Week 7 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2022)

Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season in survivor pools has multiple teams to consider, including the Patriots and Raiders emerging as survivor picks for the first time.

Jakobi Meyers and the Patriots are rolling into Week 7 Survivor pools (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Week 7 is here, and some big name teams are on byes this week, with the Bills, Rams, Eagles, and Vikings out of action. That means fewer choices for survivor pools, but there are several options available in Week 7.

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 7 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:

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Five Most Popular Week 7 Survivor Picks

Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 7 of the 2022 NFL season:

  • New England Patriots (25%) vs. Chicago Bears
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19%) at Carolina Panthers
  • Las Vegas Raiders (17%) vs. Houston Texans
  • Dallas Cowboys (13%) vs. Detroit Lions
  • Cincinnati Bengals (6%) vs. Atlanta Falcons

Let’s quickly review these five teams.

New England Patriots

Week 7 stands out as an oasis in what is about to become a desert of options. After this week, things can get a lot tighter, especially if you don’t have teams like Buffalo, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Dallas available.

But there are at least four options this week where this might be the best or second-best spot to use them this year in terms of win odds. New England leads the way, facing Chicago as an 8-point favorite, and is the most popular pick.

The case for New England is decent win odds and little future value. But higher popularity and a lack of extremely high win odds makes for a relatively lower expected value.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay draws the woeful Panthers offense this week and is the biggest betting favorite for Week 7. Granted, Tampa Bay just got to face a team that was struggling on offense and lost 20-18 to Pittsburgh.

Given their high win odds relative to other options and popularity being spread out across those options, the Bucs have a pretty high EV this week. The trade-off there is that they also have the highest future value of options this week. They could be particularly useful in Week 10, when alternatives may be more limited.

Las Vegas Raiders

This is probably the best spot for the Raiders in terms of win odds all year, as they host Houston and are favored by seven points. After this, the schedule gets a lot tougher, and the Raiders may not be favored by more than a field goal (barring injury adjustments) for the rest of the year.

From a future value perspective, the savings are there if you can get through with Las Vegas.

The Raiders are currently a little less popular than New England, and they also have slightly lower win odds in the betting market. The choice between those two is interesting, and it depends on whether you believe both will win. Philosophically, they are similar picks.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys could have QB Dak Prescott back this week when they face Detroit at home. They’re currently favored by seven points.

However, Dallas has more future value than other Week 7 options. It gets the Bears next week, faces the Giants at home in a tough Week 12 Thanksgiving schedule week and also plays Houston at home in Week 14.

Given the Cowboys’ somewhat higher popularity and modest EV, saving them is probably the best move unless the market moves significantly upward in win odds.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have been used somewhat heavily this year, but they still have 6% popularity against Atlanta at home. They are a somewhat riskier option than the other popular choices, which makes for a solid but unspectacular EV.

The Bengals also do have some future value, particularly in Week 9 at home against Carolina.

Tuesday 10/18

Week 6 Survivor Recap

The survivor chaos continued in Week 6 with several more wipeouts, topped by Tampa Bay’s loss at Pittsburgh.

For the year, teams with 5% or higher public popularity in survivor pools are 19-15-1. Only about 54% of teams generally picked in survivor pools have won (and these teams often have win odds of 70% or more in the betting markets).

Here is a summary of the most popular picks for Week 6, and the results:

LA RamsCarolina34%W, 24-10
Tampa BayPittsburgh29%L, 20-18
Green BayNY Jets10%L, 27-10
San FranciscoAtlanta9%L, 28-14
LA ChargersDenver5%W, 19-16 (OT)
BaltimoreNY Giants3%L, 24-20
MinnesotaMiami2%W, 24-16
PhiladelphiaDallas2%W, 26-17
ArizonaSeattle1%L, 19-9
IndianapolisJacksonville1%W, 34-27

Based on our public pick data, about 46% of the public survived Week 6, while 54% got eliminated. Tampa Bay was by far the biggest public loss, followed by Green Bay, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

Our picks ended up with very similar results overall, though the distribution was different. About 45% of PoolGenius entries got through, while 55% were eliminated. Green Bay was our most frequent recommendation and costliest loss, followed by Tampa Bay, plus some on San Francisco and Arizona (and less than 0.5% on Cleveland).

It was a bad week for both our entries and the public in general, with several pools decimated.

Overall Season Summary

After six weeks, about 4% of all public entries are still alive (assuming no strikes and standard rules). Pools that started with 50 entries or fewer could be over or down to just a handful of remaining entries.

About 14% of PoolGenius subscriber entries are still alive. That still leaves our subscriber base advancing about 3.5 times more often so far than the public. But the total number of entries still in play went down a lot in Week 6.

As far as the overall outlook for the season, here is the point in the previous 10 seasons when the public data showed overall survival below 5%: after Week 10, 15, 10, 10, 9, 14, 5, 11, 10, 9. The median was after Week 10 results. Only one other season (2015) saw survival rates so low this early in the year.

It’s trending to where fewer than one in 1000 entries should make it to the end of a full 18-week season. Pools that typically last longer may end early this year.


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 $3.7 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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