Week 11 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2023)

Week 11 in survivor pools has a lot of options, as several teams are favored by more than 10 points.

Our Lions are 7-2 going into a matchup with the Bears (Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Week 11 in survivor pools features five different teams favored by double digits, as we are seeing some matchups that look pretty uneven. The AFC South also moves to the fore, as both Jacksonville and Houston are among the more popular options this week.

In these weekly columns, we explore strategies to maximize your edge in NFL survivor pools, also known as knockout pools or eliminator pools. We also provide some of the rationale behind picks potentially recommended by our product.

We plan to periodically update this post until Sunday of Week 11 arrives. Here’s what’s available now:

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Five Most Popular Week 11 Survivor Picks

Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 11 of the 2023 NFL season.

  • Washington Commanders (24%) vs. New York Giants
  • Detroit Lions (20%) vs. Chicago Bears
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (13%) vs. Tennessee Titans
  • Houston Texans (11%) vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • San Francisco (9%) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here’s some quick analysis of these options.

Washington Commanders

Washington has fairly high win odds this week, though behind several other teams this week. Because there are other high win odds options with lower popularity, Washington has only moderate EV, but that is counteracted by their lack of future value.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are another team with high win odds, and moderately high popularity. They have a pretty good EV (with higher odds than the other three popular teams around them) and also more future value. The highest value week might be next week, when they host the Packers on Thanksgiving, but this is a pretty good week to use them as well.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a little riskier than the first two options, and because of that have a lower EV. They do not have high future value, but for those in larger pools, the Week 17 matchup against Carolina at home looks fairly significant.

Houston Texans

The Houston Texans are only favored by four points, but they are a team that has been on a roll, and one that has not been used in survivor. Because of those lower win odds, though, they have a pretty poor EV. The future value is non-existent, so it’s a matter of whether you want to use a different team in the future (or this week) rather than Houston now.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are the biggest favorite of the week right now, which means they have a really good EV at moderate popularity. San Francisco does have the highest future value of any option this week, so you do have to consider how your entry looks. They could be useful in most of the late weeks this year.


Tuesday 11/14

Week 10 Survivor Recap

Dallas was the most popular pick, and won handily against a hapless Giants team. But the Bengals lost at home to the Texans, becoming the first team to lose all year with over 30% pick popularity.

Here is a full summary of the most popular picks for Week 10, and the results:

DallasNY Giants 44%W 49-17
CincinnatiHouston31%L 30-27
BuffaloDenver6%L 24-22
PittsburghGreen Bay5%W 23-19
ChicagoCarolina4%W 16-13
BaltimoreCleveland3%L 31-33
SeattleWashington2%W 29-26
New EnglandIndianapolis2%L 10-6

Week 10 featured a lot of close games and some crazy endings, as 11 of the 14 games came down to one score. One that didn’t was that Dallas game, where the Cowboys put up over 600 yards on the Giants. Baltimore (blowing a big lead) and Buffalo (losing because they had 12 men on the field for a game-ending missed field goal, allowing Denver to re-kick) were among them.

Our recommendations were heavier than the public, and Seattle was our second-most common, followed by Buffalo and Baltimore.

For the public, around 56% of all entries advanced out of Week 10. For PoolGenius, about 82% of our pick recommendations advanced, with Dallas making up a substantial number of the advancing entries for both the public and PoolGenius.


About Our Survivor Pool Advice

We break down the pros and cons of various survivor pick options in this column, but none of our advice is ever absolute.

Why can’t we just tell you the “best” survivor pick of the week? Because there is no universal “best pick” for all NFL survivor pools.

The best weekly pick for your pool depends on a variety of factors, including the number of entries still alive and your pool’s rules. For example:

  • Bigger survivor pools reward more risk-taking.
    The more entries in your pool, the lower the chance you have to win it. In addition, you have a fixed number of weeks to send hundreds (or even thousands, in really big pools) of opponents to slaughter while you survive unscathed. As a result, your best strategy for bigger pools generally demands more of a focus on avoiding the most popular picks.
  • Non-standard rules change optimal pick strategy.
    If your pool requires double picks late in the season, or if it’s a strike pool (i.e. your first incorrect pick doesn’t eliminate you), you don’t want to use the exact same pick strategy that you’d use in a standard-rules survivor pool. Those rule variations significantly influence decision factors, such as whether you should be more inclined to save a good team for later vs. use it now.

And then there’s all this stuff:

  • What if you’ve already picked the team (or teams) that some article says is the best pick this week?
  • What if the point spread for that “best pick” has gotten several points worse since the article was published?
  • How should you spread your picks across multiple teams if you’re playing more than one entry?

Technology to the rescue

As far as we know, we’re the only site that has built algorithms that evaluate all of the strategy factors that matter in survivor pools and provide you with customized survivor pick recommendations based on the data updated multiple times a day.

The result? Since 2017, our subscribers have reported over $5.7 million in survivor pool winnings using our data-driven picks and tools.

If you want to see all the picks we recommend for your pool, use our NFL Survivor Picks product.

Why we write this column

At the same time, we know our subscribers like to understand the rationale behind picks the product may recommend, especially when those picks go against the grain. So, over the years, we’ve started to write more about the “whys” behind our approach.

This column can also help educate our readers about survivor pool strategy. We highlight tactics proven to result in more survivor pool wins over the long term and point out common pitfalls to avoid.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we encourage you to check out more of our survivor pool strategy articles.

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