Survivor pools have quickly become one of the most popular ways to get in on the NFL season, but they aren't easy.
Picking one winner a 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. So, here are some strategies you can use throughout the season and our weekly pick as we seek 18 weeks of perfection.
NFL Survivor Pool Picks 2023: Week 2
One week down. You still alive?
If you're looking to double your success in your survivor pool this week, 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.
And here are the teams most likely to win this week based on moneylines and our Odds Calculator:
After a massive win in Week 1 over the Giants, both users and the books agree the Cowboys are a pretty safe pick against the New York Jets this week. This one had big-game potential when it was supposed to be Aaron Rodgers vs the Dallas defense. But now the pressure falls on young Zach Wilson.
Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool: The Pick
I'm just not sold on Dallas. This seems like a real let-down potential spot with the Cowboys coming off a big win and the Jets reeling all week. But, doesn't this also seem like the exact game where New York's defense and Zach Wilson would somehow step up and give hope back to the franchise? I don't want to risk it.
So, instead, I'm going with the easy Bills pick. Sure Buffalo lost to a great Jets D last week, but LV's Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Jacobs looked pretty mediocre on offense for the Raiders and I'm not really worried about Las Vegas' D. I'm expecting a big Josh Allen bounce back and a huge Bills win.
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
General NFL Survivor Pool 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.