I don’t want to brag in my first NFL Survivor Picks-related article of the 2021-22 year, but I did go 17-0 on my locks of the week last year. This article will detail strategies, as well as possible picks to make for your survivor pool. If you are unaware of what NFL survivor picks are, the basic concept is you make NFL picks throughout the season, but you can only pick a team once. Once you lose, you’re knocked out, so choose your survivor picks wisely.
NFL Survivor Picks: Lock of the Week Strategy
My “locks of the week” last year were perfect. Although I did not lose a game, there were some close calls. New England in Week 9 and Washington in Week 17 come to mind. The strategy that I implemented for choosing my lock of the week involved matchups. I look at the entire schedule for the week and see who plays the “bad” teams. If you see a middle-of-the-pack team that plays the Texans, you should take them immediately. That way, you will have a pretty solid lock as well as knock out an “iffy” team early.
Another strategy I ran with last year was choosing a good team for Week 1. I chose the Bills for Week 1 last year. This helps you to get into the groove of the pool. Week 1 will probably be the hardest week, due to not fully knowing how each team looks. Then, keep choosing those “iffy” teams through Week 10. If you reach a point where you aren’t comfortable taking an iffy team, take a guaranteed win from a good team like the Chiefs. You won’t have them anymore, but at least you will make it another week.
Around Week 8, you should have kept a handful of elite teams (Weeks 8-12 last year I took Kansas City, New England, Green Bay, Cleveland and Seattle). This is where I think you should start using your elite teams to guarantee that you get to the middle of the season. If you survive to Week 12, it is likely that you are only one of a couple of teams left in your pool. If you aren’t the last one remaining in your pool at this point, then you will really have to study matchups for the next four or so weeks.
But remember, always take an “iffy” team that can beat a bad team. Last year, I think I took the team that was playing the Jets five or six times in a row. And if you don’t feel comfortable at any point, take an elite team that you know will win.
NFL Survivor Pool Week 1 Initial Lock of the Week
With that being said, let’s take an early look at the NFL Week 1 schedule. As I said, this is the hardest week, because you don’t have a good feel for every team. The one game that sparks my interest is San Francisco at Detroit. We know that Detroit has been nothing better than mediocre in the Super Bowl era. San Francisco also has one of the best defenses and offensive play-callers in the NFL. With Detroit’s new coach and quarterback, you have to think that it will take a couple of games for them to gel. With that being said, San Francisco is one of the better teams in the NFL.
San Francisco also has a quarterback situation. The 49ers drafted Trey Lance from North Dakota State to succeed Jimmy Garoppolo. Taking the 49ers now gives you the opportunity to not worry about when San Francisco changes quarterbacks and how Lance will play. If Trey Lance plays well, then there is just a small handful of teams that are better than the 49ers.
San Francisco seems like the easiest team to choose based on the Week 1 schedule. They should be able to will you to Week 2.
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NFL Survivor Other Strategies
If you were to go Weeks 1-5 taking elite teams like the Packers, Chiefs and Bills, then you will have to get really creative for the rest of the season. Think of teams that always play well against another team. For example, the Colts usually play well against the Texans and the Rams usually play well against the Seahawks. This will help you find various matchups, if you are desperately looking. Also, remember that outside factors play a part in your picks too, like weather, fans and Kirk Cousins not playing well in primetime. Sometimes you will have to take risks, but in a pool like this, there is a very high reward for taking a team in a high-risk game.
One high-risk game in Week 1 is the New York Jets at the Carolina Panthers. Who knows how well Zach Wilson will play for the Jets. But one thing that we do know is that Christian McCaffrey is back. He is one of the non-quarterbacks in the league that have the ability to carry his team.
If you want to get risky right away, take the Panthers over the Jets and, if they win, you still have an abundance of elite teams left, as well as crossing the Panthers off of your list.
Stay tuned for my NFL Survivor Picks all year. Also, if you are in a survivor pool, it is likely that you like football. If you like football, you may like fantasy football. FlurrySports will be adding rankings, strategies, advice and reactions all year long – so bookmark this page and let’s win some money together this year!