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The Best Week 5 NFL Survivor Pool Picks & Strategy | Ravens, Cowboys, Buccaneers or Patriots?




Week 4 made a lot of losers in NFL survivor pools. Two of the top four most common selections (Saints and Titans) lost overtime games to teams from New York. If you were not among them, your competition is about 35% lighter for Week 5. Be sure to check out Awesemo’s new NFL Survivor Optimizer Tool when making your NFL bets and survivor picks the rest of the way. Here are some potential NFL survivor pool picks for Week 5.

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What is an NFL Survivor Pool?

There are several variations of the survivor pool format, but the most basic and common one is each Week everyone in the pool must select one team to win a game straight up, not against the spread. If the team wins, that player survives the Week; if that team loses, the player is eliminated. The twist is that teams can only be used once, making it increasingly difficult as the season goes on. The pool ends when there is one player left.

Week 5 NFL Schedule


Rams (-2) at Seahawks


Jets at Falcons (-3.5)
Packers (-3.5) at Bengals
Lions at Vikings (-7.5)
Broncos at Steelers (-1.5) Dolphins at Buccaneers (-10.5)
Saints (-1.5) at Football Team
Eagles at Panthers (-3.5)
Titans (-4.5) at Jaguars
Patriots (-9.5) at Texans
Bears at Raiders (-5.5)
Browns at Chargers (-1)
Giants at Cowboys (-7)
49ers at Cardinals (-6)
Bills at Chiefs (-2.5)


Colts at Ravens (-7)

Week 4 NFL Survivor Pool Picks Recap

Buffalo Bills

It was smooth sailing for Bills users in survivor last week. As expected, they rolled to a 40-point victory over the struggling Titans. The Bills were a bit of a popular play, with 35% of the field on Yahoo choosing them. Even as heavy favorites later in the season (as they are in Weeks 17 and 18, according to Awesemo’s optimizer), they might not end up as popular choices due to already being used. This can provide some crucial differentiation and leverage in the last two weeks of the year.

Kansas City Chiefs

Last week the Chiefs were not a strong recommendation. Given their early struggles and a road game against the Eagles, it was hard to feel comfortable with Kansas City. They took care of business, though, pulling away from the Eagles in the fourth quarter en route to a 12-point win. Only 3.5% of the field used them, so they should be available to most players moving forward.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were the recommended pick last week against the Jaguars on Thursday. What a sweat it turned out to be, with Cincinnati winning the game on a field goal as time expired. Even though they are 3-1, they still do not feel like a top-tier NFL team. This will likely be the last mention of the Bengals in this space.

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Tennessee Titans

The Titans made sense last week, but it was not without risk, even before starting wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones were declared inactive. With the Titans losing to the previously winless Jets, 25% of the survivor field is now eliminated (it was also discussed here how fading the Titans made sense as a leverage play). There will be better spots for the Titans later in the season. Awesemo’s NFL survivor optimizer shows has them favored by 8 or more points four more times.

Week 5 NFL Survivor Pool Picks

Teams Already Used: San Francisco 49ers (W), Cleveland Browns (W), Denver Broncos (W), Cincinnati Bengals (W)

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are 7-point favorites against the Colts on Monday night. It has been a bit ugly for Baltimore (especially its miracle win in Detroit), but the Ravens have rattled off three straight victories after an opening-week loss to the Raiders. Awesemo’s NFL survivor optimizer has the Ravens as heavier favorites than this only once more this season, in Week 7. That week there are three other teams coming in as larger favorites. Especially with this being a home game, Baltimore is a safe pick this week.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are also favored by 7 against the rival Giants. There were questions around Dallas leading into last week, but a solid performance against a strong Panthers team answered them. This week they get a much easier matchup. Like the Ravens, this is the second-best spot for Dallas, according to Awesemo’s NFL survivor optimizer. However, their best week is Week 10, which looks thinner overall. The only team that is a stronger pick than Dallas that week is Buffalo, who should be saved for the final weeks of the season. Dallas will probably close as heavier favorites than Baltimore this week, but going that way makes the rest of the season harder.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are laying 10.5 points to cross-state rival Miami this weekend. Fresh off a closer-than-expected win for Tom Brady’s return to Foxborough, this is an easier matchup for Tampa. Still, it could also be a letdown game following an emotional victory and a short week. The Bucs have three more games this season as heavier favorites (including Week 17), so saving them could have more value. If playing it safe, though — which is a fine strategy — they are the week’s largest favorite.

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New England Patriots

The Patriots are favored by 9.5 after a strong showing against Tampa Bay. There are still some of the same concerns over a letdown game that the Buccaneers have, but against a much weaker opponent in Houston. The Patriots are a solid pick, though their optimizer future value is only 37, which is bottom half of the league. They play the Jets at home in Week 7 and the Jaguars in Week 17. With all of those teams featuring rookie quarterbacks, the spreads could be very different than they are currently projected, but the Patriots are favored by at least 7.5 in both games as it stands now.

Week 5 NFL Survivor Pool Pick: Baltimore Ravens

While it is better to get some more leverage on the competition, this week the move is to play it safe. The Ravens do not project to be the strongest pick in any remaining weeks this year, so there is not much loss here, especially with a large chunk of the field being eliminated by the Titans (and Saints, 10%) last week. The banged-up Colts should not prove too much of a threat to the Ravens. Extremely early pick distribution has them as only the fifth-most popular selection. Dallas and Tampa would both need to be considered in larger pools if the Ravens end up being the chalk.

Thanks for reading to the end of this article! If you appreciate this free content and want to see more of it every day, you can help us out by sharing this article on social media! Take a look at our NFL depth charts, NFL starting line-ups and inactives. View our DraftKings NFL DFS rankings and our FanDuel NFL rankings. We also have FanDuel Single-Game slate tools and showdown ownership projections. If you’re interested in other top NFL DFS plays today for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and DFS NFL stacking.

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