After a chaotic start to the 2022 season, we’re back with our NFL Week 2 Survivor Picks.
Week 1 was an absolute bloodbath in Survivor Pools. Anywhere between 50% and 60% of entrants were eliminated, as a number of massive favorites were beaten. Each of the Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals accounted for more than 40% of tickets across survivor leagues and lost.
If you’re one of the few who survived, let’s take a look at some NFL Survivor strategies going forward.
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NFL Survivor Strategies
There are two basic strategies to consider when making your weekly Survivor picks.
Strategy No. 1 – Survive and Advance
This strategy is simple. Take the best team available and hope they win.
This is an excellent strategy to use in office pools. Against a small number of entrants, there isn’t as much value in making contrarian picks. Play it safe and don’t try to outsmart your knucklehead friends.
Strategy No. 2 – Contrarian Picks With Value
For larger pools, more thinking is required. Simply picking the favorite each week isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to outlast up to 1,000 opponents.
Your goal should be to target less popular options that are strong favorites. Easier said than done some weeks. Picking the most popular option seems great when they win, but what if 60% of the pool joined you on that pick? You didn’t gain nearly as much win equity as you think.
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NFL Week 2 Survivor Picks: Two Strong Options
After the NFL Week 1 chaos, players will need to employ a hybrid strategy of these two contrasting styles. Don’t go blindly selecting the largest point spread each week, but the impact of choosing popular teams is lessened now that most pools have been cut in half.
Knowing that, let’s take a look at the slate of games for our NFL Week 2 Survivor picks.
Green Bay Packers
Of the five double-digit favorites available to us in Week 2, the Green Bay Packers stand out to me as the best option. This is an excellent spot to buy low on the Packers, who struggled in Week 1 against the Vikings. A few dropped passes frustrated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers who fell behind early and never recovered.
It’s also a great spot to sell high on the Chicago Bears, who managed to outlast the 49ers in Week 1’s Monsoon Bowl. There isn’t a lot to take away from last week’s win, other than the Bears had the lead when Mother Nature got angry. Exactly zero points were scored on either side of the ball once the rain and wind picked up.
Bettors will remember the Packers’ embarrassing Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints last year, which saw the Packers lose 38-3. Rodgers and company then went nuts and rattled off seven straight wins. Nothing gets Rodgers more fired up than beating the Bears. Since he became the starting quarterback, the Packers have gone 22-5 against their divisional rival.
The one thing working against us is the Packers’ schedule, which shows plenty of opportunities to use them this season. But for those looking to play contrarian, it’s worth noting less than 5% of Survivor Pools entrants are choosing the Packers this week.
There’s a ton of value here.
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The Broncos are another team in a great “buy low” spot against the Houston Texans.
A dumb loss against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football should have bettors off their scent in Week 2. It took Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith playing the game of his career to get the win, and they barely squeaked by 17-16.
The questionable last-minute time management by Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett is getting a lot of attention — and rightfully so. He wasted 40 seconds of the game clock before attempting a monster 64-yard field goal instead of giving the ball to his $250 million quarterback.
Great work, Nathaniel.
The Broncos’ offense was able to move the ball the entire game, with Wilson and company gaining more than 450 total yards. Two drives fell apart with fumbles on the one-yard line, and if one of those drives leads to points, the Broncos win. That’s what ultimately cost them the game.
We can have a wonderful but pointless argument about which team is less awful between the Seahawks or the Texans, but it’s close. I don’t see the Broncos making the same mistakes again. Their home-field advantage can only help their chances.
With only 12% of Survivor Pool entrants picking the Broncos this week, there’s good contrarian value here.
NFL Week 2 Survivor Picks: Trap Games to Avoid
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are at home in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Rams SHOULD win this game outright, but there are three reasons I’m not picking them.
For starters, the Rams are the most popular pick this week, accounting for more than 30% of picks. We discussed this above: If you’re riding the most popular pick every week, you aren’t gaining enough win equity moving forward.
Secondly, did you watch their first game against the Buffalo Bills? I’m not convinced Matthew Stafford’s elbow is anywhere near 100%. The Falcons aren’t a juggernaut like the Bills, but Marcus Mariotta and the Falcons’ offense looked better than expected against the Saints in Week 1. The bar was set pretty low, but still!
Finally, the Rams play the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. If Dak Prescott is still out with his thumb injury, that would be a great time to use the Rams, as most entrants are burning them this week.
There’s absolutely no reason to use the Browns this week.
They’re playing the New York Jets who are bad. But the Cleveland Browns are also bad.
Contrarian strategy is one thing, but this is a straight-up gamble. Do you really want to tell your friends you got eliminated in Week 2 by picking the Cleveland Browns?
As it stands, more than TWENTY PERCENT of survivor entrants are tempting fate with the Cleveland Browns.
Don’t be one of them.