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How to play in an NFL Survivor pool

Survivor pools are a simple product. Win and advance! We break down how to play the game.

A detail view of the NFL logo crest is seen on the field during the NFC Wild Card game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys on January 16, 2022 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 NFL season kicks off on Thursday and there’s still time to compete in one more entertaining season-long contest. Well, maybe season-long depending on how you do!

That’s right, it’s time once again to discuss NFL Survivor pools. You likely have friends taking part in Survivor contests, and if not, you can find them at ESPN and other sites.

We’ll go into more extensive detail, but the tl;dr of Survivor is that you pick a different team each week and barring unique rules in a contest, cannot pick the same team twice. The last person standing wins.

What is a Survivor pool?

You pick one team each week of the season that you think will win their game. If the team you pick wins in Week 1, you advance to Week 2 to make another pick. If the team you pick in Week 2 wins, you move on to 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 be able to use that team later in the year.

How am I eliminated from the pool?

  • The team you pick loses that week
  • You can no longer make a pick based on the teams you have already used.

When are my picks due?

Generally you just need to make a pick before kickoff of the game you want to choose. Some leagues will require all picks in by a specific time, but otherwise, you just get your pick in ahead of the given game.

How is the winner determined in an NFL Survivor pool

  • If at the end of any week, only one entry is alive, that entry is declared the winner.
  • If at the end of Week 17, multiple entries are still alive, there are two options: 1) all of those entries will split the prize pool evenly, 2) participants advance to the playoffs and continue making picks.
  • If there are no entries remaining at the end of a day, each entry that was alive prior to the elimination day would split prizes and the contest would end.