Week 6 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2023)

Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season brings us three big favorites in the Chiefs, Dolphins, and Bills for the top survivor options.

Buffalo will try to avoid getting upended in Week 6 (Katie Chan/Action Plus/Icon Sportswire)

Three familiar names rise to the top in Week 6, as Buffalo, Kansas City, and Miami have all had high popularity in recent weeks. That opens the door for some other options as well in a week where future value versus present value face off.

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 6 arrives, and we will also be posting video updates throughout the week as well, so check our articles section for those. Here’s what’s available now:

Five Most Popular Week 6 Survivor Picks

Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 6 of the 2023 NFL season:

  • Buffalo Bills (30%) vs. New York Giants
  • Miami Dolphins (25%) vs. Carolina Panthers
  • Kansas City Chiefs (13%) vs. Denver Broncos (Thursday)
  • Los Angeles Rams (12%) vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • Philadelphia Eagles (9%) at New York Jets

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are tied with the Dolphins for the highest win odds, as a 14-point favorite over the Giants, but also have the highest popularity and most future value of any of the options.

That future value comes up pretty quickly, as the Bills are one of the two biggest projected favorites in four of the next five weeks, and could be a really high EV play in upcoming weeks if another 30% use them now (after they were the most popular advancing pick in Week 2 as well).

Miami Dolphins

Miami was just the most popular pick in survivor pools last week, and turns around and is again a big favorite against Carolina.

They have a matchup against New England in Week 8 but otherwise play the Eagles and Chiefs and have their bye in the next month, which is why their future value is a little lower than Buffalo, especially in smaller pools.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are a slight bit below Buffalo and Miami in win odds (84%) but are still a high value option, and have a similar EV because of the relatively lower popularity.

Like Miami, Kansas City’s future value is more concentrated later in the year, after the next month of games, making them the lower future value option compared to Buffalo in smaller pools.

Los Angeles Rams

The LA Rams are a 6.5-point favorite at home against Arizona this week. This is one of only two remaining spots where we project the Rams above 60% win odds (vs. Washington in Week 15 is the other), so from a future value savings standpoint, they are worth considering.

That said, their Expected Value is pretty low, because there are three different big favorites splitting the public popularity, with very high win odds. The drop-off in elimination risk from those options to the Rams is nearly double.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are the middle-ground option this week, as they are now up to a seven-point favorite. After this week, other than a Week 8 return match at Washington, their schedule is filled with a who’s who of other playoff contenders for the next two months. So using them now, in all but the largest pools that will go past Week 16, is a consideration if it allows you to save a team with a more favorable schedule.


Tuesday 10/10

Week 5 Survivor Recap

Week 5 continued our rough run. Detroit and Miami were super popular and had higher future value. The alternatives flamed out this week, while the two big favorites won.

Here is a full summary of the most popular picks for Week 5, and the results:

MiamiNY Giants40%W 31-16
DetroitCarolina37%W 42-24
WashingtonChicago 9%L 40-20
BuffaloJacksonville4%L 25-20
CincinnatiArizona3%W 34-20
BaltimorePittsburgh2%L 17-10
PhiladelphiaLA Rams1%W 23-14

We had Washington as the most common choice, and Baltimore as the second-most common, followed by Miami and Philadelphia. The Baltimore loss was particularly painful as they lost a game they had no business losing, managing to blow a 10-0 lead by having three turnovers, allow a safety (on a blocked punt), turned the ball over twice on fourth down attempts, and dropped seven passes, most of any team all year in one game. They had the ball on the goal line, up four points late, and Lamar Jackson threw an interception that set up Pittsburgh’s final drive.

As a result, only about 37% of recommendations would have advanced. For the public, about 83% advanced.


Survivor Strategy Articles

If you’re serious about winning more survivor pools, it pays to learn the strategies that give you a long-term edge.

You can start with our free survivor strategy articles, which explain a number of the concepts we apply to our customized survivor pick recommendations:


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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