NFL survivor pools are becoming more and more popular every season. If you aren’t familiar with survivor pools, they also go by the names of suicide pools, eliminators, or knockout pools.

They basically work like this: Each week you pick one team that you think will win their game outright. The catch is that you are only able to use each team one time.

As easy as this might sound, it’s a lot harder than you think. The parity in the NFL makes it tough to consistently pick outright winners. Especially once you’ve used up some of the best teams in the league.  The last man (or woman) standing wins the pool and the pot.

Each week I’m going to post the teams that I feel are your best bets for the week, those that are on the bubble, and those that I think you should avoid (that you might be tempted to take) if at all possible.

The strongest tool I use is the NFL lines.  The bigger the favorite the more likely they are to win the game.  But, I also use the same logic as I do when handicapping the point spreads.  For more great free content this week check out my teaser of the week.

Week 2 NFL Last Man Standing Pool Picks

Best Survivor Team Pick – Week 2

  1. Seattle Seahawks (vs San Francisco 49ers) – This one shouldn’t need a whole lot of explanation. Seattle is a two-touchdown favorite in their home opener against a 49ers team that lost 23-3 at home to the Carolina Panthers in Week 1. Playing as poorly as the Seahawks did in their loss to Green Bay, only makes this a stronger selection. San Francisco simply isn’t going to be able to do anything offensively against this Seahawks defense. At the same time, the 49ers defense is on that Russell Wilson can exploit. 

Top 3 Bubble Teams This Week

  1. Oakland Raiders (vs New York Jets) – Oakland is a similar home favorite to that of Seattle and will certainly be a popular pick this week in your pool. That’s because their playing the Jets, who just about everyone agrees is essentially tanking for a high draft pick in a deep QB class. New York’s offense was a disaster with zero threat of a running game and horrible play from Josh McCown under center. No chance they can score enough here to hang with Derek Carr and the Raiders high-powered offense.
  2. Baltimore Ravens (vs Cleveland Browns) – The Ravens had one of the more impressive performances of Week 1. They went on the road against a division rival in Cincinnati and won 20-0. Unlike some other teams who had great showings against bad teams, that’s a Bengals team that is expected to compete for at least a Wild Card spot in the AFC. Joe Flacco and the offense showed me enough to feel confident with this team at home against the Browns. Cleveland will send out a rookie QB against an elite Baltimore defense, which is a recipe for disaster. Ravens are solid choice if you decide to pass on the two obvious selections this week. 
  3. Carolina Panthers (vs Buffalo Bills) – Carolina defeated the 49ers 23-3 on the road to start out their season. I still think people are hesitant to trust this team after they were arguably the biggest disappointment in the league last year. They have my trust, as I expect this team to play like that 2015 version that went 15-1 and reached the Super Bow. Buffalo is another one of those teams that appeared to throw in the towel on the season before it started. Hard to imagine them pulling off an upset here on the road.

Suicide Teams to Avoid This Week

  1. Arizona Cardinals (@ Indianapolis Colts) – I’m not saying the Cardinals won’t beat the Colts. I just don’t know that I would trust this team with so many other better options on the board in Week 2. Arizona’s offense didn’t look good against the Lions and now have to figure out how to make it work without David Johnson, who is the guy their offense was built around. Indy is a team that will have an ugly game like they did last week vs the Rams and bounce back.
  2. Dallas Cowboys (@ Denver Broncos) – I just don’t think this is the time to use the Cowboys on the road against the Broncos. Denver has a top notch defense that looks to be improved against the run after holding Melvin Ingram and the Chargers to just 64 yards. If you can keep Dallas from grinding out the clock, you can exploit that defense. You also have to factor in the thin air that Cowboys’ players aren’t exactly use to. 
  3. Tennessee Titans (@ Jacksonville Jaguars) – I could see some thinking that the Titans are worthy of consideration as an under the radar type play this week. I would advise against that. I don’t think the Jaguars are getting near the credit they deserve after a convincing 29-7 win on the road against a division rival in the Texans. A lot of that has to do with how bad this team has been for such a long period of time. I think they got a shot at the AFC South title and actually making the playoffs behind a strong defense and renewed rushing attack with rookie Leonard Fournette.