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Expert Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Advice, Tips, Picks

Sporting News — (Sporting News)

The first NFL survivor week featured some carnage, as the Colts, Eagles, and 49ers were all popular choices that got upset right away. If you advanced, though, that means fewer survivor opponents to compete against in Week 2, since around 40 percent of survivor pool entries nationwide were eliminated last week. There are plenty of worthwhile pick options in Week 2, but making the right strategic choice can set yourself up for a deep run in your knockout pool this season.

In this post we will analyze the five most popular survivor and knockout pool picks of Week 2 using the "Holy Trinity" of survivor pick strategy data: Win odds, pick popularity, and future value. Over the past three years, our subscribers have reported nearly $2.5 million in survivor pool winnings thanks to this data-driven approach.

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As always, this analysis is brought to you by TeamRankings, the only site that provides customized picks that maximize your edge in football pools. Check out their NFL Survivor Pool Picks, Football Pick 'em Picks, and NFL Betting Picks.

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Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Tips, strategy for picks

Below we analyze the five most popular Week 2 survivor picks, we have to point out that this analysis should cover the picks that you are most likely considering making in your survivor or knockout pool this week.

To be clear, we are not saying that the first team listed, San Francisco, is the best Week 2 survivor pick for your specific pool(s). Rather, we're just telling you that the 49ers are the most popular Week 2 pick in survivor pools nationwide. We then break down the major pros and cons of potentially picking them.

To get our specific pick recommendations, just hop over to our NFL Survivor Picks product. Using the My Pool Picks feature, you tell us some things about your pool(s), and then the product shows you which Week 2 picks give you the best chance to gain ground on your opponents.

Note: Data referenced below was current as of Wednesday evening and could change between posting time and kickoff time. Our product updates multiple times per day with the latest information.

San Francisco 49ers (at NY Jets)

Survivor Pick Popularity: 19% (Most popular pick)

Point Spread: -7

The 49ers lost at home last week and are now the most popular survivor choice in Week 2. That's how strongly the public wants to go against the woeful Jets, who will now be playing without RB Le'Veon Bell.

San Francisco, though, isn't the biggest favorite of the week. Four other teams have a larger point spread. Given that they also have a fair amount of future value, the value proposition for using the 49ers this week with relatively high popularity and good (but not the best) win odds, is not all that great.

Tennessee Titans (vs. Jacksonville Jaguars)

Survivor Pick Popularity: 15%

Point Spread: -9

Tennessee, hosting Jacksonville, is tied with Tampa Bay for the largest point spread of the week. The Titans also have only modest future value, and some of the other potential weeks to use them come late (Weeks 13-15: Cleveland, at Jacksonville, Detroit).

So, they are a decent consideration with modest popularity for the team near the top in win odds. Whether they are the best pick for you, though, may depend on a lot of other factors, such as your pool size and rules.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endD/ST | Kicker

Green Bay Packers (vs. Detroit Lions)

Survivor Pick Popularity: 12%

Point Spread: -6

Green Bay looked very impressive in Week 1, cruising to a win at Minnesota while scoring over 40 points and gaining over 500 yards. Detroit, meanwhile, blew a big lead in the fourth quarter and lost in very Lions-esque fashion. Detroit also now has potential injury concerns in the secondary entering Week 2.

All of those factors are public knowledge, though, and Green Bay has been established as a six-point favorite in the betting markets. Meanwhile, the public is heavy on the Packers compared to their objective win odds, picking them 12 percent of the time in survivor pools.

Green Bay also has some future value and looks like one of the safest options in Week 10 when it hosts Jacksonville.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Carolina Panthers)

Survivor Pick Popularity: 11%

Point Spread: -9

The Bucs join the Titans as the largest favorite of the week. Tampa Bay did not look very impressive last week versus the Saints, with Tom Brady throwing two interceptions in his Tampa debut. So, this one comes down to whether you trust the objective win odds or refuse to believe them after Brady's poor debut.

As far as future value goes, Tampa Bay does have some moderate value in coming weeks. However, Week 2 is the only week in which we currently have the Bucs projected for over 70-percent win odds. They could potentially serve as a secondary or contrarian option in Week 8 (at the Giants) or Week 10 (in the rematch against the Panthers).

Kansas City Chiefs (at Los Angeles Chargers)

Survivor Pick Popularity: 8%

Point Spread: -8.5

As we noted in our preseason survivor analysis of the 2020 season, deciding when to use Kansas City will be a key strategy consideration in 2020 survivor pools. The Chiefs will be a good option in most weeks, including this one, where they are just slightly behind Tampa Bay and Tennessee in terms of having the largest point spread of the week.

Because you can only use the Chiefs once, though, you have to decide which week is the best to employ them as a pick. The longer you can wait for a better week while others use them, the higher their value will be in a future week when many entries cannot select them.

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Get our Week 2 survivor pick for your pool!

As we mentioned above, every possible NFL Week 2 survivor pick has an expected value and future value associated with it, and those values can vary significantly based on the characteristics of your pool.

It takes a lot of data and math to figure out which pick (or combination of picks, if you're playing multiple entries) gives the biggest boost to your expected survivor pool winnings, which is why we spent years building our NFL Survivor Picks product.

You answer a few questions about your pool’s size and rules, and it provides customized pick recommendations for your pool using the latest matchup data, betting market odds, and public picking trends. It tracks the picks you've already made with each of your entries, and even recommends how to split your picks for up to 30 different entries across a mix of teams.

We invite you to try it out, and good luck in your survivor pools this week!

GET PICKS NOW: FREE picks for your NFL Survivor Pool

If you want to dig deeper into some specific topics, you can also check out our full survivor pool strategy guide, where you can learn about things like expected value, future value, different survivor pool rules variations, and how to play multiple entries.