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Week 1 NFL Survivor strategy and picks

NFL survivor pools are back as the NFL season gets going. We are here to provide some tips to stay alive all season.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz talks with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Josh McCown prior to a preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on August 29, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL is back! The 2019 season marks the 100th anniversary season, kicking off with the Chicago Bears hosting the Green Bay Packers on Thursday evening. Fantasy football leagues and DFS lineups need to get settled, and there’s still time to get your pick ‘em pools sorted out. It’s an exciting time!

However, you can’t forget about Survivor pools. If you’ve never taken part in such a pool, it involves picking one team each week that you think will win. If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick the same team twice. You could use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you would not have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.

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Whether you are in a single-elimination or double-elimination contest, there is plenty of strategy in determining which team you will take each week. DK Nation is here to help with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps.

Safest picks

Philadelphia Eagles over Washington
Seattle Seahawks over Cincinnati Bengals

There are a few teams every year that everyone is going to be picking against on a regular basis. There’s a decent chance Washington is on that list. Divisional matchups are not ideal, but Philadelphia is decidedly better than Washington, and playing this game at home.

The Seahawks are still viewed a step back of the Los Angeles Rams, but they are a playoff contender. Meanwhile, the Bengals will be without A.J. Green and are expected to bring up the rear in the NFC North. Seattle has a couple nice matchups down the road, but using them in Week 1 isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Best value picks

Baltimore Ravens over Miami Dolphins
New York Jets over Buffalo Bills

Barring something unexpected, the Dolphins are going to be picked against more often than any other team in your Survivor pool. The downside to this pick is a lot of people will use Baltimore, and road games can add some drama. But in a week when there are so many questions for so many teams, this is one pick that holds some value.

For the other game, I’m not a Jets fan, but I think they could be a really solid squad this season. Sam Darnold is a better quarterback than Josh Allen, and if Darnold can take a step forward, the Jets could compete for a wild card berth. The addition of Le’Veon Bell and the potential emergence of Robby Anderson makes for an intriguing offense. This is another divisional game, which can raise some issues, but I think Josh Allen is in line for several turnovers on Sunday.

Trap pick

Dallas Cowboys over New York Giants
New Orleans Saints over Houston Texans

The Cowboys might be excited to have Ezekiel Elliott back, but his game condition will be something to watch. Dallas should win this game with relative ease, but Saquon Barkley is enough of a force on his own that he could keep this game uncomfortably close. I won’t criticize you for picking the Cowboys, but I’d rather save them for Week 3 vs. Miami.

Meanwhile, the Saints are a touchdown favorite at home against Houston, but watch out. The Saints struggle in the first two weeks. Houston has a lot of questions after trading Jadeveon Clowney, but DeShaun Watson is enough of a presence to shake this one up. I’d say stay away from it entirely.