The 2019-20 NFL season is rolling, and there are many ways to cash in on your knowledge of the most popular professional sports league in the country.
At PlayPicks, we’re breaking down the NFL Survivor Pool landscape to bring you weekly options that will help you stay alive and ahead of the field in your pool.
For those new to Survivor Pools, the format is simple: Pick an NFL team to win each week, advance if they win, and you can’t pick the same team twice. The last member of the pool standing takes home the cash.
In this article, we will identify tiers of survivor picks, ranging from “lock” to “thrifty” to “contrarian.”
The lock is our safest and most obvious pick for the week. The thrifty pick is a good team to consider at this point in the season schedule. And our contrarian pick goes against the grain to potentially keep your pool alive when the defecation hits the oscillation in the NFL and thousands of survivors lose a supposed lock to an upset.
You can also use advice from this article to place bets on FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Many of the recommended bets can be applied to those New Jersey books. Also, be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.
Week 7 Lock Survivor Pool Pick
Buffalo Bills (-17.5) vs Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins actually had a chance to win last week and it was somewhat suspicious how they declined to go to overtime at home, or call a reasonable play for what would’ve been a game-winning 2-point conversion. So, we can safely assume that Miami isn’t going to seriously challenge the better teams in the NFL, including a solid Bills squad with a top 10 defense.
Buffalo ranks third in DVOA pass defense and has allowed the seventh-fewest rushing YPG (87.8) this season. The Bills rush offense now ranks eighth in DVOA per Football Outsiders and should get explosive rookie Devin Singletary (hamstring) back following their bye week. The Bills have covered the spread in four of five games while posting a 4-1 record to open the season, and they’ve won six of their last seven home games against the fair-weather Dolphins.
Schedule Notes: The Bills could be worth saving for a Week 9 home game against Washington and Buffalo travels to Miami in Week 11, but the Bills are far more reliable when playing at home.
Week 7 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick
San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) at Washington Redskins
While Washington looked a bit more reliable and conservative under interim HC Bill Callahan, that approach is unlikely to pay dividends against the 49ers immovable defense. San Francisco has surpassed mighty New England for first place in DVOA pass defense, and the Niners are also top 7 in both DVOA pass and rush offense, despite the poor individual play of Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Niners allow just 2.60 points per red zone trip and Washington is 30th in both yards and points produced per drive. San Francisco can shadow Washington’s only truly dangerous option, rookie WR Terry McLaurin, with DB Richard Sherman, and shut down 34-year-old RB Adrian Peterson with a defense that’s only allowed one rushing TD this year.
Schedule Notes: The Niners have a tough two-week stretch coming up from a scheduling standpoint since they host streaking Carolina before playing at Arizona on Thursday night in Week 9. They host the Cardinals in Week 11, but Arizona is getting better each week.
Week 7 Contrarian Survivor Pool Pick
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
This isn’t to say the Patriots (-10) aren’t another obvious Survivor pick at the Jets on Monday night, but you may have already used New England, or are planning to save the champs for one of their easy final three games (@ CIN, vs. BUF, vs. MIA).
Jacksonville is an intriguing contrarian option if you want to save the Bills or Niners, or hope for a miracle in the form of Miami or Washington pulling off an upset. The Jags struggled to score against the Saints surging defense, but still rank fifth in DVOA pass offense with Gardner Minshew and a young corps of WRs making plays all over the field.
Meanwhile, Cincy is allowing a league-high 184.5 rushing YPG and 9 rushing TDs after coughing up 269 yards on the ground to Baltimore last week. Leonard Fournette tallied 333 rushing yards over his previous two road games and should have a field day against that porous defense. And on the other side of the ball, Jacksonville’s still talented secondary can shut down a Bengals offense that should still be without its top two receivers in A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (shoulder).
Schedule Notes: The Jaguars host the Jets next week, but the Jets just upset the Cowboys and are looking like a tougher matchup with Sam Darnold back in the lineup. Otherwise, this would be the best opportunity to use Jacksonville in survivor pools.