NFL Survivor Pools

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2023

The popularity of the NFL season gives users a plethora of options for fantasy games and picks pools. Survivor pools are one of the most popular to spawn from the NFL season, and millions of football fans participate in knockout-style games each season.

If you are about to play for the first time but aren’t sure what to expect, here is a glimpse at what NFL survivor pools are.

What Is An NFL Survivor Pool?

Some of the best sportsbooks may have survivor contests, and there are different variations.

Historically, survivor pools are when a group of people each choose one team per week as their best pick to win their matchup. If that team prevails, the user advances to the next week, but if the team picked loses, the player is out.

Some variations include spreads used for NFL betting and second-chance picks, but in a traditional knockout pool, you stay alive as long as your team wins.

The last person standing wins the entire pool. If multiple people end up going out in the final week, they usually split the final pot.

How To Play NFL Eliminator Pools

Only Pick One Team Each Week

Simply pick one team to win each week. As long as that team finishes victorious in the game you pick, you stay alive.

Once That Team is Picked, It’s Done

You may not pick a team more than once in a single season, which means you must be cautious when determining which team you pick each week.

If Your Pick Loses, You’re Out

Choose wisely, because if the team you select loses, you’re out of the pool.

Some survivor pools offer second-chance opportunities — especially if the entire pool is out early in the NFL season — but you can’t always count on that happening.

Survivor Grid 2024

How To Use a Survivor Picks Grid

A survivor picks grid is an invaluable resource aimed at giving users an edge when making picks in a survivor pool.

Survivor picks grids will give users criteria, including the team’s win probability, the percentage of people in survivor pools picking that team, and sort the efficiency rating of picking each team each week.

Survivor Pool Tips

Play The Long Game

Map out a full-season action plan before Week 1. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a one-win team facing off against the reigning Super Bowl champions in Week 5 because you didn’t scheme accordingly.

Be Flexible

Be sure to reassess your plan after each week. If a team you thought was going to be good turns out to be a doormat, be prepared to pivot.

Go Against The Grain

You don’t want to make the same picks as everybody else — that’s where the percentage of picks tool comes in handy. If the majority of your pool is choosing Minnesota, and you’re taking Denver, you’d be covered when the Vikings somehow end up getting upset.

By picking a less obvious team to win each week, you’re giving yourself a better chance to ultimately win the entire pool.

NFL odds often offer reliable data that can be used to help you figure out which games to target.

Have Fun

Upsets happen. That’s part of what makes survivor pools enjoyable. The NFL is where surefire predictions go to die.

Have fun, do your homework, make the best pick possible, and leave the result to fate.


Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times,, Bleacher Report,, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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