NFL Survivor Pool Picks: Bills, Colts and Titans Among Top Recommendations for Week 18
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills.
The final week of the season is here. At this point in survivor pools, we no longer care about future value or saving teams. It's all about who wins this week.
That doesn't mean you just pick the team that gives you the best chance to win, though. If you are in a pool that splits the winnings at the end, you can still gain some expected value if you fade a popular pick and that team loses.
The only problem with that strategy in Week 18 is there isn't an overly popular team. Every player left has different options left, so everyone isn't funneled into playing the same plays.
NFL Survivor Pool Picks
The table this week will be longer than usual because you might be scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point.
The key is to stay up to date with the latest news. As of this writing, Joe Burrow has been ruled out for Sunday and the Browns are all of a sudden an option.
This is likely to happen with many more teams this week as we get closer to Sunday. Instead of future value, I have listed a team's "rest risk" in the final column.
This is mostly just a gut reaction of whether or not a team will rest given their current playoff situation.
Here are the top options for Week 18.
If you have the Bills or Colts left, fire away. I think the same feeling applies to the Bucs, Patriots, and Titans as well.
The Titans are projected to be the most popular option but still come in at less than 20% because of the distribution of picks this final week.
The Packers have a high expected value but are a high risk to rest players. Aaron Rodgers has said he wants to play but he's not immune to lying to the media as we've seen already.
After the top options, the Saints look like the best of the second tier. They have to win to get into the playoffs so rest is of no concern.
Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon are already out and that could lead to the Bengals just waving the white flag against the Browns. However, the Browns have already announced that Baker Mayfield is out so it could be a standoff of which team cares less.
The Vikings have been eliminated but head coach Mike Zimmer is on the hot seat so he could want a win to help out his own cause.
Baltimore is not technically eliminated but they are in the "snowball's chance in hell" scenario. Still, it could make sense just to sit Lamar Jackson and not risk further injury for next season.
My Pick: Best Expected Value Option
It feels silly to give out a pick when there's a good chance 95% of the people reading this won't have that team as an option.
Use the expected value column as a guide for your best pick and go from there. And then stay on top of the news this week to see who is actually playing.