NFL Week 11 Survivor Pool Picks, Strategy: Ravens Are the Easy Selection
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: John Harbaugh.
We’re down to the nitty-gritty in survivor pools, with most of the better NFL teams having been burned. On the bright side, most entrants are eliminated. If you’ve made it this far, you have a decent shot at winning.
Hopefully, you followed the advice from last week and prioritized the Chiefs over the Eagles. The Chiefs, along with the Giants, were the two most popular picks and both advanced.
With it being impossible to analyze which teams any individual entrant is likely to have remaining, we’ll touch on a few possible choices. Hopefully, you’ll have at least one of them available. However, there’s only one team favored by double digits this week and it’s a lot easier if you still have them available.
As always, we’ll keep an eye on rest-of-season expectations using projected win probability for the whole season from our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner. These update each week throughout the year, so we always have up-to-date information.
We’ll continue to utilize pick data to identify chalky teams. While it’s less important than it was early in the season, maximizing EV in massive pools still requires going against the grain.
Let’s dig into the Week 11 picks.
Baltimore is the aforementioned double-digit favorite this week. The Ravens are playing the Panthers, who are going back to Baker Mayfield at quarterback, following an injury to P.J. Walker.
That’s great for Baltimore given how much better the Panthers’ offense had functioned with Walker under center. This is also a home game for Baltimore, further sweetening the deal.
With Baltimore not being among the most popular picks in any week outside of Week 1, most entrants should still have them available. While they rank fairly highly in future value, this is their best single week in terms of expected win probability the rest of the way.
On the other hand, that means your competitors probably have them available too. If you’re down to single-digit entrants in your pool, fading the Ravens could be plus-EV — especially since it allows you to use them at a later date when your competitors can’t.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are also in a good spot this week, as 7.5-point favorites to the Cardinals. That spot could turn out to be even better if Kyler Murray misses another week.
This line seems to be a bit of a hedge between Murray playing and not. A healthy Murray would probably produce a closer line.
Therefore, anyone planning on using the 49ers should have a backup plan because this is a moderately tough spot if Murray plays. The tricky part is that this is the Monday Night Football game and we likely won’t have definitive word until after the other games are finished.
Still, if you don’t have the Ravens left, and/or need to get contrarian, San Francisco could be worth the risk. Arizona has struggled even with Murray, so the 49ers are likely to be favored either way.
Bills or Eagles
Both Philadelphia and Buffalo have eliminated a lot of survivor entrants over the past two weeks. Buffalo has dropped two in a row and the Eagles suffered their first loss — as big favorites — on Monday night.
On the plus side, if you’re still alive in survivor pools you likely haven’t used them yet.
This isn’t the best spot for either squad as both are heavier favorites later in the season. That doesn’t matter if you don’t make it that far though. If you don’t have Baltimore available, these two teams represent the safest options left.
Both are favored by roughly a touchdown, though the Bills are in a slightly better spot by virtue of being at home.
Below is the full data for each week of the NFL season. The implied probability as of Week 11 is listed for each team, as well as their “future value” in survivor contests.
The future value is the percentile ranking of each team’s combined win probability the rest of the way, and doesn’t factor in which weeks are strong. It should be used as a rough guideline for which teams to save down the stretch.
For a sheet that covers the entire season, click here.