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NFL Survivor Pool Picks - Week 1 Targets and Avoids for Survivor Leagues

Lamar Jackson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Survivor is one of the oldest yet simplest pools in football. Its popularity has been overtaken by fantasy football , but that has more than a dozen variables needed to win. Picking an NFL team to win each week, and not being able to take them again -- can't get any easier. You don't need to worry about every little injury like you do in fantasy football, you can just root for the team to win, not the player. It doesn't get any better.

It seems every year there are more storylines in the NFL season, more predictions, too much information that you don't know what to believe. When making picks, try to drown out that noise and go with your gut. Don't listen to that analyst on TV because they most likely are not putting their money where their mouth is. The worst thing is you have a team you're going to pick, change it at the last moment because so-and-so says they'll lose and gives out his "lock." Trusting your initial reaction is the best way to go about this pool.

All season long I'll be bringing you weekly survivor pool columns on NFL teams to target and avoid each week. Survivor league strategy is a major part of winning your pools, and this article will help you through the 2022 NFL season. 

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NFL Survivor Pool League Strategy

There are several ways to play this contest:

Week-by-week: What it sounds like. Don't look ahead, take it week-by-week choosing a team that will advance you.

The Long-Game: People plot out the entire season from Week 1-18. They look at the entire schedules determining when it would be best to choose teams based on opponents and other scheduling factors. I've personally never done this because injuries to star players can throw the whole plan into disarray. If you like this strategy, I'd advise looking ahead a maximum of three weeks and plotting the season a month at a time.

Contrarian: Don't take the big popular favorite each week. The reason why people like this strategy; when one of the big favorites gets knocked out, the majority of entrants are eliminated and you don't.

Teams to Fade: Find the team that will be the worst and constantly fade them. Last year it was the Texans, this year it'll likely be the Jets.

My strategy: A combination of the above. I obviously want a team I'm confident in weekly. I like to look ahead but not too far ahead. And I don't like to be with the majority of people. For example, the Bucs and Chiefs are expected to be so why waste them in Week 1? Plenty of better opportunities later in the year. For example; the Bucs play the Giants in Week 11.


NFL Teams Favored by 7+ in Week 1

Lines are consensus via The Action Network: Colts -8 at Texans, Ravens -7 at Jets. As you can see, Week 1 is the hardest.

If you're reading this article on Thursday or later, know that these lines are from Tuesday. Check the current spreads and see how the lines moved.

With gambling now legal for some of you, I'm going to be giving out my three top plays against the spread. They'll be at the bottom. I'll also be giving my predicted score for games written about.


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Target for Week 1

Ravens -7 at Jets

This is my play of the week. The next best chance to go with Baltimore is Thanksgiving weekend in Jacksonville, but that’s way too far out. And although I am picking Baltimore to have a big season, there’s no better option in survivor this opening week. The Jets are a disaster. They may have a better defense but you need an offense to score 21 or so points to win in today’s NFL. Joe Flacco and the offensive line is a disaster. They may be the worst team and this is coming from a Jets fan. Lamar Jackson is so tough to defend and he bulked up this offseason. Not many are talking about the Ravens this year. Look out. 

Ravens 35 - Jets 13

49ers -8 at Bears

Trey Lance this, Trey Lance that. So many questions about him with some even saying the Niners made him the starter because they can’t admit they made a mistake taking him third overall. But there’s more to this team than just Lance. A very good offensive line, running game, receiving corps, and defense led by Joey Bosa. 24 points should be enough to win beat the Bears. 

49ers 27 - Bears 21

Broncos -6 at Seahawks

There shouldn’t be concern of taking the road team on Monday Night Football. Denver may start slow but Geno Smith can not keep up with Russell Wilson and the Broncos. Denver will pull away in the second half. Smith is not a starter and it’s baffling the Seahawks did not improve their quarterback situation. They may win three games all season. 

Broncos 34 - Broncos 17


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Avoid for Week 1

Colts -8 at Texans

If this game were being played in Indy, it would be Colts -14. That’s too much. Houston is not as bad as advertised. Davis Mills had a very good rookie season. The front office added pieces around him including rookie running back Dameon Pierce. They used their third overall pick on cornerback Derrick Stingley Jr. They should keep this game competitive against the Matt Ryan-led new-look Colts.

Colts 27 - Texans 24

Titans -5.5 vs. Giants

Tennessee is poised to see big regression this year while the Giants have a new coach and running back Saquon Barkley is healthy. New York has been a favorite team among wiseguys this offseason, but can Daniel Jones be the quarterback he was drafted to be? 

If Ryan Tannehill comes out and throws an early interception, the home crowd will turn on him quickly. The Giants will stack the box to stop Derrick Henry. This game has too many question marks and one that could very well be decided on the final drive. 

Giants 23 - Titans 21

Bengals -6.5 vs. Steelers

Vegas wants you to tease Cincinnati here with them being the “perfect” teaser candidate down to pick ‘em. Pittsburgh is solid at every position except for arguably the two most important ones, quarterback and offensive line. But they can win with their defense and special teams as Mike Tomlin has done year after year. 

The other concern for Cincinnati is Joe Burrow. He went through an appendicitis during training camp. Plus there’s the Super Bowl loss hangover. They made one of the most unlikeliest Super Bowl runs in recent memory and a regression is expected. 

This divisional battle should be decided by a field goal.

Steelers 27 - Bengals 24

Saints -5.5 at Falcons

Another divisional game to be wary about. The Saints are a sleeper team who have a very good chance at winning the division. The Falcons are expected to be the worst team in football. What could go wrong?

Saints 34 - Falcons 30


NFL Best Bets for Week 1

  • Ravens -7 at Jets
  • Texans +8 vs. Colts
  • Vikings +2 vs. Packers

Running Totals

    • 2021 season total: 27-26-1
    • 2020 season total: 24-27
    • 2019 season total: 23-26-2


NFL Playoffs Picks

AFC                                NFC

1 - Bills (East)                 1 - Vikings (North)

2 - Ravens (North)        2 - 49ers (West)

3 - Chargers (West)      3 - Cowboys (East)

4 - Colts (South)           4 - Saints (South)

5 - Chiefs                        5 - Rams

6 - Broncos                    6 - Packers

7 - Dolphins                   7 -  Eagles

Wild Card:

Ravens over Dolphins  |  49ers over Eagles

Chargers over Broncos | Cowboys over Packers

Chiefs over Colts | Rams over Saints


Bills over Chiefs | Vikings over Rams

Ravens over Chargers | 49ers over Cowboys

Conference Championships:

Ravens over Bills  | 49ers over Vikings

Super Bowl:

Ravens over 49ers

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