safety behind Buffalo, and ahead of everyone else. The 49ers are in the tier right behind Buffalo when it comes to safety this week, as we give them an 82% chance of winning at Washington. There’s a big dropoff after San Francisco (well, other than with New England, but the vast majority of entries that are still alive have used the Patriots).
Con: Popularity is moderately high. San Francisco, like Buffalo, is available for most entries and so they are being picked more than 20% of the time currently. That doesn’t make them a bad choice but does reduce some of the expected value
Con: Future Value. San Francisco now looks like a Super Bowl contender, and they have been little used so far. Like Buffalo, the factor you need to weigh is how you want to approach the next few weeks, as they are also one of the safest options in both Weeks 9 and 11, when they play Arizona twice in the span of three weeks.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Oakland Raiders)
Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 5%
Point Spread: -5.5
Con: Safety dropoff from the two most popular choices. The Green Bay line has already dropped by a point in early movement, after opening at 6.5. The Packers survived on Monday night with a late field goal, overcoming plenty of miscues and injuries to the receiver group. The injuries, though, mean that this game is a little riskier than it appeared a few weeks ago.
Pro: Low pick popularity for a third option. The Packers are not as safe as the top two most popular entries, but the large dropoff in popularity does make up some of that value.
Pro: Lower future value than other options. Green Bay also doesn’t have the same future value as Buffalo and San Francisco. The next time we project the Packers to be one of the top three safest choices by win odds is in Week 14 when they host Washington.
New England Patriots (at New York Jets)
Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 2%
Point Spread: -10
Pro: High expected value because of good win odds versus popularity. New England is being used by only 2% of the public because most of the public has already used them to get through the first six weeks. If you still have them, they are an attractive option this week as a high win odds team with a similar safety profile to San Francisco but coming in at one-tenth the pick rate.
Con: You probably don’t have them available.
Con: Future value in late weeks. In bigger pools, if you have saved New England to this point, they could be very valuable in Weeks 15 to 17 to close the year, as they get Cincinnati, Buffalo at home, and Miami.
Kansas City Chiefs (at Denver Broncos)
Survival Pool Pick Popularity: 2%
Point Spread: -3
Con: Big safety dropoff from top options. The Chiefs have lost two in a row, are having major defensive issues and offensive injuries that are impacting them, and now travel to Denver for a quick turnaround on Thursday night. They are only a 3-point favorite on the road.
Con: Future value. The Chiefs still have good future value in Weeks 13 and 15 (and the offensive line may be healthier by then). There are at least three other options who have similar or better win odds this week, and less future value, if you want to avoid the other popular choices. Our recommendations have largely avoided the Chiefs in recent weeks, and the current win odds and future value combo make it likely they will do so again.
Which Week 7 Pick Is The Best For Your Survivor Pool?
The teams above are the most popular survivor picks in Week 7, 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.
Good luck in your survivor pools this week!
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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