If you’re still alive in your survivor pool, congratulations are in order. I bowed out last week after choosing the Jaguars, and I would make that choice again as they outgained the Texans by almost 2-1 in yardage and lost the turnover battle 2-0. However, the better team doesn’t always win in the NFL, and the Texans extended their winning streak over the Jaguars to nine games.
In the Circa Survivor pool, which we track every week, only 718 of 6,133 entries are left standing. 36.7% of remaining entrants opted to go with the Jaguars last week, and they are now out of the contest. The Green Bay Packers were also responsible for 3.9% of the field being eliminated in Week 5, as you can see below.
Every week, we can use the data from Survivor Grid to get insight as to which teams are the most popular for the upcoming slate of games. Some of the most popular teams will fall, but that’s what makes survivor pools so much fun. While I’m out of my personal survivor pool, Week 6 presents plenty of opportunities for value, and I’ll be breaking down the top options here. Let’s dive in. Let’s see if we can find a winner for Week 5.
Week 6 Survivor Pool Most Used Teams
Los Angeles Rams (-10.5, 31.2% pick rate): While the Rams are expected to be the most popular choice this week, it would also likely be my selection if I was still alive. The Rams are going downhill fast, and Survivor Grid’s system only gives them one and a half stars of future value. The Panthers fired Matt Rhule after being dismantled by the 49ers last week, and they will be without Baker Mayfield for the foreseeable future. If the Rams lose at home to a P.J. Walker-led Panthers team, they’re in far more trouble than anyone saw coming.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.5, 25.6% pick rate): The Buccaneers got the win last week over their division rival Falcons, but it wasn’t always pretty. The Falcons had a chance to come back and win that game if not for the phantom roughing the passer call, and who knows how that game ends up if that wasn’t called. This isn’t the same Bucs’ team we’re used to, primarily due to their inability to run the ball and stop the run. Tom Brady remains a high-level quarterback, but Kenny Pickett has a lot more juice than Mitchell Trubisky, and a Steelers upset wouldn’t be the craziest thing we’ve seen this season.
Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 11.4% pick rate): After a shocking loss in London to the Giants, the Packers return home to try to pick up the pieces against a surprising 3-2 Jets team. The market is probably still a touch high on Green Bay, and their defense hasn’t come close to coming together the way I expected. New York has some exciting receiving talent that they can deploy in this game, and their defense has benefited greatly from the additions of corners Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed. I’m not calling for a Jets upset, but the Packers have been incredibly unconvincing, and I might hold off on picking them for now.
San Francisco 49ers (-5, 9.4% pick rate): If you simply look at the final result, the 49ers’ dominant wins over the Rams and Panthers would have them looking like one of the top contenders in the NFC. However, the injuries have begun to pile up in a big way on both sides of the ball. The Falcons have been feisty all season, and they’re now 5-0 ATS, so it’s clear that the market is still adjusting to how solid they are. Atlanta is ranked 10th in offensive DVOA, and they can put up enough points to make you sweat out a Niners choice this week.
Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5, 6.6% pick rate): I tend to shy away from divisional matchups (except for last week, I know) in survivor pools, and this isn’t a spot where I’m looking to use the Chargers. The increasingly negative public perception towards the Broncos is warranted, but they still rank fourth in defensive DVOA this year. Their offense will benefit from having an extended break off the Thursday Night Football game, and it’s not like Los Angeles has a crazy home-field advantage. The Chargers have solid remaining future value, and I’m not looking to use them this week.
Baltimore Ravens (-4.5, 2.8% pick rate): You wouldn’t typically think to play against a 4-1 team in a survivor pool, but the Giants have continued to over perform relative to the talent on the roster. Lamar Jackson will provide a challenge for their defense that they haven’t yet seen, and it won’t help that they’re coming off the London game and could be jet lagged and fatigued. In addition, I trust John Harbaugh and Mike Macdonald to limit New York’s one-dimensional offense. I love the Ravens as a contrarian play this week.
Minnesota Vikings (-3, 2.1% pick rate): The Vikings could be worth a look this week, but only if it’s Skylar Thompson under center for Miami. The uncertainty at quarterback for the Dolphins makes this a difficult call to make, especially if you need to lock in your survivor pick early in the week, and I’d feel much better if we had the answer for who will start. Home games against the Cardinals, Patriots, Jets, and Giants in the coming weeks will likely provide better opportunities to utilize the Vikings.