Week 7 NFL Survivor Final Update: Sticking With The Vikings

posted in NFL, NFL Survivor Pools

This Thursday heralded another good start to our Survivor week, as one of the two top options from our preliminary post, the San Francisco 49ers, toughed out a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in a low scoring affair. We recommended the 49ers for many people in small pools who still had them available, so we’re glad they came through.

Our other top option as of Wednesday was the Minnesota Vikings, whom we recommended as the best choice for all large pools, and some small ones. Minnesota’s profile remains strong as of Friday afternoon.

The biggest change in the Survivor landscape since Wednesday came in the form of a boost to New England’s money line, which may have altered the optimal strategy in some small pools.

Here’s a look at the updated Survivor data table. As a reminder, this helps us answer the three main questions we ask ourselves about each team when making our Survivor pick.

1. How likely are they to win? (consensus sportsbook Spread at -110 payout odds, Pinnacle Money Line, and TR Odds from our NFL win picks page)

2. How popular is this team? (Average public Pick % from sites like Yahoo! and OfficeFootballPool)

3. Should I save this team for later? (Future Value: the estimated number of future games where the team is expected to have win odds of 75%+, based on averaging projections from our NFL Survivor Tool [which uses data from only this season] and our NFL Season Projections [which incorporates our preseason team projections]. Near Value: a modified version of Future Value that places more emphasis on near term value and is more relevant to players in very small pools.)

Week 7 NFL Survivor Decision Factors (Updated)

Teams are listed in order of how attractive we think they are as a choice this week. They’re also separated into rough tiers. If two teams are in the same tier, you may want to choose among them based on which pros and cons are more important to your particular situation.

***UPDATE*** Friday night, there was some Raiders money line movement at Pinnacle, as it jumped all the way up to -267. The TR odds take these lines into account, and they have also crept up a few percent. Now that Oakland seems safer, they look like they belong up in the top tier, with Minnesota. We’ve updated the table below with the latest numbers, and moved the tiers around to reflect the current status. ***END UPDATE***

TeamOpponentSpreadMoney LineTR OddsPick %Future ValNear Val
Tier 1: Top Option
Minnesotavs Arizona-7.0-300 / +26473%8.4%0.00.0
Oaklandvs Jacksonville-6.0-267 / +23767%6.8%0.00.0
Tier 2: Worth A Look
Houstonvs Baltimore-7.0-300 / +26475%1.7%3.53.6
NY Giantsvs Washington-6.0-255 / +22763%3.1%1.81.8
New Englandvs NY Jets-10.5-537 / +43577%34.5%4.84.6
Buffalovs Tennessee-3.5-185 / +16658%1.7%0.50.1
Chicagovs Detroit-6.5-265 / +23566%6.1%3.34.5
Green Bayat St Louis-5.0-223 / +21066%19.2%3.03.5
New Orleansat Tampa Bay-2.0-120 / +10955%1.2%0.30.0
Dallasat Carolina-2.0-120 / +10952%1.0%0.00.0
Indianapolisvs Cleveland-2.0-128 / +11647%3.2%0.00.0
Pittsburghat Cincinnati-1.0-109 / -10152%0.4%1.31.7

Teams We Already Picked: Houston Texans (WIN), Cincinnati Bengals (WIN), Dallas Cowboys (WIN), Green Bay Packers (WIN), San Francisco 49ers (WIN), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WIN)

What Has Changed Since Wednesday?

It’s been a pretty tame week, in terms of teams’ Survivor profiles. There are a few shifts worth discussing, however.

Minnesota Vikings — The spread, money line, and TR Odds for the Vikings have all edged up slightly, probably partly due the news that Arizona’s starting quarterback, Kevin Kolb, will miss this week’s game due to injury. Combined with a drop in Houston’s money line, and the fact that San Francisco already played, this makes Minnesota the second safest team remaining, behind New England. They’ve still been picked by only 8% of the public, and still have no future value, so we’re now even more confident that Minnesota is the best choice this week.

