The Elias Guide to Survive: Week 6

Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp (10) runs in for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.
Photo Credit: Joe Rondone-Arizona Republic

After another round of chaos in NFL survivor pools, Week 6 has arrived. Bye weeks are now a part of the equation in the NFL, giving players fewer choices when selecting their squad for their survivor pool entry. Fortunately, we can help you navigate the 14-game Week 6 schedule with this week’s Guide to Survive.

Survivor Pool Week 5 Recap

Most of the top picks in Week 5 of survivor pool action did manage to come through for players. Whether they did so via blowout victory or some good fortune in the fourth quarter is another story:

  • The Buffalo Bills crushed Kenny Pickett and the Steelers as the most popular Week 5 pick
  • Tampa Bay got a fortunate roughing the passer call to hold on late against the Atlanta Falcons
  • The Minnesota Vikings forced a late fumble to prevent a game-tying drive and beat the Chicago Bears
  • Kyle Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers took out Baker Mayfield and ended Matt Rhule’s tenure with the Carolina Panthers with a win on the road

Jaguars and Packers Let Survivor Players Down

There were a pair of teams among the six most popular survivor pool picks according to Yahoo! Sports that did not win in Week 5. The Jacksonville Jaguars were seven-point favorites against the Houston Texans but failed to even score seven total points in a 13-6 loss. Despite holding Texans QB Davis Mills to just 140 passing yards, the Jags could not finish drives, and lost the game on a late Texans touchdown.

The Green Bay Packers also fell as a heavy favorite in London, losing to the New York Giants in their first ever international game. Green Bay led 17-3 in the first half, but were held to just two points in the second half, with those two points coming on an intentional safety by New York. Credit the Giants defense for stepping up in the second half, but survivor pool players who backed the Pack will feel like Green Bay let that game slip away.

Popular Week 6 Matchups

Going into survivor pool Week 6 play, there are three teams favored by a touchdown or more at DraftKings Sportsbook. However, the majority of the picks for this week are concentrated on two teams expected to face very favorable circumstances.

Using Elias Insights, it’s time to look at the most popular selections of survivor pool play for this week, including those top-two picks, and some other teams that are generating heavy attention.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) pumps his fist after they score a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Pittsburgh Steelers)

The most popular survivor pool pick at Yahoo! for Week 6 is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium. Tampa Bay opened as an 8.5-point favorite in this game, making the Steelers bigger underdogs than they’ve been in any home regular season game since 1989. Survivor pool players are hoping that this perceived talent discrepancy, plus the gap in experience between Tom Brady and Kenny Pickett, will carry the Bucs to victory and help them avoid elimination for another week.

In his career, Brady has played against rookie quarterbacks 29 times entering Sunday. He is 24-5 straight up in those games, including an immaculate 18-0 when favored by a touchdown or more. While his record against the spread in those contests is just 15-14, Brady and the Bucs only need to win outright for survivor pool players to advance.

Los Angeles Rams (vs. Carolina Panthers)

Given the struggles of both of these teams of late, the popularity of the Rams in survivor pools this week could be more of an anti-Panthers sentiment than a pro-Rams one. After being beaten 37-15 by the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule. Making matters worse, starting quarterback Baker Mayfield will be sidelined this week with an ankle injury.

In Mayfield’s place, P.J. Walker is expected to start at quarterback for Carolina at SoFi Stadium. Walker, who reached the NFL after a successful stint in the XFL, is 2-0 in his NFL career as a starting quarterback. In 10 career NFL games, however, he has completed just 57% of his passes and has thrown only two touchdown passes to eight interceptions as he gets set to take on the defending champion Rams.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) reacts with wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III (3) and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (22) in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium.
Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers (at Atlanta Falcons)

The 49ers have won two games in a row, and survivor pool players are confident in them to get a third despite playing on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. San Francisco’s defense is a big reason for the confidence players have in them this week, as the Niners are allowing a league-best 12.2 points per game. Kyle Shanahan’s team is also allowing the third-fewest passing yards in the NFL this season, as they take on a Falcons team averages the third-fewest passing yards per game.

Atlanta may not be an easy out against the Niners, however, based on what we’ve seen from them this season. The Falcons are 5-0 against the spread to start 2022, managing to cover against impressive competition such as the Rams and Buccaneers. Even with top rushing threat Cordarrelle Patterson out on injured reserve, the Falcons rushed for 151 yards as a team against the Buccaneers last week, and the Niners run defense will need to find a way to slow this rushing attack down.

Green Bay Packers (vs. New York Jets)

After a loss in London against New York’s other team, the Packers look to get back on track at home againstthe Jets. The Packers have performed very well after a loss with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, with Rodgers going 43-19 coming off a defeat. With the Packers being held to just two second half points against the Giants in London, the Packers will need a stronger second half performance to improve to 3-0 at Lambeau Field this week.

Since getting Zach Wilson back from a preseason knee injury, the Jets have won two straight games. They defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in his first game back, and followed that up with a 40-17 blowout over the Miami Dolphins. This will be the biggest test for the Jets since Wilson’s return, though, as they have faced a combination of Mitch Trubisky, Kenny Pickett, Teddy Bridgewater, and Skylar Thompson at quarterback over the last two weeks.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) warms up before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Denver Broncos)

Monday Night Football this week features an AFC West rivalry game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. Survivor pool players are backing the home favorites in this contest, as the Chargers look for a third straight win to move to 4-2. Russell Wilson is questionable with a shoulder ailment coming into this contest, though he has said he expects to play as the Broncos look to end a two-game losing streak.

Even with Wilson available, the Broncos have struggled to put points on the board this season. Their 15.0 points per game ranks 31st in the NFL through five weeks. As a result, it could be up to their pass defense to win this game. Denver ranks first in the NFL, allowing 176.6 yards per game to opposing passing attacks. With the Chargers ranking second in the league at 291.2 passing yards per game, Denver’s secondary will need to play its best game of the season to take down many survivor pool entries.

Minnesota Vikings (at Miami Dolphins)

After the top-five most popular survivor pool picks this week, the percentage of picks made on all other teams really drops off. The Minnesota Vikings are one such team hovering around the sixth spot going into Week 6, as they enter their game in Miami at 4-1, having won three straight contests. In this game, the quarterback situation for their opponent could determine what kind of day it is for the Vikings and those who choose them in their survivor pools.

Tua Tagovailoa is set to miss his second straight game after suffering a concussion in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals, while Teddy Bridgewater is also in concussion protocol after sustaining a hit to the head last week against the Jets. If Bridgewater is not cleared to play, Skylar Thompson will make his first career NFL start against the Vikings. Thompson completed 19 of his 33 pass attempts for 166 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception against the Jets last week in the place of Bridgewater.


Now go use these Elias Insights to advance in your survivor pool, and come back for Week 7’s preview!

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