Week 4 NFL Survivor Pool Picks, Strategy: Just Take the Packers

Week 4 NFL Survivor Pool Picks, Strategy: Just Take the Packers article feature image

Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.

Week 3 was another brutal one for survivor contests. According to Yahoo's data, more than 55% of the remaining field was eliminated between the Chiefs and Chargers.

Hopefully, readers of this column were able to pivot from the Chargers to the Bengals:

Would definitely pivot to the Bengals here with Herbert likely missing for the Chargers https://t.co/hwcf8hl9et

— Billy Ward (@Psychoward586) September 25, 2022

If you did, congratulations on making it this far. It's an extremely thin field given how early in the year it is, so playing it as safe as possible will be optimal moving forward.

Still, 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 will update each week throughout the year, so every week we'll have up-to-date information.

We'll continue to utilize pick data to identify chalky teams to consider fading. While it's less important than it was at this time last week, maximizing EV in massive pools still requires going against the grain.

Week 4 is likely to have some heavy chalk, with three teams standing out above the rest of the field.

Let's dig into the Week 4 Picks.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers are ulta-chalky this week, and for good reason. They're taking on a 1-2 Patriots team that hasn't looked great this season — and could be missing starting quarterback Mac Jones.

While the Patriots haven't officially ruled out Jones, by most accounts his ankle injury is a multi-week issue. Green Bay was a 5.5-point favorite prior to the Jones injury anyway, making it one of the better picks on the slate regardless.

Using the Packers does hurt a bit as they have the highest implied win percentage in Week 6 as well. Given how soon that is, that will probably still be the case when we get there.

However, this week doesn't have a ton of other heavy favorites, so the smart money is probably playing it safe with Green Bay and dealing with Week 6 when we get there. There could be another quarterback injury or other major news by then that presents an opportunity.

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Philadelphia Eagles

If for some reason you don't want to use the Packers — or can't — the Eagles are the logical second option. They've been fantastic to start the year, and are the next biggest favorites at 6.5 points (vs. Jacksonville).

I'm not entirely convinced the Eagles are appreciably less likely to win than Green Bay. However, given the early forms of both teams, Philadelphia would be a much tougher team to be without the rest of the season.

The Eagles have six weeks remaining with at least a 70% implied win probability, largely thanks to playing in the fairly weak NFC East. They'd be better served saved for later if possible.

Los Angeles Chargers

Going back to the Chargers — assuming you pivoted last week — also makes some sense this week. They're favored by 5.5 points over the Texans, the third highest mark on the slate.

Still, I have concerns with Justin Herbert's rib injury, not to mention they didn't look great last week. I'd consider them if you burned both Philadelphia and Green Bay for some reason, but only as a last resort.

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The Data

Below is the full data for each week of the NFL season. The implied probability as of Week 4 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 downloadable sheet that covers the entire season, click here.

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