New England Patriots — The money line for the Patriots has risen from –460/+393 to -515/+435, while their popularity on Yahoo! and OFP has dropped by a couple percent. The main effect of this is that in pools where future value matters little (very small pools, or pools where you can re-use teams), New England is looking like a more acceptable conservative alternative to Minnesota. Though we think the Vikings are still the optimal pick for maximizing expected value, if you are in a small, high-dollar pool where getting any piece of the prize pie is a life-changing event (meaning public pick percentage becomes less important), the Patriots may be a reasonable choice.

New York Giants — Similar to Minnesota, New York has seen all their lines and odds rise a bit in the last couple days. For those of you with multiple entries, the Giants now look like a decent second option to pair with Minnesota. Oakland has less future value, so are also a good second option, but the Giants are a bit safer.


Oakland Raiders — Friday night, there was some Raiders money line movement at Pinnacle, as it jumped all the way up to -267. The TR odds take these lines into account, and they have also crept up a few percent. Now that Oakland seems safer, they look like they belong up in the top tier, with Minnesota. We’ve updated the table above with the latest numbers, and moved the tiers around to reflect the current status.


Official Week 7 NFL Survivor Pick: Minnesota Vikings over Arizona Cardinals

As we mentioned above, Minnesota is now the second-safest team remaining, after New England. Given that the Vikings have zero future value and are being picked by only 8% of the public, this is an easy choice: we’re sticking with the Vikings as our official Week 7 pick.

The core logic hasn’t changed since Wednesday:

  • The clear safest team of the week (New England) is also very popular and has a lot of future value, so we want to save them for later, and hope for an upset to knock out a third of the pool.
  • Out of the next safest tier of teams, Minnesota has the least future value and is middling in popularity, so they are the most attractive option.
  • The only little-to-no-future-value teams that are less popular than Minnesota are much riskier.

Are the Vikings a guaranteed win? No, no team ever is. But the drop in win odds from New England is worth it, in exchange for the lower popularity and the fact that we get to save New England for Week 11 or later.

Advice For Other Pool Sizes

Remember, all the discussion above is designed for large pools, where future value is still very important. Many of you are probably in pools with only a few people left. It’s important to remember that in small pools, the correct strategy can change considerably. Here’s a refresher on key three points about Survivor end-game tactics:

  • It’s less likely that your opponents’ picks will closely mimic the national public picking averages.
  • Future value means less.
  • Resist the urge to play overly conservative just because you’re close to winning.

For an expanded discussion on these points, see the Week 4 NFL Survivor post.

Here is some specific advice for Week 7 for those in smaller pools:

Pools With 10 – 20 People — Future value is less important here, so Houston looks quite a bit more attractive, and New England is worth a look. If you expect your pool pick rates to be similar to Yahoo! and OFP, then we still feel Minnesota is the best option. But if you expect the Vikings to be much more popular, switching to Houston becomes an attractive option.

Pools With 3-10 People – If you’re in a very small pool, where you can take some rough guesses about who your opponents will choose, all bets are off. Our picks are made based on the assumption that these public pick percentages roughly match the pick rates in your pool, and that won’t be true for your poolIn very small pools, the general strategy this week is to ignore future value, and try to take the team you think will be least popular out of New England, Minnesota, and Houston. Any tie in projected popularity goes to the team named earlier in this list. If you’re having trouble predicting who your opponents will choose, you may want to just default to Minnesota.

Head-to-Head Pools – Strategy totally changes here again, as the pick percentages will always be 50% or 100%. It’s impossible for you to pick an unpopular team, because you are half the pool. And future value usually means very little, as the pool may be over this week. In those cases, safety becomes the number one priority. So in head-to-head pools, we recommend taking the biggest favorite you have available. For most of you, that’s probably New England.

As always, feel free to ask questions about your specific situation in the comments section. If you’re in a small pool, be sure to include information about pool size, who you have available, and who you think your opponents will choose, as those are the key factors in small pools. If you’re in a large pool, please include info on why you think your pool is different than the generic Yahoo! and OFP pools.

  • Pete

    Why does Minnesota have zero future value? Aren’t they a great option at home versus Tampa Bay on a short week next week? I don’t see a lot of other appealing options next week outside of Chicago (already used Green Bay).

