Football survivor pool strategy/picks, Week 7: Betting against the Browns and 49ers

We saw another couple of huge upsets in Week 6, which means NFL Survivor pools are dwindling. If you’re still alive in your pool, we are here to provide some tips to stay that way in Week 7!

Welcome to Week 7 of the 2017 NFL season! The week gets going with a fun AFC West matchup on Thursday Night Football, featuring the Oakland Raiders hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. The week closes on Monday Night Football with a huge NFC East matchup between Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The opening of Week 7 means it is time to look at some of the best options for NFL Survivor pools. We saw another crazy week with the Denver Broncos losing at home to the New York Giants, the Oakland Raiders dropping one to the Los Angeles Chargers, and the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs losing at home to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For those new to this kind of contest, a survivor pool 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 a team twice. You could very well use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you won’t have access to that team later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.

There is plenty of strategy in determining which team you will take each week, and SB Nation is here to help. We have three experts providing rankings for each week, and then some thoughts on weekly strategy. First up, we have a consensus ranking of all 32 teams, and which are most likely to win this week. That is followed by each writer making a pick, some reasoning for the pick, and some alternatives to consider.

Jeff Goldberg

Best picks: Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints

The Cleveland Browns made another quarterback change on Wednesday, and Survivor players everywhere are rejoicing. The Titans have not been a team engendering great confidence this season, with Marcus Mariota injured the defense allowing passing yards and TDs like a matador. But the Titans put together a darn impressive fourth quarter on Monday night against the Colts to make you believe they can be the team we thought they were against the Browns on Sunday. And then the Browns sweetened the deal on Wednesday, putting DeShone Kizer back in the starting role. I like DeShone Kizer. I think he will be a decent NFL quarterback in the near future. But right now, like those couches and guest bathrooms in the Febreze commercials, he stinks. He is not capable of leading the Browns to their first win, so fire up the Titans with confidence.

And speaking of quarterbacks who can’t get it done, the Packers are dead in the water with Brett Hundley. I’m sure he’s a great guy. He is not beating a Saints team that has suddenly come of age as a defensive unit. The Saints are the other solid play this week.

Derek Gordon

Best picks: Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys

The Houston Texans easily cruised to victory over the Cleveland Browns last week and I managed to pick correctly after getting burned by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5.

Let’s keep picking on the Browns this week as they face the Tennessee Titans at home. Marcus Mariota didn’t look himself on Monday night, but he is practicing in full this week. He should still be able to shred the Browns even if has Tom Brady’s legs on Sunday.

Already pick the Titans? Go with the Dallas Cowboys who will have all their weapons, specifically Ezekiel Elliott, when they play the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners will be at home, but they will also start a rookie QB. Dez, Dak and the rest haven’t looked great, but they should be able to keep the Bay Area crew winless.

Scott Kaliska

Best picks: Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints

This season has not been going as planned but Dallas is a lock. They’re coming off their bye with Ezekiel Elliott still eligible to start. On the other side, San Francisco will be starting a rookie quarterback. Dallas has been vulnerable but I can’t see their offense being slowed down by the Niners. Another close loss for San Francisco but their time is coming. My secondary picks are Minnesota and New Orleans. Minnesota is starting to roll with Case Keenum at quarterback and their strong defensive efforts. They’ll take down Baltimore easily. New Orleans is hot and faces a Green Bay team without their starting quarterback. The Saints defense is showing signs of life and will take advantage of the Packers backup quarterback.