Week 9 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2022)
Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season in survivor pools features two familiar faces in Philadelphia and Buffalo, and the re-emergence of Kansas City.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles try to continue their dominance (Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)
Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season is here.
For the second week in a row, the Eagles and Bills are the biggest favorites. This time, they are joined by the Kansas City Chiefs, who will also become frequent survivor options as well.
Should you consider one of those three or an alternative?
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 9 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:
- 11/6: Sunday Morning Pick Recommendations
- 11/4: Friday Outlook for Week 9
- 11/3: Eagles on TNF to Start Week 9
- 11/2: Philadelphia Availability Dictating Strategy
- 11/1: 5 Most Popular Week 9 Picks
- 11/1: Week 8 Recap
- FYI: Survivor Strategy Articles
- FYI: About Our Survivor Pool Advice
Five Most Popular Week 9 Survivor Picks
Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season:
- Philadelphia Eagles (22%) at Houston Texans
- Cincinnati Bengals (21%) vs. Carolina Panthers
- Kansas City Chiefs (20%) vs. Tennessee Titans
- Buffalo Bills (10%) at New York Jets
- Miami Dolphins (6%) at Chicago Bears
Let’s quickly go through these teams.
Philadelphia looks like it will be one of the most popular picks this week, although that popularity would undoubtedly be even higher if it was more available. The Eagles are favored by 13 points, and their 87% win odds according to our models matches Buffalo in Week 5 for the highest so far this year.
Despite having popularity above 20%, Philadelphia has a very good EV this week of 1.13. The Eagles have other high future-value weeks, and that value will remain high as more entries use them.
The majority of entries have already used the Eagles in most pools by now. That will only go up after this week if they can get to 8-0.
The Bengals project as having similar popularity to Philadelphia and Kansas City, but they project as being riskier than both of those options.
Whereas the other two are favored by double digits, the Bengals are a seven-point favorite with 71% win odds, according to our models. That means Cincinnati will likely have a much lower EV this week.
Right now, this is the last spot where they look like they will have win odds over 70%. The next-most likely remaining survivor week for Cincinnati is in Week 11 at Pittsburgh.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs have had the toughest part of their schedule early in the year. This is the first time aside from the Week 3 loss to Indianapolis when Kansas City has been among the five most popular picks.
That means most entries should have the Chiefs available.
Kansas City is a 12.5-point favorite against Tennessee right now. Like Philadelphia, the Chiefs have a really good EV, but they also have high future value.
Kansas City has four future weeks where we project it for 80% or higher win odds, including next week against Jacksonville.
Like Kansas City and Philadelphia, Buffalo has high win odds and high future value. In fact, Buffalo still has the highest future value remaining.
We project the Bills to have win odds of 80% or higher in seven future weeks. They also have a very good EV this week because of their win odds and moderate popularity.
Miami has much lower win odds than the other top options this week, as it is a five-point favorite at Chicago. As a result, the Dolphins have a much lower EV.
They do have lower future value, but it isn’t zero. They project as one of the highest win-odds options in Week 12 when they face Houston.
The extent of their value that week will depend on popularity and availability.
Week 8 Survivor Recap
After several weeks of chaos, nearly everyone advanced in Week 8, including several riskier picks. For the first time this season, all five of the most popular picks advanced.
Here is a summary of the most popular picks for Week 8, and the results:
Based on our public pick data, over 92% of the public survived Week 8. There were no significant losses, and the Colts and Bengals were the likely most common losses in survivor pools this week.
The closest call was in Atlanta, where a wild sequence of events included Carolina hitting a deep pass with just seconds remaining, but missing the game-winning extra-point attempt after a celebration penalty. Carolina’s kicker then missed a short kick in overtime, allowing Atlanta to survive.
Over 99% of our pick recommendations advanced, with the Colts’ loss responsible for the most PoolGenius eliminations.
Unfortunately, our picks did use relatively more future value than the public in advancing, as most of the riskiest picks did get through.
Overall Season Summary
After eight weeks, only about 2% of all public entries are still alive (assuming no strikes and standard rules). Pools that started with 50 entries or fewer may be done, and even those with over 100 entries at the outset may now be finished, depending on the specific pool picking rates.
About 9% of PoolGenius subscriber entries are still alive. That still leaves our subscriber base advancing about 4.5 times more often so far than the public.
While Week 8 slowed the elimination rate, we are still well ahead of most years and are still on pace for pools to end earlier than normal.
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:
- Don’t just try to survive the week
- The “Holy Trinity” of survivor strategy
- Expected Value: What it is, why it matters
- Future value: What it is, why it matters
- Why pool size should influence your picks
- How survivor pool rules affect strategy
- Playing multiple entries in survivor pools
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.
Week 9 Sunday Morning Pick Rates and Recommendations
Here’s where our pick recommendations are going as of 10:00 a.m. ET on Sunday morning.
The last five columns in the table show how our recommended picks vary by subscriber pool format/rules. The table shows every team with at least 2% public popularity and/or is drawing more than 0.1% of PoolGenius recommendations.
Entries can fall under more than one category. For example, a pool that requires multiple picks in future weeks and also allows a strike would be separately included in the percentages for each.
