Week 2 Survivor Pool Pick and Strategy: Cardinals’ Best Matchup of the Season

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Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray

  • Heading into Week 2, many survivor pool players need a win, while others hope to keep their foot on the gas.
  • The Arizona Cardinals look to be one of the teams with the best chances of snagging a victory in Week 2.
  • Travis Reed breaks down his Week 2 survivor pool strategy below.

Last week couldn’t have gone much better for us, as the Colts lost to the Jaguars as one of the most popular picks in survivor pools across the country. The 49ers and Eagles losing also helped increase the odds of winning for players who pivoted off those popular choices.

In total, around 35-40% of entries were eliminated in Week 1. That is a good example of how it pays off to be contrarian and gain equity when large amounts of the field are taken out.

Last week, the data pointed to one team as the clear pick. This week, there are a bevy of options to choose from. Here are the projected odds for every remaining game of the 2020 season.

There are nine teams with a projected win percentage of 65% or more, according to my simulations. So win projection has less to do with the decision this week. The key factors will be pick percentages and future value.

Here are the top nine options for Week 2.

Team Pick % Model EV
Cardinals 7.6% 72.9% 1.18
Steelers 4.1% 71.9% 1.18
Titans 11.7% 71.3% 1.13
Buccaneers 6.2% 71.0% 1.16
49ers 32.4% 68.7% 0.93
Cowboys 0.9% 67.2% 1.15
Ravens 1.4% 67.2% 1.16
Chiefs 6.3% 65.8% 1.05
Saints 1.8% 65.2% 1.10

The 49ers are the most popular pick this week as they travel across the country to face the Jets. This popularity makes them a bad play this week, especially with so many other options.

The Packers are essentially in the same situation. They are too popular of a pick and my model isn’t particularly high on them. The line for this game seems like it is being driven largely by how good the Packers looked last week.


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The Chiefs, Ravens, and Saints all should be saved in my opinion. These three teams are the best in the league so saving them when there are only a few options is key.

The decision really comes down to three teams for me: Cardinals, Steelers, and Buccaneers. Of those three, the Steelers have the most future value. Pittsburgh still has five projected games with a win percentage of 65% or more.

My Pick: Cardinals over Washington Football Team

I went back and forth between the Cardinals and Buccaneers and if you have multiple entries I would have no issue with splitting your entries between the two.

In the end, Arizona has the highest projected win percentage, the most expected value, and this is their easiest game remaining on the schedule. Playing in the tough NFC West isn’t going to produce a lot of quality options for survivor pools.

That is too many factors all pointing to the same team so I’ll take Arizona to win this week and get to 2-0 on the season.

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