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 13
Never back down. Never give up.
Somehow, we’ve survived another week with the Pittsburgh Steelers delivering us a close win over the battered Bengals. Now the finish line is in sight. If you’re also still rolling in your survivor pool, let’s find a few more winners.
If you’re looking to add a 13th week of success to your survivor pool, here are the most popular picks at this point 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:
The only team with clear crossover between the most selected and the best bets is the Jaguars. The Jaguars match up against an injured Bengals team that will be without a few defensive players and, most importantly, QB Joe Burrow. The Burrowless Bengals lost to the Steelers last week (thank you Kenny Pickett), so they probably won’t be much of a match for the Jags.
However, I’ve already picked the Jags this season in my survivor pool. So, we have to find another option.
Week 13 NFL Survivor Pool: The Pick
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers may be bad this year, but they’re not Patriots-level bad. New England has lost seven of its last eight games, scoring under 10 points four times during that stretch. In the last two months, the Pats are averaging just 12 points per game. With Justin Herbert and some solid offensive weapons, the Chargers should be able to get above 12 points on Sunday.
There are a few things that give me fear though. Chargers coach Brandon Staley is essentially a dead man walking, meaning his team could turn on him any day. As well, the Patriots are 5-0 in their last five contests hosting LA. But, I’m going to bank on this year’s Pats squad being so untalented that none of those potential pitfalls matter.
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 — 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 picks 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 14 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.