We haven’t seen any major shifts in our strategy and where the recommendations are going since Friday. New England’s spread and win odds rose a little on Friday but have since settled back again.
Here’s an overview of where our strategy is going:
- Kansas City is the most frequent recommendation overall, and most common across all formats, except for those that extend into the playoffs.
- New England is still holding steady at 17% of our overall recommendations. That number is highest in pools that extend into playoffs and multi-pick pools, and far lower in standard.
- Buffalo is the third choice overall, at 10%, with that number being higher in standard pools, and lower the larger the pool size and format requiring future value..
- Overall, about 95% of all our pick recommendations are on one of those three above, or the Eagles on Thursday.
- The rest of the picks are mostly on Cincinnati, Miami, or Green Bay, but we are well under the public on Cincinnati and Miami.
- The only team with greater than 2% public popularity that we have zero pick recommendations on is Minnesota.
It’s not quite as concentrated as last week, but we are still using a fair amount of future value because of the relative win odds and safety difference. The gap between the top two options (Philadelphia and Kansas City) is larger than we’ve seen, or will see, in most other weeks this year.
Friday Outlook for Week 9
The Eagles are in the books with a win, which means about 20% of the public has already advanced to next week.
That outcome reduces the overall EV of every other pick since there is a 0 percent chance of benefiting from a big upset. However, the relative impact is across teams is fairly similar, so you should not see much impact on our pick recommendations because of that result.
A higher percentage of the relative EV gain of picks like Kansas City and Buffalo were from potential upsets of the riskier options, not as much on the Philadelphia result.
About 21% of our recommendations were on Philadelphia last night, largely mirroring the public, and it wasn’t any higher because of lack of availability.
Here are is the strategy that we are seeing heading into the weekend, for the remaining teams:
- Kansas City is the most common pick recommendation, and is often appearing in smaller pools and standard rules pools;
- New England is the second-most common (outside of Philadelphia) and is far more likely to be recommended in larger pools and multi-pick pools.
- No one else is currently being recommended to at least 10% of entries. Buffalo is next, slightly under its public pick popularity rate.
- We’re mostly fading Cincinnati and Miami relative to their public popularity, though about 2% of entries each are on those teams. Both are most commonly coming up in multi-pick pools.
- No current picks on Minnesota due to low EV and decent future value.
We’ll continue to monitor. The difference between New England and Cincinnati isn’t huge right now, for example. New England has a little lower future value and is slightly riskier, but is less popular.
If we see shifts in the odds in those two games, it could impact which lower-future-value option is preferred.
Eagles on TNF to Start Week 9
Thursday Night Football kicks off with a bang in Week 9. Well, at least for survivor pools, as the biggest favorite of the week, the Eagles, play right away.
That means we should know right away what kind of value proposition we have for the rest of the week, depending on whether the Eagles win or Houston can shock the world.
As noted yesterday, the Eagles’ availability to PoolGenius subscribers is impacting pick strategy. Right now, we are slightly above the public on the Eagles. We’re recommending the majority of entries that still have them available to use them. However, we always see the denominator change as people come for picks later in the week, so that could ultimately mean our percentages are just below the public on Philadelphia.
Either way, it’s a pretty big game, as nearly 20% of a typical pool will have action on tonight’s game. We’ll recap the impact tomorrow either way.
Philadelphia Availability Dictating Early Week 9 Strategy
The availability of Philadelphia for our entries is a big driver of the pick strategy this week.
In most cases, the advice is to take the Eagles as the top-graded option if you have them (subject to portfolio distribution). But most of our entries no longer have Philadelphia. That’s through some combination of design and the way things have worked out in this wild year.
In three previous weeks, Philadelphia has made up between 25-30% of our advancing entries:
- Week 1: Philadelphia was initially recommended as our fourth-most common pick at 13%, but because two of the three top recommendations lost, it ended up being a higher share of advancements.
- Week 6: Philadelphia was our third-most common recommendation at 11%, but Green Bay’s loss meant that the Rams and the Eagles made up most of the surviving entry picks for that week.
- Week 8: Philadelphia was our second-most common recommendation at 28%, behind Dallas.
In two of those three weeks, the Eagles were one of our alternative picks in a week where there was a bigger wipeout of public and PoolGenius entries. As a result, they are not available to most entries.
In standard-rules pools that started in Week 1, 84% of entries that have reported in for this week have already used Philadelphia. That number is a little lower in other pool types that have focused more on future-value savings, but the Eagles have still made up some key past picks to get through tough weeks.
The Eagles are generally grading out as the top option this week, but they are not our most frequent recommendation because of availability.
Here’s a general overview of pick strategy right now:
- Philadelphia, mostly if you have it.
- Kansas City >> Buffalo among higher-EV, higher-future-value picks this week.
- New England > Cincinnati among lower-EV, lower-future-value picks.
The grading between Kansas City and New England, and the philosophical choice between higher EV and preserving future value, is largely dependent on pool size and type. Practically speaking, with most pools trending smaller at this point, the more common pick is Kansas City.
We are seeing the Chiefs at the most frequent recommendation, followed by the Eagles and Patriots, with a smaller number on both Buffalo and Cincinnati. Those also happen to be the five most popular public picks, though our weighting and order of preference is different than the public.