Week 14 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2021)

Week 14 NFL Survivor picks have a lot of options, including the Chargers against the Giants and the Titans versus Jaguars.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers face a struggling Giants team (Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire)

In this column, we explore strategies to maximize your edge in NFL survivor pools, also known as knockout or eliminator pools. We also provide some of the rationale behind picks potentially recommended by our NFL Survivor Picks product.

Week 14 Survivor Updates

We’ll add to this post every day until the Sunday kickoffs, so check back for updates.


Tuesday 12/7

Week 14 Early Most Popular Teams Summary

This is an early summary of the most popular picks so far in Week 14.

  • Los Angeles Chargers (23%) vs. NY Giants
  • Tennessee Titans (18%) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Green Bay Packers (16%) vs. Chicago Bears
  • New Orleans Saints (12%) at New York Jets
  • Seattle Seahawks (11%) at Houston Texans

Besides these five, Denver (9%) is the only other team drawing more than 2 percent popularity so far.

Let’s quickly go through these five.

Los Angeles Chargers

This is a week where four of the five top options have very little usage among remaining entries. For example, only 5-plus percent of the public has used the Chargers once, and that was in Week 12 when they lost at Denver.

That makes for a dynamic where most entries have several options available to choose from. Right now, the public is going with the Chargers, but not too heavily.

That could continue to shift as the week continues, though, as the win odds have moved up based on the Giants QB situation. Daniel Jones has already been ruled out, Mike Glennon suffered a concussion, and the team signed Jake Fromm, who might start.

Right now, the Chargers have a pretty good EV of 1.07. They do have future value in Week 16, when they are projected as the largest favorite of the week against Houston.

Tennessee Titans

We will see how many of these Titans picks were preset from a few weeks ago and shift based on their recent form.

The Titans right now have moderate popularity and a modest EV (0.98), but if the popularity goes down, the EV could rise. Right now, they slot below other options in value.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are the one team here that has some higher past usage, which is constraining who can pick them. As a result, they have the best EV of this group (1.11) thanks to also having the highest win odds (84%).

Green Bay does have future value in Week 18 against Detroit, but that comes with an asterisk. The Packers might not be playing for much that week, so using them now is a pretty good option.

New Orleans Saints

The Saints have the lowest win odds of this group (71%), and given their similar popularity, they have the lowest EV right now. New Orleans could see a value bump if some key players get healthy and are active, including RB Alvin Kamara, who has missed each of the last four losses.

The Saints have no future value, so if they do see a win-odds rise, they could become a viable play. But for now, they slot below other options.

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have similar win odds to Tennessee, higher win odds than New Orleans, and slightly lower popularity than both. That makes them a potential option.

Houston hasn’t declared a starting quarterback yet for this week, but that news could shift the line, impacting Seattle’s value either way.


Tuesday 12/7

Week 13 Survivor Recap

For an amazing sixth week in a row, the most popular public pick in survivor pools went down, this time in dramatic fashion.

Here is a summary of the most popular picks for Week 13, and the results:

TeamOpponentPopularityResult
MinnesotaDetroit20%L, 29-27
LA RamsJacksonville14%W, 37-7
Kansas CityDenver13%W, 22-9
MiamiNY Giants11%W, 20-9
PhiladelphiaNY Jets11%W, 33-18
Tampa BayAtlanta7%W, 30-17
Las VegasWashington7%L, 17-15
ArizonaChicago6%W, 33-22
IndianapolisHouston5%W, 31-0
DallasNew Orleans1%W, 27-17
LA ChargersCincinnati1%W, 41-22
BaltimorePittsburgh1%L, 20-19

All three survivor-relevant losses this week came down to a late score (or non-score). Washington beat Las Vegas with a late field goal, the Ravens missed a would-be game-winning two-point attempt against Pittsburgh, and the Lions got their first win of the season with a touchdown on the final play.

None of the other matchups that impacted survivor pools were decided by a touchdown or less.

As a result, about 28 percent of the public was eliminated, with 72 percent advancing this week.

Our picks were most heavily on the Rams, Eagles, and Dolphins, as well as most of the other teams that won. Our biggest “fades” compared to public pick rates were Minnesota, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. As Meatloaf once sang, “Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed.”

With those results, we estimate that now less than 1 percent of the public that started Week 1 is alive. (About 0.8 percent, to be more exact). Meanwhile, we are still at around 4.5 percent, representing over a fivefold advantage after 13 weeks.


FYI

Survivor Strategy Articles and E-Book

If you’re serious about winning more survivor pools, you need to learn the key strategies that create edge. You can start with our free survivor strategy articles, which explain a number of the concepts we apply to our customized survivor pick recommendations.

We’ve also published a strategy e-book, “Survivor Pool Strategy: What It Takes To Win,” available for free download.


FYI

About Our Survivor Pool Advice

We break down the pros and cons of various survivor pick options in this column, but none of our advice is ever absolute.

Why don’t we just tell you the “best” survivor pick of the week? Because there is no universal “best pick” for all NFL survivor pools.

The best weekly pick for your pool depends on a variety of factors, including the number of entries still alive and your pool’s rules. For example:

  • Bigger pools reward more risk-taking.
    The more entries in your pool, the lower the chance you have to win it. In addition, you have a limited number of weeks to send hundreds or thousands of opponents to slaughter while you survive unscathed. As a result, bigger pools demand more focus on avoiding the most popular picks.
  • Non-standard rules change pick calculus.
    If your pool requires double picks late in the season, or if it’s a strike pool (i.e. your first incorrect pick doesn’t eliminate you), you don’t want to use the same pick strategy you’d use in a standard-rules pool. Those rule variations significantly influence decision factors, such as the value of saving good teams for later use.

Plus, what if you’ve already picked the team (or teams) that some article says is the best? What if the point spread for that “best pick” has gotten several points worse since the article was published? How should you spread your picks across multiple teams if you’re playing more than one entry?

Technology to the rescue

Other sites don’t understand this stuff, or they just ignore it because it’s complicated and hard. We’re the only site that has built algorithms to evaluate all the strategy factors that matter and provide you with customized survivor pick recommendations every week.

The result? Over the past four years, our subscribers have reported nearly $3 million in survivor pool winnings using our data-driven picks and tools.

So if you want to see all the Week 1 picks we recommend for your football pool, you need to use our NFL Survivor Picks product.

As another bonus, the product updates multiple times per day with the latest win odds and pick popularity data, so you’re never forced to make pick decisions based on stale data.

Why we write this column

At the same time, we know our subscribers like to understand the rationale behind picks the product may recommend, especially when those picks go against the grain. So over the years, we’ve started to write more about the “whys” behind our approach.

We also utilize this column to help educate our readers about survivor pool strategy. We highlight tactics proven to result in more survivor pool wins over the long term and point out common pitfalls to avoid.

Our goal with these articles is to dig deeper into the world of survivor pools than anyone else does, using an objective and data-driven lens. We’ll recap key results from the previous week, identify the most compelling picks of the current week, and evaluate the implications of breaking news on survivor strategy.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we encourage you to check out more of our survivor pool strategy articles.


Wednesday 12/8

Reviewing the Week 14 Recommendations So Far

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