Week 8 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2023)
The Chargers lead a large group of teams favored by more than a touchdown in Week 8, as the most popular survivor pick as they face Chicago.
The 2-4 Chargers are the most popular Week 8 survivor pick (William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)
Week 8 gives us six different teams favored by between 7 and 9 points, and plenty of options to consider. The Chargers, little used so far this year, are currently the early popular pick.
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 8 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:
- 10/28: Week 8 Sunday AM Pick Overview
- 10/27: Friday Strategy Rundown: Ravens and Chargers Flipped
- 10/26: Several Viable Options in Week 8
- 10/25: Buffalo Now Up to 10-Point Favorite Against Bucs on TNF
- 10/24: 5 Most Popular Week 8 Picks
- 10/24: Week 7 Recap
- FYI: Survivor Strategy Articles
- FYI: About Our Survivor Pool Advice
Five Most Popular Week 8 Survivor Picks
Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 8 of the 2023 NFL season:
- Los Angeles Chargers (36%) vs. Chicago Bears
- Baltimore Ravens (17%) at Arizona Cardinals
- Detroit Lions (15%) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
- Miami Dolphins (7%) vs. New England Patriots
- Philadelphia Eagles (6%) at Washington Commanders
Let’s quickly review these teams.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have similar win odds to the other top options this week, and higher than any option a week ago, as they are an 8.5-point favorite with 78% win odds.
Because of their higher popularity, the EV this week is below 1.00, but the reason you would consider them is relative future value. After this week, they have a pretty tough stretch and will likely not be in consideration again until Week 14 against Denver.
The Ravens travel to Arizona coming off their destruction of Detroit. They are also favored by 8.5 points, but due to the higher popularity of the Chargers, have a good EV this week.
Baltimore does have future value, but it’s of the variety where they could be useful in multiple weeks, but don’t project as a clear best option in any. Our highest remaining win odds projection for Baltimore right now is in Week 18 against Pittsburgh, and projecting the motivations for Week 18 can be risky this far out.
The Detroit Lions will look to bounce back against a Raiders team that just got crushed at Chicago. QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s status with a back injury here could shift the odds, as he did not play in Week 7.
Detroit has good future value, and could be a good option to have in Week 11 (vs. Chicago) and Week 12 (vs. Green Bay) when they get two home games on Thanksgiving Week.
Miami is the third team in the top four in popularity coming off a Week 7 loss. They play the Patriots for a second time this year, and are the biggest favorite right now (9.5 points).
They do have a lot of future value, with several useful weeks starting in Week 11 against the Raiders. Since they have been heavily used, it’s just a consideration of whether you want to employ them now or save them for a better spot, if you have other good options this week.
The Eagles are a slight drop-off in risk profile, traveling to Washington and favored by just under a touchdown. The case for using them in some smaller pools is that the future value they do have is concentrated in Weeks 16, 17, and 18, and may not be of value if your pool will not get that far.
Week 7 Survivor Recap
The Seattle Seahawks won as the most popular team, and then there was chaos.
Here is a full summary of the most popular picks for Week 7, and the results:
Of the eight other teams with 2% or higher popularity in Week 7 besides Seattle, six of them lost. Most were in late-game situations decided by a score in the final few minutes (or seconds).
Buffalo was our most common recommendation, something that painfully came to an end after Buffalo rallied to take the lead, only to give up a two-minute touchdown drive with the score coming with a few seconds remaining. Seattle ended up being our second-most frequent recommendation, followed by Kansas City, then San Francisco and Cleveland.
With basically everyone else losing, only 65% of the public survived, nearly all of those on Seattle picks. Our entries survived at a 51% rate, getting through with a combination of Seattle, Kansas City, and Cleveland for the most part.
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.