Are you scouring the Internet or your neighborhood yard sale for ideal Week 10 NFL Survivor Pool picks? Winging it usually doesn’t get the job done. So, how should we strategize with an eye toward the rest of the season? Let’s talk Survivor Pool NFL betting strategy, and optimal team picks.
NFL Week 10 Survivor Pool Picks
Picking one team that is a virtual certainty to win each week sounds easy in theory. However, most NFL survivor pool rules dictate that you can’t select the same team twice.
Sometimes it’s best to lock in a nearly guaranteed win. Other times it’s better to take a chance to preserve safer options for later. Before we get into this week’s picks, let’s walk through last week’s strategy and results.
In Week 9, I advised readers to pick the Bengals over the Panthers. In addition to banking on Cincinnati bouncing back after a dreadful loss to the Browns, I didn’t see the need to stash the Bengals for later in the season.
“rgo syuktyjeieio df jwfh qioejeh,” I wrote while smashing my hands triumphantly on my keyboard. Thanks to helpful feedback from PFN’s editors, I re-wrote it as “This is the time to strike!”
Because the Bengals’ remaining schedule includes @Steelers, @Titans, Chiefs, Browns (vs. Deshaun Watson), @Buccaneers, @Patriots, Bills, and Ravens. That’s it. I didn’t leave any team out. This is a very challenging slate, plain and simple.
And this is one of the keys to effective Survivor Pool management, or as I like to say, “Survivor Pooling.” Or, if I want to impress my wife, “Survivor Pool-ship.”
The later we get into the season, the less it makes sense to stash a great team. If that team has three or four favorable matchups remaining, then sure, we might make an exception. But generally, especially as we hit November and injuries transform some great teams into mere good ones, there are fewer safe bets to bank on.
For this and many other reasons, the Bengals were my favorite Survivor play.
Unfortunately, I recommended two bad backup plans if you’d already used the Bengals: the Cardinals and Bills. Somehow Arizona played worse against the Seahawks at home than they did a few weeks ago on the road, while the Jets made the Bills look mortal.
A big lesson learned for me — one I’ve preached on this page repeatedly, but for some reason veered away from last week — don’t bet on road teams in survivor pools. It’s not worth it. Historically, home teams win 55%+ of the time. Play the odds, no matter how favorable the road team appears.
New York Giants
Right before Week 1, I circled the Buccaneers in Week 10. They’re facing Seattle in Munich. The offensively loaded and defensively strong 2020 Super Bowl champs versus . . . the rebuilding Seahawks.
How times have changed.
I circled three other teams on that rainy day in early September. Nearly 10 weeks later, those three remain my favorite three.
My No. 1 choice this week — the team I’m taking in the Week 10 survivor pool — is the Giants over the Texans. While already burning through nine good-to-great teams, I could save New York for Week 13 (home against the Commanders) or even Week 17 (home against the Colts). But I still have other good options for those weeks.
So why save the Giants? Why risk an injury to Saquon Barkley, knowing that a Barkley-less squad might struggle against teams that they’d normally beat?
Because the Giants don’t have the luxury of a terrific backup RB. They also recently traded Kadarius Toney, essentially declaring that they’re good with their run-heavy, pass-scarce, defense-minded approach.
So we’re seizing the moment. The Giants need to contain Dameon Pierce, which could be incredibly difficult for a team yielding 5.5 yards per carry (second-most in the league).
Ah, but here’s a rundown of the talent they’ve faced: Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott (and Tony Pollard), Justin Fields (and Khalil Herbert), Aaron Jones, Lamar Jackson (and Kenyan Drake), Travis Etienne Jr., and Kenneth Walker III.
In other words, the Giants’ poor run defense doesn’t only mean they’re terrible against the run. It also reflects the fact they’ve had to contain two of the league’s four best rushing QBs and many of the top RBs (Henry, McCaffrey, Jones, Etienne, and Walker).
While Pierce could burn them for 100+ yards, the Giants are accustomed to winning in spite of it. They’re yielding the second-lowest pass completion percentage (58.0%).
Also, the Giants are giving up a fair number of first downs per game, but not nearly as many as Houston (third-most in the league). And New York’s fourth in offensive time of possession, while the Texans are 28th.
Essentially, Houston has one clear path to winning on Sunday: 25+ touches for Pierce and perhaps 18 or fewer pass attempts. Limit Davis Mills’ risk of error, which we saw play out against Philly on Thursday.
The Giants have more paths, mostly because Houston remains vulnerable on the ground and through the air, and also because Daniel Jones is an effective dual threat.
I’m all in on the Giants moving to 7-2 this weekend. While the Texans have been a tough out, New York has the personnel to beat Houston at their own game.
Kansas City Chiefs
If you want a backup option, go with Kansas City in a plus matchup. I’d rather stash them for later this season. They have three winnable home games against the Rams, Seahawks, and Broncos. There’s no rush to trot them out this weekend.
But if you’ve already used the Giants, or if you don’t trust them, then K.C. should be able to handle the Jags. The biggest concern would be the mostly unstoppable Etienne.
However, the Chiefs’ elite passing attack should be able to pick apart a Jags defense that’s looked exceptional on the ground and downright beatable through the air.
You want another backup? Well, I already used Philadelphia in Week 4 against the aforementioned Jaguars. When my team was down 14-0 in the first quarter, admittedly, I felt a little anxious. Not heartburn anxious. More like a “This is just a game, and it’s all going to be okay” anxious.
But if you haven’t played the Eagles yet, this week makes sense. They’re healthy and are facing a mixed-bag Washington squad that’s good enough, yet not great enough to take down the last undefeated team.
Whatever you decide, good luck with your Week 10 Survivor Pool. And don’t forget to take action on any of these picks with DraftKings Sportsbook, where you can get into a survivor pool while activating a bet $5, win $200 bonus.