    Does giving Minnesota future value change anything for this week?

    21 of 274 remaining. I have used Hou, Cin, Dal, GB, SF, TB

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Our two power ratings systems (one that incorporates preseason ratings, and one based entirely on this year’s data) give the Vikings 56% and 63% win odds next week. I do see that Teddy Covers projects the line at -6.5, so he thinks it’s a bit more tilted towards the Vikings.

    But, even if you give them that one game as a good spot, they still grade out as the best pick, so this difference isn’t too big of a deal, I don’t think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21721315 Carlo Ferri

    Out of the 24 remaining people last week 15 picked Atlanta. I was the only one that picked Tampa. Everyone else got eliminated and it turns out I would have won the pool if Oakland would have won. With that being said. It’s probably safe to assume that the remaining 15 will pick New England this week since they seem to be favorite pickers. If that’s the case then I need to pick minnesota( I already used Houston).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I would guess at least one or two of them pick somebody besides New England. But yes, your logic is sound, there. I would go with Minnesota.

  • Eric F

    My table is set – started with 67, down to 5. I read your advice to decide who would be the least popular out of NE, Minn, and Hou. I went with Minnesota. The picks were just published and all four of the others took NE. Even if the Jets don’t pull off the miracle upset, I still have NE and nobody else does. Thank you for your interesting, entertaining analysis. I didn’t find you until week 6 – but I will never leave.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Sounds like the picks this week worked out in the best way possible for you. … Now we just need the games to follow suit! Glad you find the column useful.

  • BR

    3 left in my pool. 1 already picked SF and won. In wk 10, I’m the only one with SD. Otherwise, we’ve mostly all picked the same teams. Do I go NE or MIN?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I would go NE in the hopes the other guy picks another team and leaves you with the upper hand this week. If he also goes with NE, that’s fine, as you’re not at a disadvantage.

    The main downside is that you lose NE for the future (Week 11, probably). But I think in a small pool you try to grab the advantage in the current week and hope the pool is over by then.

  • Br

    thanks so much!

  • Shivah Blast

    Down to final 5 in a two strike league. Only people with no strikes yet are myself and “Player 1” Picks thus far have been as follows:
    1: NYG, CHI, ARI, SFO, ATL
    2: HOU, PIT, BAL, NYG, ATL
    3: SDG, PIT, NWE, NYG, ATL, GB
    4: NYJ, DAL, NWE, MIN, ATL, SF
    I know the last two people’s picks are GB and SF respectively. Unsure how to choose this week based on the fact that we have strikes involved and I currently have an advantage over 3 competitors.
    Any help?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, interesting. In a normal pool, it looks like the immediate EV probably favors taking NE over MIN by just a hair. Given that the 2-strike rule means your pool will probably last a while longer, though, I’d try to preserve some future value and go with MIN. The fact that you have no strikes also makes the increased risk you’re taking less important. So my pick would be MIN, and hope your opponents both take NE. (or both do something crazy and pick the Jets or something)

  • Danny

    I am in a pool with 6 left. I am pretty sure 3 will pick NE and 2 will pick MIN. Does the popularity of MIN in my pool make NE the better pick? Or should I go with one of the other Tier 2 teams?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If those are the picks, then I would go with the safest non-NE/MIN team you have left. HOU, CHI, GB, NYG?

  • Danny

    What if that number drops to one other person picking MIN? I am just making educated guesses about my opponents picks.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If only one person picks MIN, then I would still prefer being the only person on HOU/CHI to being the second person on MIN. However, I’d prefer being the second on MIN to being the only person on GB/NYG.

  • Jay

    Thx for the TB pick last wk. I’m gonna go with you again. Good luck to all.

  • jason

    There is a chance AP will be limited this week. How much would the line have to move on MIN for you to change your pick to Raiders or NYG?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Good question. After messing around with the numbers a bit, it looks like in big pools the break even point is around -235 (using Pinnacle juice here). In small pools, I’d switch the Houston or New England around -255.

