Week 9 Picks for NFL Survivor Contests
This article was written by TeamRankings
The 12 largest favorites all won last week, which means nearly everyone advanced in survivor pools (99.8%) heading to Week 9.
Our NFL Survivor Picks subscriber recommendations advanced at a 100% rate, with the most frequent recommendation being to select the Pittsburgh Steelers because of their combination of high win odds, low future value and popularity well below Minnesota.
While the survival rates last week were high for everyone, our subscribers came away better positioned on average with their entries, having saved using Minnesota (or the Los Angeles Rams) far more frequently than the general public did. (If you're new to TeamRankings, you can get a free three-day premium trial to check out our survivor picks product.)
Now let's get to the NFL Week 9 survivor pick analysis.
Week 9 NFL Survivor Pick Analysis
Our free analysis of weekly NFL survivor picks focuses on three factors you always need to consider in order to maximize your edge in survivor pools: win odds (how likely a team is to survive), pick popularity (what percentage of your pool you'd expect to pick a team) and future value (how valuable it is to save a team for use in a future week).
Just remember that varying rules and tiebreakers in survivor pools can have a big impact on your optimal picking strategy. For this article, we assume a 100-entry "standard rules" pool (one loss and you're out; you can only pick each team once) with no other rule tweaks like allowing strikes or buy-backs, forcing double picks late in the season, etc.
Data referenced below was current as of Wednesday morning and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.
Win Odds: Top Five Week 9 Picks
When it comes to win odds, higher is obviously better. All else being equal, you want to pick the team with the best likelihood of surviving.
Here are the five safest teams for NFL Week 9, according to the betting markets, as measured by their money line odds, which we translate into win odds (in parentheses):
- San Francisco 49ers (80%, 10-point favorite) at Arizona Cardinals
- Buffalo Bills (80%, 9.5-point favorite) vs. Washington Redskins
- Dallas Cowboys (75%, 7-point favorite) at New York Giants
- Seattle Seahawks (72%, 6-point favorite) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Philadelphia Eagles (68%, 5-point favorite) vs. Chicago Bears
Win Odds Analysis
Just like in Week 7, Buffalo and San Francisco are the two safest choices in Week 9. Of course, lots of entries used one of those two teams already, which does limit how much they can be used this week. After that, Dallas is the third favorite choice (but they were the most popular choice back in Week 3).
Seattle and Philadelphia round out the top five in win odds, and form the second tier of options, ahead of several other choices.
If you ignore win odds and future value, it's almost always better to pick a less popular team in a survivor pool. Diversifying your picks from the crowd sets up a scenario where your expected pool winnings can increase significantly if your pick wins and another popular pick loses.
Here are the five most popular survivor picks of Week 9 2019:
- San Francisco 49ers (44%) at Arizona Cardinals
- Buffalo Bills (18%) vs. Washington Redskins
- Seattle Seahawks (17%) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers (5%) at L.A. Chargers
- New York Jets (4%) at Miami Dolphins
Pick Popularity Analysis
The 49ers are the most popular choice this week, making it the second week in a row where the public’s choice leads off on Thursday. Buffalo is at 18%, which means that over half of the entries that still have them available are using them this week (because nearly two-thirds of entries used them in Week 7). Seattle has not been a popular choice in survivor since they played Cincinnati in Week 1, so plenty of entries still have them as an option.
The Packers and Jets sneak into the top five in popularity this week, despite being riskier options. In fact, over 15% of all entries in Week 9 are going with a team that falls outside the top 5 in weekly projected win odds.
The final element to consider when making a Week 9 survivor pick is future value. If you burn a great team this week, you don’t have that team available for future weeks, and even smaller survivor pools have a realistic chance of lasting deep into the season.
(Of course, the teams with high future value also tend to be the better teams, at least until later in the season when even great teams may not have many juicy matchups left.)
According to our numbers, here are the top five teams in future value entering this week for a 100-entry standard rules pool:
- New England Patriots (3.7)
- San Francisco 49ers (3.0)
- Philadelphia Eagles (2.7)
- Baltimore Ravens (2.0)
- Minnesota Vikings (2.0)
(Note: The numbers in parentheses are a proprietary rating of future value that we created, which is also impacted by factors such as pool size and expected pick popularity.)
Future Value Analysis
The 49ers, the most popular choice, also have high future value as they have surged to No. 2 in our predictive power ratings. They are going to be among the highest win odds options in Week 11 (vs. Arizona) and Week 15 (vs. Atlanta). In fact, we project their win odds to be higher than this week (and you can expect much lower popularity).
New England and Baltimore are facing off this week, which gives us the rare week where the Patriots have not been among the top survivor options. Philadelphia also has high future value as they get consecutive games against Miami, the New York Giants and Washington in Weeks 13 to 15.
Get Our Week 9 Survivor Pick Recommendation
It's easy to just make a broad claim that "Team X is the best survivor pick of Week 9." In reality, it's nowhere near that simple, because the best pick for your survivor pool depends on factors such as your pool's size and rules and which teams you've already picked.
We built our NFL Survivor Picks product to do all of the number-crunching required to give you the best chance to win your survivor pool. You answer a few questions about your pool, and it provides customized pick recommendations using the latest matchup data, betting market odds and public picking trends from national survivor pool sites. It even generates an optimal survivor pick "portfolio" for you, if you're playing multiple entries in one or more pools.
Since 2017, subscribers to the product have reported nearly $1.5 million in survivor pool winnings, and we invite you to check it out free for NFL Week 9 with our free trial offer.