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    NFL Survivor Pool Week 8 strategy: Avoid Chiefs, plus top options for Week 8 and every remaining week

    Which team should you use in your survivor pools in Week 8? We analyze the remaining schedule and share the best options.
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    For the second time in three weeks, we recommended passing on what was likely to be a popular survivor play last week and then watched that team lose outright, this time with the Bills failing to defeat the Patriots on the road. Buffalo is extremely beat up on defense after losing key players on each level to long-term injuries, and I was also worried about the offense with the news that Josh Allen was playing through a shoulder injury. The Bills had just three points at halftime and 10 entering the fourth quarter despite the Patriots also dealing with key defensive injuries, and they nearly won the game anyway. However, Mac Jones (!) engineered a 75-yard touchdown drive with less than two minutes left in the game to end survivor contests for anyone that had Buffalo last week.

    The easy play last week was to take the Seahawks, but anyone that tried to get creative in the hopes they lost had a good chance of being eliminated. In Circa Survivor, seven of the eight most popular teams behind Seattle lost, and the only one that won -- the Browns -- needed four Gardner Minshew turnovers to overcome an abysmal showing by its defense and pull out a last-minute win. In that competition, 1,237 entries remain and 1,078 had the Seahawks last week (75 went with the Browns). 

    When looking at your options for Week 8, 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. We have a lot of favorites of more than a touchdown to choose from, but I would avoid using the Chiefs if you still have them available.

    The Chiefs completely handled the Broncos in their first meeting, which was more of a blowout than the score indicated with Kansas City gaining nearly double the yardage of Denver (389-197). The Chiefs offense also finally seemed to sort out the receiver pecking order against the Chargers, resulting in a masterful first half that made Kansas City look unbeatable when you consider how well the defense is playing. But that defense's weak spot is defending the run, and that's an area where the Broncos can have success, shorten the game by limiting Kansas City's possessions, and try to escape with a low-scoring upset. It seems unlikely, but there's no reason to back a road team in a divisional game if there are other solid options available (ask anyone who took Buffalo last week), plus you also have the lookahead angle with the Chiefs traveling to Germany to face the Dolphins next week. I expect the Chiefs to win, but I'm apprehensive even putting them into teasers this week, which tells me they're a clear avoid even for those people in 18-week formats that don't have to worry about saving them for the Christmas standalone slate.

    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 7? 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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