Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Pick: The Case For the Browns & Win Probability For Every Team

Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool Pick: The Case For the Browns & Win Probability For Every Team article feature image
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Joe Sargent/Getty Images. Pictured: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger

Sunday Morning Update: With Washington able to win on Thursday, the best possible remaining choice is the Cleveland Browns.

Even though they are the most popular choice in Week 2, they have a much better chance of winning than other choices such as the Buccaneers and Packers according to my model.

Hopefully you were able to squeak by with the Football Team on Thursday, but if not, the Browns at home against the Jaguars is an excellent consolation prize.


Editor’s note: The following was written before Thursday Night Football.

Well that was quick. For those of you that read last week’s survivor pool article, you’ll know that I was eliminated by taking the Jaguars. Hindsight is 20/20 but I was still fine with my process and think I would have made the same decision again.

I don’t take losing lightly, I know a lot of you play survivor pools for real money and could have some big payouts on the line at the end of the season. I also know a lot of you may have a second chance or just decided to go with someone else and still want the analysis for Week 2.

So we trudge on. Here are the projected win percentages for every game through Week 17:

Here are the top options for Week 2 with some of the key figures and data points to take into account.

Week 2 Survivor Pool Model

For those uninitiated, here are what the columns are showing in the data above.

  • Pick %: The projected percentage of entries in your pool that will pick that team
  • Model: My betting model’s projected win percentage for that team
  • Expected Value: How much value you gain or lose making that pick. Anything above a value of 1.0 is positive, anything below is negative.
  • Games Left: Games remaining on the schedule that have a projected win rate of 60% or more for that team.

The Browns are the most popular pick this week as they face the Texans at home after holding their own against the Chiefs in Week 1. Despite their popularity they are still a +EV pick according to my model just because their win percentage is so much higher than other teams.

I think the Browns are a better option in smaller pools than larger pools. It is less likely that smaller pools will go deeper into the season with fewer players so you can afford to take the chalk a little more.

My model thinks the market is overreacting to the Falcons Week 1 loss and I still think you should be saving Tampa Bay since they will be a good option most weeks of the season.

Buying low on the Packers is another tempting option but they should also have more options later in the season as well. Which leads me into my pick.

My Pick: Washington Football Team (vs. Giants)

I’m somewhat repeating myself from last week, but in large pools I think you are going to have to take some ugly plays early to give yourself plenty of options later in the season.

Washington is not going to have an easier game than playing the Giants at home, even with Taylor Heinecke at quarterback.

If they can make it through on Thursday, then saving teams like the Browns and Packers for later will give you a greater chance to win your pool when other players’ options start to dwindle.

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