Week 6 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2022)

Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season in survivor pools has a couple of popular options, starting with the Rams against the Panthers.

Can Matthew Stafford and the Rams survive against the struggling Panthers? (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Week 6 is here in NFL survivor pools after another upset-filled Sunday. Last week it was Jacksonville and Green Bay who took out survivor entries. Who will it be 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 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:

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Five Most Popular Week 6 Survivor Picks

Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 6 of the 2022 NFL season:

  • LA Rams (32%) vs. Carolina Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27%) at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Green Bay Packers (11%) vs. New York Jets
  • San Francisco 49ers (9%) at Atlanta Falcons
  • LA Chargers (7%) vs. Denver Broncos

Let’s briefly go through the five most popular options.

LA Rams

The Rams are currently the biggest favorite of the week against the Carolina Panthers. The 1-4 Panthers just fired head coach Matt Rhule and tapped defensive coordinator Steve Wilks as their interim head coach. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is also out with an ankle injury, although it’s not clear how much of a negative that is. The Panthers were 31st in net yards per pass attempt with Mayfield under center.

The Rams haven’t been very good on offense either. They just lost at home to Dallas to fall to 2-3. They are 29th in points scored and 26th in total yards, so while they are favored by 10.5 points, they are not as safe as, say, Buffalo was last week.

The Rams were also the most popular pick back in Week 2 when they held on to beat Atlanta by four points. Most entries do still have them available, but that earlier week of usage could limit how popular they become.

As far as future value, the Rams’ faltering performances have reduced their season outlook. (This week was part of their previously higher future value.) Right now, we project them to have win odds above 70% in only one other week (Seattle, Week 13). So while they will have some future value, primarily driven by that week, they don’t have a lot of it.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are rising in popularity, facing a Pittsburgh team that is coming off a 35-point loss to Buffalo in QB Kenny Pickett’s first start. They are the second-biggest favorite of the week at 8.5 points.

However, the Bucs do have the highest future value of any of this week’s popular options. They had decent popularity last week, and if they win this week, they likely will have been used by well over half of all entries going forward.

Meanwhile, they have several potential value spots going forward. In Week 10, we project them as tied for the largest favorite when they play Seattle, in a week where the only other teams we project with greater than 66% win odds are Buffalo, Kansas City, and Philadelphia.

Given their higher popularity (and lower win odds relative to the Rams), they also have only moderate EV this week.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers took a hit last week with their loss to the New York Giants in London. They return home and now get the other New York team, the Jets. The Jets are coming off a big win, although Miami unexpectedly had to go to a rookie third-string QB on the first possession of the game.

The Packers’ win odds have dropped a bit from earlier projections, but they are still favored by seven points, the third-largest favorite of the week, with 74% win odds. Meanwhile, their popularity is also down, so they have a decent EV as Tampa Bay and the Rams rise in popularity.

As far as future value, the Packers have gone down both because of their recent performance along with this week making up a decent portion of it. They could be a contrarian option in Week 9 (at Detroit), but the only other week we currently project them to have higher win odds than now is in Week 18 when they host Detroit.

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are favored by 5.5 points as they travel to Atlanta to complete their NFC South two-week swing (win over Carolina last week). They have modest EV because of that higher risk right now. Where it ends up could depend on if the public continues to move toward the Rams and Bucs.

As far as future value, the 49ers have a decent amount, but they are not among the top five teams. Most of their upcoming future value comes late, so their usage could depend on pool size. They look like potentially valuable options in Weeks 15 and 16 (Seattle and Washington).

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are a five-point favorite hosting Denver and a somewhat popular choice given their risk profile. Our models are also down on the Chargers this week, which gives them the lowest EV of the top five options in popularity.

The Chargers have moderate future value, although they do play Seattle at home next week in a game where they should be a larger favorite.

As always, you can get the most up-to-date popularity data in our Data Grid. Check your specific pool rankings and recommendations to see what makes sense for you.

Tuesday 10/11

Week 5 Survivor Recap

Week 5 presented some interesting decisions. The Bills were a huge favorite, and they rolled to an easy win over Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay was also the second-biggest favorite, and although the game got interesting late, it led the entire way.

Both of those teams have higher value for future weeks. Which other teams got through was going to make or break the week.

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

BuffaloPittsburgh32%W, 38-3
Tampa BayAtlanta22%W, 21-15
JacksonvilleHouston14%L, 13-6
MinnesotaChicago12%W, 29-22
Green BayNY Giants5%L, 27-22
San FranciscoCarolina5%W, 37-15
Kansas CityLas Vegas3%W, 30-29
New OrleansSeattle1%W, 39-32
DenverIndianapolis1%L, 12-9 (OT)
TennesseeWashington1%W, 21-17

Based on our public pick data, about 78% of the public survived Week 5, while 22% got eliminated. Jacksonville was the biggest public loss, followed by Green Bay.

Meanwhile, our picks saved Buffalo, mostly avoided Jacksonville and entirely avoided Green Bay. Our four most common picks were Minnesota, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay (but at lower rates than the public).

The week went about as well as possible, with the top four picks all advancing, while saving Buffalo in doing so. As a result, 98% of our pick recommendations advanced in Week 5, with nearly all the eliminations coming on Jacksonville.

Overall Season Summary

After five weeks, about 9% of all public entries are still alive (assuming no strikes and standard rules).

Meanwhile, about 32% of PoolGenius subscriber entries are still alive. That now puts our subscriber base as a whole as advancing about 3.5 times more often so far than the public.

In addition, our subscribers should have a significant future value advantage against the average public entry, having used Buffalo, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, the Rams, and Baltimore at a much lower rate than the public.


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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