  • Mark Hulett

    so, as it turns out at this point in my pool, 5 people left, you can’t see all the picks ahead of time (unless everyone submits, then they would be revealed and you could then change your pick – i had erroneously posted wed that picks would be revealed after 4 entries submitted) – 1 guy took SF, so that leaves three others who i think will take a combo of NE and Minn. I have Houston left, but my feeling is the pool could go a good 3-5 more weeks …. so, do i either take Hou (who i am not keen on and has future value), or take Minn, even if 1-2 other people may also take them?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If you think you’ll be the only person on HOU, and there will be somebody else picking MIN, I’d go HOU. But it’s not like MIN is *horrible* there. Now, if TWO other people pick MIN, then it would be pretty bad for you to also end up on them.

  • Mark Hulett

    well, as everyone else has already taken houston, i know that i definitely would be the only houston pick … would i be better off taking houston or being #2 on Minn given future value consideration?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Do you have decent alternatives to Houston in Week 9 (CHI, NYG, SD, GB?) and Week 11 (NE, maybe DAL?) If you’re threadbare those weeks, I’d go ahead and go MIN, otherwise I’d burn HOU now.

  • Mark Hulett

    To date i have taken (Det, Cin, Dal, GB, SF, Mia) – so i would have options for those weeks … I guess burn Hou it is and differentiate myself this week from anyone who takes NE or Minn – Go Texans!!!

  • Chris

    What time are picks revealed if everyone hasn’t made them yet? 1pm est on sunday? If so, never make a pick until about 1255, it will very likely be the last submission, picks will be revealed, then change your in accordance with the pick percentages. You can read remain fairly confident your opponents won’t change their picks in this limited window.

  • Mark Hulett

    so, 2 guys on Minn and one on NE – given money line changes (down for Hou) do i go with Oakland, or be #2 on the Pats?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I probably would have told you to go with NE if I’d seen this in time … but given how things turned out, hopefully you went with OAK and saved NE’s future value.

  • Kristen973

    I’m in a pool with 16 people left and considered picking Oakland but would I be better off going with Minnesota?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.melvin.94 Adam Melvin

    Just Curious why you would go gainst Arizona who is 4-2 with a win at NE already and going back to last year 13 of their last 16 games have been decided by 4 points or less and have played 6 OT games. This line is now 6.5, but I heard this opened before the year at Minnesota-1 and the rosters have not changed much. I would think there is more value in going against a bad team like the Browns on the road. Last week that worked great going against KC. I love your blog and follow it every week, but for the first time in a while I am scratching my head over the selection. I think the line move up to 6.5 might be an overraction to Kolb being out, but as the 31st ranked offense in the NFL that cant hurt them much, Skelton might be better. Thanks for your great work David

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Because of the info in the table, and the reasoning I laid out in the article. I’m not trying to second guess lines, I’m assuming the lines and odds are good, then trying to apply smart reasoning and some game theory concepts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.melvin.94 Adam Melvin

    Last week you said you had KC rated as the worst team. I am curious ast to Minn and Arizona ranked in your power rankings. There is 14 people left in our pool and nobody has used NE so I want to badly pick against NE so with your track record of 23 Final updates in row being correct I am going to trust your smart reasoning and game theory concepts and cross my fingers and hope for the best. Thanks again for your hard work.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The Vegas lines and our TR odds are historically much better at predicting the winner than our power ratings are (This makes sense, as they take into account many factors, while the ratings look only at the score of previous games), so I wouldn’t worry too much about where they are ranked. But since you asked, Minnesota is roughly a half point better in our rankings.

    If you don’t want to pick MIN, you can always go with one of the Tier 2 teams.

  • Pork

    If MIN becomes more popular than NE in a pool of 50, do you switch to NE or NYG if you have otherwise been following the picks here? What would you say the % picked cut-off is for MIN?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    It can go fairly high, because one of their biggest plusses is that they have no future value, which is not true for any of the other relatively safe teams this week. I would pick them as high as 15% probably. OAK/NE/NYG/HOU would all be contenders to switch onto (assuming NE is much less popular, maybe 20% in your pool).

