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    NFL Survivor Pool Week 5 strategy: Avoid the Commanders, plus top options for Week 5 and every remaining week

    Which team should you use in your survivor pools in Week 5? We analyze the remaining schedule and share the best options.
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    If you're reading this article, congrats for surviving Week 4, just like everyone else (mostly) in your survivor pools. Fewer than 100 of the nearly 2,500 entries remaining in the Circa Survivor were knocked out last week, with the seven most popular teams all winning. That group included the Broncos, and special congrats to anyone who had the guts to use that 0-3 team coming off a 70-point meltdown by the defense and then sweating a road comeback from a 28-3 deficit against the Bears.

    The most popular team to fall last week was also on the road, and it's not like Steelers backers can blame the injury to the quarterback. The Texans just proved that we need to remove them from our full-season plans as a team to target, as no matter how many injuries pile up it seems Houston is not going to be an easy out. We had planned all season to take the Bengals at home against the Texans in Week 10, but how could you have any confidence in that move at this point?

    When looking at your options for Week 5, it's important to project out the rest of the schedule (hence the point of this weekly column). It's also important to know the format of your pool, as Circa Survivor adds two standalone slates for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I understand wanting to save better teams for weeks where options or limited, but I would avoid using the Commanders this week despite their home matchup with the Bears on Thursday.

    On the surface, the Commanders proved frisky by taking the Eagles to overtime, but they had the opportunity thanks to a lot of bad penalties on Philadelphia, particularly on third down. I didn't take their performance as an indication of them jumping up a tier in team strength when they were outgained by 1.3 yards per play in the matchup. In theory, they're good enough to beat the worst team in the league at home, but that's exactly what we thought in Week 1 when we had to sweat out a win after using Washington instead of the Ravens. If you didn't use them to get through Week 1, I would try to get through the season without using them at all, as I'm not sure the Commanders are a top-20 team.

    Why listen to me? Well, I was 535-450-30 (+3532) on ATS picks over the last six years and even better with my top five picks each week, going 376-290-24 (56.5%) over the last eight years in the Westgate SuperContest.  While this doesn't involve picking against the spread, I do believe by applying the strategies I've developed to have long-term success on those picks to survivor pools, we'll be in the best position to outlast the competition.

    Below, you'll find my top options for this week as well as a tiered set of options for every week over the rest of the season, including breakouts for the Thanksgiving/Black Friday and Christmas slates. Let's dig in.

    What are the best options to use in survivor pools in Week 5? And which teams should be saved to use later in the season? ... Join SportsLine right now to see NFL Survivor Pool strategy from the expert who's 535-450-30 on ATS picks from 2017-22, returning $3,532 to $100 players!

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    R.J. WhiteSuper Stat Geek

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