The Browns are the most popular NFL survivor pool pick in Week 2, as their transformation from perennial also-ran to Super Bowl contender continues. Cleveland lost its season opener at Kansas City but isn't alone in that aspect, as two of the other most popular Week 2 survivor pool picks also lost last week. Of course, the survivor/eliminator/knockout game is about projecting the future, not dwelling on the past, especially if you're in a strike pool and lost on a favorite last week. Fortunately, the expert number-crunchers from TeamRankings are here with tips and strategy advice to help you find the best survivor pool pick.
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Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Advice: Tips, strategy for picks
Here are our thoughts on the five most popular Week 2 survivor picks since you're probably considering at least one of these teams. To get our pick advice for your specific pool, please check out our NFL Survivor Picks product.
Note: "Pick Popularity" numbers below refer to the estimated percentage of survivor pool entries nationwide that have already picked the team in question. Those numbers, as well as a team's odds to win, can shift over the course of the week, so make sure to check our product for all the latest data.
BIG NEWS: Before we get to the picks, we're happy to announce that we just published our first-ever e-book, Survivor Pool Strategy: What It Takes To Win. It’s free right now, so download your copy here.
Cleveland Browns (vs. Houston Texans)
Pick Popularity: 35% (Most popular survivor pick)
Point Spread: -12.5
The Browns are tied for the biggest favorite of the week with Tampa Bay. Cleveland has good future value, but it also has high enough win odds now to offer solid value in using them. Its pick popularity isn’t prohibitively high (yet, at least), and Cleveland looks like a reasonable choice in most pools at around 35-percent pick popularity. Keep an eye on the pick rate because if it climbs throughout the week, that could change.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)
Pick Popularity: 21%
Point Spread: -12.5
Tampa Bay is going to be a frequent survivor pick option this year and has the highest future value of any team. Given that high future value, you always have to weigh if this is the right spot to use them.
With a popularity above 20 percent and two other high win odds options in Week 2, the answer right now is more likely to save the Bucs for a spot where they have similarly high win odds but aren’t being picked by as many opponents.
You can see where we have them ranked in your specific pool by taking advantage of our free Week 2 survivor picks trial.
Green Bay Packers (vs. Detroit Lions)
Pick Popularity: 17%
Point Spread: -11.0
Green Bay got crushed last week by New Orleans, as Aaron Rodgers threw two interceptions and the team scored just three points. The Packers have the lowest future value of the top pick options this week after accounting for their drop in power rating due to last week’s result. (If you think last week's result is going to be a complete anomaly, that may not be the case.)
Given that they aren’t as popular as the other two double-digit favorites, the Packers look like a reasonable option -- that is, if you can overcome picking a team that played very poorly last week and you trust the betting market numbers. You also have to be able to deal with waiting until Monday Night Football to find out your survivor fate.
MORE TEAMRANKINGS: Week 2 Pick 'em pool advice
New England Patriots (at New York Jets)
Pick Popularity: 6%
Point Spread: -6.0
About 27 percent of the public is picking a team besides the three double-digit favorites, and New England is the most popular pick among those alternate choices. The Pats have moderate future value but wouldn’t be unreasonable to use now if making a little riskier play to avoid the most popular picks makes sense for your pool.
Denver Broncos (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
Pick Popularity: 6%
Point Spread: -6.0
Denver has very similar win odds and popularity to New England. If that holds, Denver having higher future value plays a role in deciding between the two alternatives. Denver has the Jets at home next week and Detroit and Cincinnati at home in back-to-back weeks in Weeks 14 and 15. If you're in a bigger pool with many hundreds or thousands of entries, you'll most likely need to survive the whole season to win it and should absolutely be planning for Weeks 14 and 15 now.
Get our Week 2 survivor pick for your pool!
Every possible NFL Week 2 survivor pick has an expected value in the current week as well as a future value associated with it. Those values can vary significantly based on the characteristics of your pool, such as its size and its rules. It takes a lot of data and math to figure out which pick (or combination of picks, if you're playing multiple entries) gives you the biggest edge to win your pool, which is why we spent years building our NFL Survivor Picks product.
Our product asks you a few questions about your survivor pool, then provides customized pick advice using the latest matchup data, betting market odds, and public picking trends. It tracks the picks you've already made and even recommends how to split up your picks if you're playing multiple entries. There's nothing else like it, and it's why our subscribers have reported nearly $3 million in survivor pool winnings since 2017.
We invite you to try it out, and good luck in your survivor pools this week!