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NFL Week 5 Survivor Pool Analysis, Percentages & Pick: There is Value in San Francisco

NFL Week 5 Survivor Pool Analysis, Percentages & Pick: There is Value in San Francisco article feature image

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

  • With a number of teams still available, who is the best survivor pool pick heading into Week 5.
  • Travis Reed takes look at the Week 5 NFL schedule and tells us why he thinks the possible return of Jimmy Garoppolo makes the San Francisco 49ers a strong play in your survivor pools.

We’re already a quarter of the way through the season. Or maybe halfway, or maybe a week left. The increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the league certainly put a complete season in doubt. With each subsequent week, we’ll likely deal with more games moving around the schedule or being cancelled.

This week’s Broncos at Patriots game is a good example of how we have to be nimble in survivor pools this season. As of this writing, we’re not entirely sure if the game will be played. If it is played, we’re not entirely sure who will be the quarterback for both teams.

Keep an eye on the news for this game. If the game is played and Drew Lock is inactive for another game, the Patriots can quickly become an elite play. But if your league locks Thursday, you just have to ignore this game completely.

The Titans and Bills are also uncertain to play this week, but that is projected to be a close game, so neither team would be a good option anyway.

Now that we know some of the teams not to take, let’s take a look at the projected win percentages for the rest of the season to find out who we should select:

Before I get to the pick percentages and expected value for each team, let’s look at the schedule for some teams with high percentages this week.

The Chiefs and Ravens have the highest projected win percentages but also have the most games remaining that are good options. The Chiefs are the best option by far in Week 8 (vs NYJ) and Week 9 (vs CAR), with the Ravens maybe being a team you wait to use until very late in the season.

The Cowboys have only one game with a higher win percentage, which happens to fall on Thanksgiving against Washington. If your pool uses the 3-game Thanksgiving slate as a  separate week (like the Circa survivor contest does) then you absolutely should look to save Dallas.

Here are the projected pick percentages for the top options and the expected value for each team:

Team Pick % Model EV
Chiefs 7.8% 83.6% 1.36
Ravens 6.1% 78.2% 1.28
49ers 2.8% 74.9% 1.23
Cowboys 31.6% 74.0% 1.00
Patriots 2.5% 73.2% 1.20
Steelers 4.4% 71.2% 1.15
Saints 2.7% 70.8% 1.16
Cardinals 12.4% 70.3% 1.07
Seahawks 3.7% 66.6% 1.09

Unless you are in a pool with  just a few people left, I would still save Kansas City and Baltimore for later in the season.

The Cowboys are the most popular pick this week, but not so much so that they are -EV. As I said before though, I think saving Dallas for Thanksgiving week is my penciled in plan as of now.

My Pick: 49ers over Dolphins

We currently don’t know for sure whether Jimmy Garropolo will be back under center this week, but the market has set the 49ers line at -9, which is a pretty good hint.

If and when that knowledge is released, I would expect the 49ers pick percentage to increase so the expected value will drop some but they will still be a high value play.

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