clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Football survivor pool strategy/picks, Week 1: Getting the season started right

NFL survivor pools are back as the NFL season gets going. We are here to provide some tips to stay alive all season.

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 football season is just about upon us, with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots kicking off in just over 24 hours! Fantasy football leagues are getting started, and pick ’em pools are ready to get going. However, don’t sleep on survivor pools. For those new to the contest, a survivor pool involves picking one team each week that you think will win. If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick a team twice. You could very well use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you won’t have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.

There is plenty of strategy in determining which team you will take each week, and SB Nation is here to help. We have five experts providing rankings for each week, and then some thoughts on weekly strategy. First up, we have a consensus ranking of all 32 teams, and which are most likely to win this week. That is followed by each writer making a pick, some reasoning for the pick, and then some alternatives to consider.

Week 1 Survivor rankings

Rank Team Opp. JG SK DG
Rank Team Opp. JG SK DG
1 Pittsburgh @ CLE 1 3 2
2 Buffalo vs. NYJ 2 1 4
3 Atlanta @ CHI 3 4 1
4 New England vs. KC 4 2 5
5 Denver vs. LAC 7 8 3
6 Carolina @ SF 6 6 8
7 Houston vs. JAC 5 5 14
8 LA Rams vs. IND 8 9 9
9 Cincinnati vs. BAL 9 11 7
10 Dallas vs. NYG 11 7 12
11 Arizona @ DET 14 14 10
12 Green Bay vs. SEA 15 12 11
13 New Orleans @ MIN 10 23 6
14 Tennessee vs. OAK 13 15 15
15 Washington vs. PHI 12 17 18
16 Seattle @ GB 18 21 13
17 Tampa Bay @ MIA 16 13 24
18 Oakland @ TEN 20 18 16
19 Miami vs. TB 17 20 21
20 Philadelphia @ WAS 21 16 22
21 Detroit vs. AZ 19 19 25
22 Minnesota vs. NO 23 10 31
23 LA Chargers @ DEN 26 25 19
24 Baltimore @ CIN 24 22 28
25 NY Giants @ DAL 22 26 26
26 San Francisco vs. CAR 27 27 20
27 Kansas City @ NE 29 31 17
28 Indianapolis @ LAR 25 24 29
29 Jacksonville @ HOU 28 28 23
30 Chicago vs. ATL 30 29 30
31 Cleveland vs. PIT 32 30 27
32 NY Jets @ BUF 31 32 32

Jeff Goldberg

Best picks: Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills

Welcome back to another year of NFL survivor! Week 1 presents us with the old adage, what's past is prologue. Last year, the team to attack in survivor leagues was the woeful Cleveland Browns, except for you poor souls who took the Chargers in Week 16. Well, the Browns are still a team to go after this week, facing the super-loaded Pittsburgh offense. Bell, Brown, Bryant, Ben, the Killer B's will surely swarm the Browns this week.

But if you want to avoid burning a top team in Week 1, we present you the 2017 version of the Browns — the New York Jets. Even the quarterback is the same! Josh McCown started for Cleveland last year and he's the guy this week for the Jets, who will definitely threaten the 2008 Lions for the 0-16 title. The Bills might not be much better, and that makes this the best time to use them. You'll be happy knowing you never have to use Buffalo again this year.

Derek Gordon

Best picks: Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers

The season opens with a ton of divisional games and I tend to avoid those for survivor, especially this early in the season. I'm going to take Atlanta over Chicago as my No. 1 pick. I hesitate to use Atlanta this early, but there aren't a lot of safe plays this week. My second pick is Pittsburgh over Cleveland. The Browns haven't beat the Steelers twice in the previous 10 contests and they'll be starting a rookie QB in this one.

Zachary Senvisky

Best picks: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers

My best survivor pick for Week 1 is Buffalo. Their opponent, the Jets, are in such a mess. Buffalo will have Tyrod Taylor returning from the concussion protocol. They're playing at home and favored by double digits. The Bills defense is still their strength. It'll be interesting to see if the Jets can mount any sort of offensive attack with their lack of weapons.

My secondary picks would be New England and Pittsburgh. New England isn't facing a gimme but is still strongly favored. They're playing at home and come into this game healthy, with the exception of the loss of Julian Edelman. The Super Bowl champions should roll to an easy win. Pittsburgh plays Cleveland with their rookie quarterback. I can't see a rookie beating this Pittsburgh defense in his first start. The Steelers are also fully healthy and without any suspensions on offense to start the season.