  • James

    Thank you very much for your advice last week. I ended up going with Miami, and while they made me nervous if all worked out for the best. Same question this week. There are just over 350 people left, pick percentages are usually fairly close to Yahoo, and we can pick a team twice during the season. Still, I have not yet selected any of your tier 1 or 2 choices. Just wondering if Minnesota is still my best pick or should I leaning more towards NE?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I would still go with MIN.

  • Mike


    I am in two pools.

    The first pool is down to 1,007 picks. In weeks 10 through 15 you must pick 2 teams and in weeks 16 and 17 you must pick 3 teams.

    HOU / CIN / CHI / GB / SF / TB

    I am thinking of taking MIN for this pool.

    The second pool is starting in week 7 and
    follows the same rules as the first pool.
    It is run by the same people as the first pool so I assume there will be
    several thousand picks to start. Should
    I also pick MIN?

    What do you think?

    Thanks again for your help!


  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    It sounds like future value is SUPER important in your pool, so I would definitely go with MIN in the main one. In the side one, I would probably take OAK. Their money line has gone up to -275 tonight, and they have no future value either, plus won’t be very popular.

  • Robert Ebin

    7 left. No record of past picks but wrote down last weeks:
    1,2,3,4….Atlanta and pretty sure they used sf week before, meaning they will all go with me
    5-tb last week, meaning he might be reading you or someone similar and go with min
    6-bal last week….this guy is nuts
    Because of guy#5, would you maybe go with nyg this week instead? I’ve already taken Houston, but still have min/nyg/GB/ne

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    At the current money lines, actually OAK looks like the next safest after NE/HOU/MIN. Like you said, guy #5 sounds like he may go MIN, but he may also be thinking along the same lines as you, and choose somebody else. It’s not really that bad to be the 2nd person on MIN this week — I think it’s preferable to dropping down to a riskier team, because if the crazy guy picks the same riskier team as you, then you’re in a pretty bad spot.

    So, I lean MIN. Second best would probably be OAK.

  • Robert Ebin

    Thanks so much David.

  • Jer

    Tough week for me. I think this is the first time I’ll deviate from your recommendation. My rationale…
    – Pool has around 500 left
    – We pick two teams in weeks 15, 16, 17. Meaning I need to pick some below average teams at some point.
    – Your recommendations have been noticeably more popular in this pool than the yahoo distribution
    – I disagree with the line on the Vikings game. I have a hunch that the Cardinals could put up a decent fight.
    – Jacksonville is terrible terrible terrible

    So I’m going with Oakland. Hope I don’t regret it.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Jer — I think that OAK is a fine choice, in light of the line movement in that game (up to -6, -275). Especially if you think Vikings will be more popular than the values in the table. Good luck!

  • Eddie Money

    40 people left in my pool – 14 picked New England, which is right in line with public pick percentages, but 8 also picked Minnesota (20%!), another 8 on Green Bay, and 4 each on SF and Oakland. Nobody picked the Giants! In a case like this, would the Giants be the clear favorite?

  • Chris

    Or Houston. You’d also be better off taking buffalo, Chicago, dallas, and etc than anyone else at least 4 of your opponents have taken. If you can be the lone wolf on a team you should be stoked.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yep, Chris is right … well, mostly. You’re in good shape if you’re the only person on HOU, CHI, NYG, or GB. I wouldn’t drop all the way down to DAL or BUF, though. My math there says those teams are risky enough that it’s better to go ahead and be the 9th guy on MIN or the 5th guy on OAK (or even the 16th on NE, but that gives up too much future value).

    So yes, I’d go with NYG since they have the least future value of that group.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ericwais Eric Wais

    Here’s my situation: Pool is down to 3 people and I am the only one left with two picks. Used one of those picks on San Francisco Thursday night so I’m guaranteed at least moving on to next week. Now I’m trying to decide between New England and Minnesota. I know NE is the safest by the numbers, but division games always make m ea bit nervous as a rule and with 3 people left I’d still like to save some future value. I’m pretty sure at least one of the other people in the pool will pick NE and I doubt either will take Minnesota. Seems like Minnesota is the no brainer pick, but every week I can keep two picks in the pool makes me a HUGE favorite to win so I feel like I’m right on the line between your “small pool” strategy and your “head-to-head” strategy. Am I over-thinking this?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, interesting. I’ve never worked out proper strategy for “2 picks left in a 4-entry pool” before.

