Survivor pools have quickly become one of the most popular ways to get in on the NFL season. Whether doing them in the office or with friends, the concept is straightforward and anyone can participate.

But survivor pools aren’t easy.

Picking one winner per week is harder than it might seem, especially as we get deeper into the season. That’s why you must go into your survivor pool with a strategy. We’re here to win, my friends, and you aren’t getting those bragging rights (and accompanying prize money) by simply picking a random good team each week.

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This article will outline some strategies you can use throughout the season and provide some dos and don’ts for survivor pools, but you can also follow along with us as we make a pick each week while looking ahead to potential picks a few weeks ahead.

If you get booted out of your pool early or just want more ways to get in on the NFL betting season, Odds Shark has you covered. Head over to our Best NFL betting sites, Super Bowl odds or NFL player props pages. Or get more info on how to win your NFL survivor pool with our NFL survivor pool strategy guide.

Jump To The Week 12 NFL Survivor Pool Pick

Here are some points to consider when mapping out how you want to approach your pool this season:

NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Strategy

Know The Rules Of Your Pool

This is the most important thing to watch for before you make your pick for Week 1. Every pool is different and Bill from accounting or whoever set up your pool might have a couple of weird rules thrown in that you need to know. Tiebreakers, pools that allow buybacks, pools that make you select multiple games per week, pools that run into the playoffs and pools that use spreads instead of straight-up winners can all affect your approach. Learn the rules of your pool and act accordingly.

Size Matters

The size of your pool should also affect your strategy. Small pools with just a few friends don’t typically last as long, so you may opt to deploy a more conservative approach by using some of the best teams early in the season.

But if you’re in a huge office pool or large online pool, you need to be thinking long term if you want to last to the end.

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Pay Attention To The ‘Hot Team’ Each Week

Fading the most popular survivor pick each week is a pretty good strategy in a lot of weeks because an upset of the team everyone is picking might get you closer to a win. You will be taking on a little bit of added risk by selecting a “worse” matchup, but the payoff could be worth it. This strategy will also help you save some better teams for later in the season, which leads to our final point.

Conserve Good Teams Until Later If Possible

This is especially relevant when in a larger pool. It can be very tempting to burn through a few of the best teams early in the season “just to survive,” but you will be looking at the list of teams available to you in Week 10 and sweating it out when you have to pick between the Bears and Jets to win a game. We don’t want to go overboard, but if you can make it through the first part of the year without burning some of the top teams, the payoff could be huge when you get to use the Chiefs or Bills in November or December.

Stay Flexible

Week 1 is far too early to be able to map our every pick all season because we know that a lot will change over the first few weeks of the season. Injuries, breakout performances, coach firings, cuts and signings will all drastically change how we view the league a few weeks from now. So, we want to look ahead a little bit but retain our flexibility for picks later in the year.

NFL Survivor Pool Picks 2022: Week 12

The Ravens came through for us with an expected win over the Panthers, the only downside being that we had to burn one of the few remaining top teams to get through the week.

However, at this point in the season it’s not a bad idea to use some of the top options left as most pools are probably close to ending given the carnage earlier in the season.

Let’s continue to trudge along and have another NFL survivor pick for Week 12 for anyone out there still kicking. 

Here are the most popular picks at this point in the week and the percentage of users picking that team according to Yahoo survivor pool data.

  • Dolphins 62%
  • Bills 11%
  • 49ers 9%
  • Cowboys 6%

And here are the teams most likely to win in Week 12 based on implied win probability using moneylines from Bodog and our Odds Calculator.

  • Chiefs 92.86% (-1300)
  • Dolphins 88.24% (-750)
  • Bills 81.82% (-450)
  • Cowboys 81.31% (-435)

At the beginning of the season, this week’s Rams-Chiefs game was highlighted on schedules as one of the best matchups of the year — Patrick Mahomes against the reigning Super Bowl champs. Now, it’s probably a blowout.

Despite the big line in favor of KC, the Chiefs probably aren’t Week 12’s best survivor pool pick. The Chiefs have played teams pretty close lately, barely slipping by the Chargers, Titans and Raiders over the last six weeks.

As well, the Rams still have talent. Sure, that talent hasn’t translated into consistent scoring or wins. But it’s probably not wise to take a risk against the Rams in a survivor pool format with safer plays on the board.

So, what to do in Week 12?

Week 12 NFL Survivor Pool: The Pick

Miami Dolphins

Sometimes, the obvious pick is the correct one. We’ve been avoiding picking the elite teams for most of the season, but we can’t ignore the matchup the Dolphins draw this weekend. We’re going to ride with the majority of survivor pool players this week.

The Texans rank last in the NFL in offensive yards per game and are third-worst in points per game, second-worst in yards allowed and second-worst in point differential. Simply put, they’re awful.

On the flip side, the Dolphins are riding a four-game win streak and are 7-1 with QB Tua Tagovailoa at the helm. All signs point to an easy Miami win this week, meaning this is finally the week to pick the Dolphins.

Check out the table below where we will keep track of the teams as we pick them. We will mark picks we got wrong with an X, picks we got right with a ✔ and a pending pick with an O.

NFL Survivor Pool Picks

2022 NFL Survivor Pool Picks
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Buccaneers           X                        
49ers X                                  
Dolphins                       O            
Patriots             X                      
Jaguars         X                          
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What is an NFL survivor pool?

In most NFL survivor pools, you pick one team each week to win their game that week. If the team you picked wins, you move on to the next week. If your team loses, you are out. You can not pick a team more than once, and the last person still in the pool wins.