Midseason Performance Update: NFL Survivor Picks
November 22, 2017 - by Tom Federico
We’ve been meaning to do a quick update on how our football office pool picks are doing, now that we’re into the second half of the NFL season.
NFL Survivor Picks: Midseason Update
So far this season, the cumulative survival rate of the picks we’ve recommended to our customers is 10 times the survival rate of the general public’s picks.
To explain this: Every week, based on pick distribution information published by popular survivor pool hosting sites, you can estimate the percentage of the public’s survivor picks that won or lost.
For example, in Week 11, 50% of the public’s picks were on Kansas City and 2% were on Denver, and both those teams lost. Just about all the rest of the public’s picks won. So in total, 52% of the public’s picks were eliminated, and 48% of the public’s picks survived.
We can compare that 48% public survival rate to the overall survival rate of the picks we recommended to our customer base for Week 11. (As a reminder, we customize pick recommendations for our customers at the entry-by-entry level. So we’ll say, “You have 2 entries left in your survivor pool. You should pick Team X with the first entry and Team Y with the second entry.”)
In Week 11, we recommended that almost all of our customers avoid picking Kansas City, largely on account of the Chiefs’ sky-high pick popularity. Instead, we mostly recommended teams like Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and the LA Chargers. As a result, about 89% of the survivor picks we recommended survived Week 11, compared to 48% survival rate for the general public.
Week-by-Week Survival Performance Data
Here’s what the cumulative survival rate comparison (TR picks vs. the public’s picks) looks like so far this season, in chart form:
And the actual data values:
As the table above shows, after Week 6, the cumulative survival rate for the public’s picks was already under 10%. Entering Week 12 it’s only 2%, which is the third lowest value of the last 8 years. So it’s been one of the tougher years in recent history in terms of staying alive for the first 11 weeks of the season.
Survivor Performance Takeaways So Far
Looking over all our performance data so far, here are four facts worth highlighting:
- Tough years affect us too. We’ve recommended plenty of picks that have lost, and heading into Week 12, around 73% of our NFL Survivor Picks customers have been eliminated from their pools. Survivor pools are incredibly risky propositions and we’ll never be able to change that fact.
- Still, our customer base as a whole is doing way better than the public. Our recommended picks have out-survived the public in 8 out of 11 NFL weeks so far, while the public’s picks have only out-survived our recommended picks in one week. (We tied in two weeks.)
- In every single one of the first 11 weeks this season, the most popular pick suggestion we recommended to our customer base has won its game. And in several of those weeks, our most commonly recommended pick involved taking on extra risk to avoid the most popular (and safest) team of the week, such as avoiding Kansas City in Week 11.
- More importantly, about 15% of our customers who only played a single survivor pool entry this year are either still alive in or have already won their pool. (Again, the cumulative survival rate for the general public’s picks is only 2%.) Around 34% of our customers who played more than one survivor pool entry either still have at least one entry alive, or have already won a pool.
Early Survivor Pool Win Reports
We’ll need to wait until after the end of the NFL season to report final numbers, but the performance of our NFL survivor pool picks so far has already yielded some payoffs. As reported on our Survivor support forum over the past few days:
“Was down to 3 of us for a few weeks in a row. This week I chose NO and the other 2 choose KC. I will have to say, there was about 10 minutes of real time where I thought I was toast (NO down 31-16) and KC was driving near the end to a winning score. Well we know how it all worked out! Anyways, thanks David to you and the team for the win!”
“Ring the bell!!!!! I just won my 100 entry survivor pool as the last one standing. I had PIT the remaining two others had KC. This is the second time I have won in three years. I also won a huge NCAA pool earlier this year with TR’s advice.This is the best site for the types of pools I love to play. Thanks to all the folks at TR! You guys are the best!!!!!”
“Thank you again, TR!! Five left in my pool this week. 4 picked the Chiefs, I picked the Saints. Hehe. Couldn’t have scripted how those two games ended. What a roller coaster! Couldn’t have done it without the tools on this website!”
If you’re curious, here’s more information on our NFL Survivor Picks product, as well as the midseason update on our picks for football pick’em pools.