    I think given that you already have a pick that has advanced to next week, New England is a good choice here. If you think there’s a decent chance both opponents could pick NE, that would be great — if the Pats get upset, all 3 entries are out and you win. If they win, your other entry is the only one with NE left.

    I tried to adjust my EV calculator for the fact that you already have SF through, and I *think* it shows NE as the highest immediate value. You do need to factor in the fact that picking MIN will save you some future value, but that is mitigated when you have only 2 opponents.


    Ok, so I am in a pool started at 5000 down to 438. I have 8 entries remaining and 3 of my picks went on 49ERS this Thursday which leaves 5 picks left. Do I go all 5 on one team (Minn or Oakland)? Do I put a few on NE and the remaining picks on (Minn or Oakland)? Not really sure how to play the 5 picks especially since I already have 3 into next week. How close would you say Minnesota is to the Oakland pick? The only reason I am asking is I actually like Oakland a lot this week and cant imagine many people will be taking them. Thanks

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think Oakland drops your chances of surviving by about 4% over Minnesota, given the lines and TR odds. If you feel strong enough to bump up Oakland’s odds by 5%, then they are a fine play.

    As for splitting, tough call. I usually recommend splitting only over two teams, but since A) you already have several entries through, and B) New England is a very big favorite, it wouldn’t be the end of the world to stick a couple entries on New England.

  • Skip

    Are we avoiding Chicago mainly because of their future value? I’m in two pools and need to save New England for week 11 in both. One is down to six. The other is down to 17. Have burned Chicago in 17 pool and am playing Vikes. Have no need to hold on to Bears in 6 pool. Think they have no future value for me. Would rather not play Vikes in both. Thoughts? Thanks.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, the main knock against Chicago is future value … that and they are just not as safe as Minnesota. Since you already are using MIN in the other pool, I think CHI is fine in pool #2.

  • Scott

    My pool is down to six people left including myself.

    I’ve taken Bears/Bengals/Cowboys/Texans/49ers/Bucs

    One person has already taken the 49ers this week.

    Of the other four people, no one has used New England this year, one person has used Minnesota this year, three people have used Houston this year, and two people have used the Giants this year.

    I assume Minnesota is still the pick? Also considered Oakland.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I think MIN or OAK is the way to go here. If you have a hunch that one of them will go unpicked, I’d go for that one.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hey everybody — I just wanted to point out that Oakland’s spread, money line, and TR Odds jumped up last night, and they now look a notch safer. Given their total lack of future value, that’s enough to bump them into Tier 1.

    In medium to large pools, if you’ve already used Minnesota, or need a second option to split between multiple entries, Oakland looks like a good choice.

    In smaller pools where future value matters less, Houston is probably still ahead of Oakland due to their greater immediate value this week.

  • TG

    Hi David. Love this site. Here’s my dilemma. I’m in a small pool with 10 others and can only pick a team once but not survival…winner is based on number of most correct picks for season. I am one of three who has not missed a pick…three others in the pool have one loss and four others have two losses. I have gone with your picks since I found you in week 2. Looking at the other two who have perfect records, none of us have used MN, Oakland, NE, or Houston. How should I approach this?? I won’t know their picks in advance. Last week one chose Falcons and the other the Dolphins…while I took Bucs thanks to you. Not sure this helps. Also, should I be also looking at the three people with one loss too? Seems like I should focus on my immediate competition?? Thanks for the help and all the great advice.

  • tg

    Also…I have a feeling one of the undefeated will take MN and the other either the Bears or maybe Patriots (only one of us to use Giants thus far). Another one-loss person is taking Oakland and like the three undefeated has lots of teams left with high future value.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    OK, so public pick percentage means much less. In a small pool, playing it safe is the way to go. But since you need to survive the whole year, future value matters a lot.

