NFL Week 5 Survivor Picks: Time To Play It Safe

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After three weeks of chaos, NFL Survivor Pools went pretty much as expected last week … but it wasn’t without some excitement. Before we dive into our NFL Week 5 Survivor Picks, here’s a look back at what happened:

The Green Bay Packers were the biggest liability in NFL Week 4 Survivor Pools. It wasn’t a convincing victory, but the Packers took care of the New England Patriots in overtime. More than 50% of entrants took a big sigh of relief after the dust settled at Lambeau Field.

The rest of the picks were spread out fairly evenly, with losses by the Lions and Steelers knocking out a fair amount of survivor pool contestants. Overall we saw roughly 10% of NFL Survivor tickets eliminated — a pretty typical result and easily the least amount of carnage so far this season!

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Onto Week 5 …

NFL Survivor Strategies Recap

There are two basic strategies to consider when making your NFL Survivor picks.

Strategy #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.

Strategy #2 – Contrarian Picks With Value

For larger pools, more thinking is required. Simply picking the heaviest favorite each week isn’t going to cut it when you’re trying to outlast up to one thousand opponents.

Your goal should be to target less popular options that are strong favorites.

As we enter NFL Week 5, there is less value now in implementing Strategy #2. This year has seen the most eliminations in NFL Survivor history through four weeks. As larger pools lose players, the more emphasis is needed on Strategy #1 – Survive and Advance.

Moving forwards, these articles will start to look a little different. After four weeks, everyone will have made different picks and have different teams available. Also, some of you are participating in double-pick pools, or second-chance pools, and so on. We’d like to offer a number of options from week-to-week.

Here are our NFL Week 5 Survivor Picks.

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NFL Week 5 Survivor Pick To Avoid

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Something doesn’t smell right with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs offense hasn’t been able to move the ball this season, ranking 25th in total offense. On paper, their defense looks solid, ranking 8th this season, but that might simply be due to their opponents’ inability to score.

Through three weeks, the Bucs held the Cowboys, Saints, and Packers to 27 points combined — which looks great. But those teams each rank in the bottom half of NFL offenses. The Bucs just faced their first good offense of the season and what happened? The Chiefs smoked them for 41 points.

The Atlanta Falcons are not in the same class as the Kansas City Chiefs, and Marcus Mariota is no Patrick Mahomes, but these Falcons are better than advertised. They play quickly and can put up points, ranking top ten in NFL offense this season. They’ll be without running back Cordarelle Patterson which is a huge blow, but there are simply better survivor options on the board for NFL Week 5.

Add the recent news about Tom Brady’s messy divorce, and you’ve got some red flags in Tampa Bay. It’s possible the Bucs overlook the Falcons as they head into an easier stretch on their schedule. The Falcons are tied for the division lead (!!!) and can take it outright with a win against the Bucs.

We’ll have a number of opportunities to use Tampa Bay moving forwards. With upcoming games against the Steelers, Panthers, and Seahawks, it’s okay to save them.

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NFL Week 5 Survivor: The Safest Pick

Buffalo Bills

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Buffalo Bills are arguably the NFL’s best team and the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the worst. It’s the largest betting point spread of the season, as the Bills are favored by 14 points at home.

The Buffalo Bills are our NFL Week 5 Survivor Pick
The Bills are a safe pick for NFL Survivor contestants in Week 5 (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

We don’t need to spend a ton of time dissecting this one. The Bills have better players at every position. It’s a battle between MVP front- runner Josh Allen and rookie Kenny Pickett making his first career start. The Bills are at home, and Bills Mafia will make it a brutal outing for Pickett. It’s about as tough a test you can give someone making his first start.

With close to 80% of survivor tickets already eliminated, it’s not a bad idea to take chalk right now.

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NFL Week 5 Survivor: The (Other) Safe Picks

Packers  (vs. Giants) |  Chiefs (vs. Raiders)  |  Vikings (vs. Bears)

If you’ve survived the first four weeks of NFL Survivor, it likely means you have a number of solid teams still available. While the Bills are the safest pick on the board, there are a number of good options this week.

These three teams fit the same criterion. They each find themselves a touchdown favorite against a worse team. With so many players taking the Bills, these teams are each projected to be taken by less than 10% of NFL Survivor entrants.

These picks aren’t quite as safe as Buffalo, but are a good option if you’ve already used the Bills. Keep in mind each of these teams has at least five more games on their schedule where they’ll be heavy favorites, so plan your strategy accordingly.

For NFL Survivor players with multiple entries, this is a great week to spread out your picks.

Also read: NFL Week 5 Picks and Predictions

NFL Week 5 Survivor: The Risky Pick

Jacksonville Jaguars

If you’re looking for some value further down the board, the Jacksonville Jaguars are a decent option this week, but not without risk.

The main reason to grab the Jaguars in Week 5 is they do not hold a lot of value in future weeks. As a matter of fact, the Jaguars (-7 vs. Houston) are unlikely to be favored by as many points for the rest of the season. If you want to take advantage of the betting market sleeping on Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, this is the week to do it.

Secondly, and I’ve written this just about every week this season, the Jaguars are good! Their defense has been solid and Lawrence is coming into his own as a sophomore QB. It’s hard to fault him too much for all those fumbles against the Eagles, as the game was being played in a tropical storm.

The one reason I’d stay away from the Jaguars this week is the sheer number of better options. They rank as my fifth-best option this week. Keep in mind the Texans always play them tough, and like the Jaguars, this Texan team might be underestimated by the betting market. They’ll be desperate for a win against their division rival.

They’re worth a single ticket if you play an NFL Survivor Pool with multiple entries, but better to use one of the safer picks in a single elimination pool.

Again, with more than 80% of NFL Survivor tickets already eliminated, there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe this week. Survive, advance, and live to fight again next week.

Also read: NFL Week 5 Betting StrategiesSuper Bowl 57 Odds | 2022 NFL MVP Odds

About the Author
Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson is a writer and contributor to Gaming Today. An entertainment professional with twenty years experience as an actor, writer, producer and comedian. Jim recently transitioned into the world of sports media as both a writer and content creator. He has more than fifteen years experience as a sports bettor, poker player and card sharp. He is proficient in all forms of betting and in-game wagering but his expertise is the PGA Tour.

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