What is the only activity that is more fun to do this time of year than a fantasy football draft? Picking your first game correctly for your NFL survivor football league obviously. When you start asking people about their strategies and winning formulas for survivor football leagues, you tend to get a multitude of answers. That is what is the best part of a survivor football league; everyone has his or her own formula to achieve success.
If this is your first year playing Survivor Football, let me clue you in on some of the rules and regulations of how this phenomenon works, here you go:
- You pick one game a week - straight up, no spread [usually no spread, but some leagues do include this].
- You may only pick each team once--if you pick Pittsburgh in Week One, you can't pick them again in Week Eight.
- If your team wins, you're in. If your team loses or ties, you're out. Toast. Finito. Done. Auf Wiedersehn. Please pack your knives and get out of here.
- Usually the pick must be in by a certain time and date [usually before the Thursday night game each week]
- The game continues until there is one winner. If all remaining players are eliminated in one week, all still survive until the next week.
- If there are still two or more Survivor Football teams after Week 17, we go into an elimination NFL playoffs scenario.
Survivor League Football, in my honest opinion, is the most enjoyable contest/game the NFL has to offer. Unlike fantasy football, which forces you to pay attention to literally every single aspect of the game, survivor football allows you to concentrate on one matchup each week. I have my own formula to succeeding in survivor leagues that I will share with you momentarily. This formula has helped me win 2 out of my last 3 survivor leagues, and is a very good tool to successfully picking a single winner each and every week.
Lets look at this upcoming NFL season. I will take you step by step on how to analyze the schedule to make your picks even before the season gets underway. The key to “surviving” seventeen weeks is to get a feel for the schedule itself. The way to most efficiently scan the schedule is to start with week 17 and work backwards. When sitting down and analyzing the schedule for week 17, a few different things pop out at me. What you are looking for is either teams who have clinched byes and playoff spots with nothing to play for or teams who need a victory in week 17 to get into the playoffs. You may be thinking that this is impossible to do when the other 16 weeks have not been played yet, but you can do a few things to prepare you for that given scenario.
Dallas at Philadelphia
Minnesota at Detroit
Giants at Washington
The three games mentioned above have playoff caliber teams [even conference winning caliber teams, which is better] playing on the road versus teams either playing for respect [Detroit] or playing for a playoff spot in the time of need. The key to succeeding in survivor leagues is to leave the good teams for later games, but to make sure you pay attention to each and every teams schedule. For example, you do not want to leave the Patriots for weeks 15, 16 and 17 if they have to play really tough those weeks and you could have used them in say week 12 when they played at home versus the Bills. Another point that must be understood when scheduling your games is the fact you do not have to end up picking every team to win a survivor league; because you only have to pick 17 different ones. When giving a quick glance at week 17, the game Tampa Bay at New Orleans will without a doubt be circled on many peoples list as a perfect “I am going to win this league” game. But, if the Saints do clinch their division in weeks 15 or 16, you may be banking on a game where Patrick Ramsey starts and Marques Colston only plays the first quarter… Not a good idea.
After picking two or three games in the week 17 schedule, I make sure I do the same thing for the previous two or three weeks [15, 16, 17]. This is to give myself some options, god forbid I end up getting to that point. After I have accomplished that, I move directly to week 1, in my opinion the second most important week of the year [and possibly the hardest with usually a very shocking upset or two]. When taking a glance at week 1, a few games jump out at me as games a very large percentage of people will be taking that week. If you want to win your league, stay away from those games and pick a more off the radar matchup. When the Bears went to the Super Bowl in 2008, everyone was big on Green Bay at home vs. Chicago in week 1. Around 70% of people went with that game as an easier starter to the year and the Bears ended up shutting them out 26-0 and knocking out almost ¾ of most leagues. That is why in my opinion you should stay away from the Detroit at Chicago, Oakland at Tennessee, San Diego at Kansas City type games this year and try to pick a matchup of less interest to the rest of the players in your league. After week 1, I go right in order up to where I left off in week 15, and keep making sure you are picking a few different options for each week of the season [It is okay to pick a team multiple times when doing this strategy, because each Tuesday you should check all the games you have written down and see if you still agree with those matchups. Believe me you will make adjustments].
Survivor leagues have much more to do with pre-week 1 preparation than fantasy football leagues do. There is honestly no greater feeling than watching Pittsburgh go down to Detroit in week 1, looking at the list of teams people picked and seeing 52 of 100 teams already knocked out, while you went with a more even matchup to advance to week 2.
Join or create a survivor football league at @ oldschoolfootballclub.com
If you have any questions about survivor leagues, your picks for a certain week, or my strategy feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org… Thanks a lot.