    Given that, I’d go with MIN, and save NE for the future.

  • sammie

    I am in a very small pool and the only one left who has not lost a game, but the rest of lost at least one and some 3. Our pool continues until the very end and the one with the least losses wins. 4 people picked New England when they lost. I have used all of your picks so for. Just a litt le worried about Minnesota, but it would be nice to save NE since half the pool can never use them again. Thoughts??? Sammie

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Som you basically want to maximize your win%, without worrying about other people. Given how valuable NE is in the future, I’d take MIN. If you’re uncomfortable with that, I’d take NE.

  • Sammie

    Thank you…I have done so well with you so far…I am going for Min. I appreciate all of your input to all of us. Do you ever sleep??

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Haha… not much, at least not between September (start of college football) and May (end of NBA)

  • Jay

    Hey David,
    Love the weekly updates, very good. Quick question. In a large pool down to 50 people. Top 3 picks are as follows 1. NE (19 – 38%) 2. Minn ( 10 – 20%) and 3. Oak (7 – 14%) I have all 3 of those choices left, should I go with Minn or Oak? Thanks ahead of time.

  • Chris

    What are the pick %’s for HOU or NYG? The pick %’s for all 3 teams in your pool are higher than the public pick % which means it should lower their value, and you may want to look elsewhere.

  • Guest







    49ers (W)






  • Jay

    4 Packers 9.8% 5
    5 Bills 7.8% 4
    6 Bears 2.0% 1
    7 49ers (W) 2.0% 1
    8 Colts 2.0% 1
    9 Texans 2.0% 1

    I’ve already picked houston. Looks like no one has picked giants this week so I could possibly pick them but wouldn’t I rather go with a tier 1 team?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Thanks. Given those percentages, I’d go MIN. HOU or OAK are probably next best.

  • Bob Sanders

    I’m very interested to see next week’s pick (yes, I know, this week hasn’t even begun yet). But, with GB as the ridiculously heavy fav to win, and no other great options, it should be interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.busa.5 Bob Busa

    Down to 3 and no body picked NE. Not really sure who they would pick because they are all over the board the past 6 weeks. Should I go with NE or MIN?? thanks

  • Chris

    NE for sure. Not even close.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.busa.5 Bob Busa

    Went with Min

  • Tuscaloosa Bill

    30% of my very large pool picked the Raiders! Its madness!

  • Chris

    Hopefully they lose! Unless you picked them too. No one in my pool took them, but it’s nice to see favorites lose.

  • Dave

    Raiders got lucky that Gabbert got injured, or else the Raiders would have easily lost. Henne was just absolutely horrible. Not sure if I’ve seen a worse QB performance, except for Ryan Leaf back in the day.

  • Dave

    Unbelievable, both games go down to the wire, but the Patriots and Raiders pull it out, saving half of my pool from elimination (I picked Minnesota). And wow the Jaguars are just awful. Jags fans better hope Gabbert comes back soon, or else the Jags might lose every game from here on out. Looks like next week they play the Packers, unfortunately I already used them up.

  • gus

    Hi Dave
    looking for early”preliminary picks again this week…due by noon tomorrow for our picks
    was looking at
    green bay
    i have 2 picks remaining-should i take packers twice?risky but i think it may be the biggest spread all year-and jax is inept
    i welcome your thoughts

  • Chris

    He will almost assuredly tell you not to take the Packers since they are 55% popularity on Yahoo.
    I’m not sure what the OFP % is but probably similar.
    I think the decision is between Min and Chi, but Den could be a dark horse given their Vegas odds are close to Min/Chi but their popularity is extremely low. Personally I’m staying away from them because NO is a wild card.

    Actually NE has the 2nd best win odds, yet is below both Min/Chi in popularity. Perhaps they are “the pick”. I’ve used them though so off my radar. Also they have more future value than the others.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Based on a SUPER quick look, with two picks I’d go MIN/CHI or MIN/GB. I definitely wouldn’t double up on Green Bay, because you want to benefit if the Jags pull a miracle.