Drop your buffs, we are merged! That is the line that every player is a contestant on Survivor wants to hear. From the teaser for next week we know that we will see the merge in this upcoming episode. This changes EVERYTHING when it comes to analyzing who will be voted off. We no longer are looking at teams and team strength, we are now looking at each individual contestant. We talked last week about how knowing who has what advantage and fire token inventory could be important to picking the right Survivors as well, so here is a rundown of what could be in play.
Kim - Immunity Idol, 1 Fire Token
Jeremy – Safety Without Power, 1 Fire Token
Sophie – Immunity Idol, 2 Fire Tokens
Sarah – Steal A Vote, 1 Fire Token
Michele – 3 Fire Tokens
Nick, Wendell – 2 Fire Tokens
Denise, Adam, Ben, Tony – 1 Fire Token
Now that the merge is here, let’s take a look at who you can build your lineups around.
Sophie ($28) – One of the bigger point values in the FanDuel Survivor game is playing an immunity idol, and only two players have them right now. Sophie is clearly one of them, although she hasn’t had a sniff of needing to use it quite yet. She was also a part of original Dakal who right now has more members left than original Sele, so if the vote goes along those lines right now Sophie would be safe. She is also closely allied with Sarah who has a Steal A Vote advantage. Sophie has multiple reasons to think that she could be worth playing tonight, even though she is the highest salaried player on the slate.
Sarah ($26) – She is one of my favorite players left. Sarah is playing a great social game, she is great at individual immunity challenges, and she has a big advantage with the Steal A Vote advantage. Considering that this Tribal Council should have 12 players in attendance, if there is an even split and six people are voting one way, and six people are voting for someone else, Sarah has the chance to sway the balance of power. Not only will this advantage nearly insure that she survives the week, if she is inclined to use it, you would get points for that as well.
Jeremy ($22) – He seems to have found his stride now. Things didn’t look so great for Jeremy early in the season, especially when his tightest ally was voted out on the first show. He has been pretty tight with his tribe of late, and they likely will try to stick together after the merge. Jeremy is a very strong player in individual challenges, and most importantly as listed above he has the ability to leave Tribal Council with his Safety Without Power advantage. If Jeremy feels like he is in trouble he can use his “get out of jail free” card. He also could see Natalie come back from Extinction which would be a huge boost to his game.
Tony ($20) – This guy is a total wild card because sometimes he gets pretty paranoid and acts in ways that shakes the confidence of his alliance members. However, Tony is a good choice for a few reasons. He is a solid guy in challenges. He is great at finding idols. And, he will do almost anything not to get voted out. Whether it be his “Spy Shack” where he tries to overhear other players talking, or just his scheming to make sure it isn’t his name written down, Tony is one of the best players in the game. He has been under control (by his standards) and not acting too crazy. There’s a chance that he could wig out and cross the wrong person, but it feels like Tony will still be playing after tonight’s Tribal Council.
Ben ($19) – There are two things that you have to remember about Ben from when he played (and won) the first time. Those things are that he is great at challenges and he is great at finding idols. Both of those things can score you points and keep him safe from getting voted out. He also seems to have a pretty good relationship with Sophie and Sarah, and as we already know one has an idol and one has a Steal A Vote advantage, making it seem like Ben should be on the right side of the numbers this week.
Kim ($16) – Let’s be honest, she has an idol! She is a decent player in challenges, she doesn’t seem to be a target for anyone, and continues to fly under the radar. Not only does she have the idol to likely insure that she survives another week, if Kim feels compelled to play her idol, you get points for that as well. She has the second lowest salary on the slate but appears to be a lock to walk out of Tribal Council with her torch still lit.
Adam ($15) – Sure, he has not made a lot of friends out there being the strategic guy that he is and playing both sides of an alliance, but Adam is probably also the least physical person out there. Almost every season of Survivor there is someone (called a goat on the show) that doesn’t get voted out because the other players know that the person isn’t a threat to win immunity nor a real threat to get the votes to win the season. I feel like Adam has a chance to be that player this season. He seems to have been on the outs with Ben, Sophie, and Sarah from the former Yara tribe, and the only person that he formed any sort of relationship with was Denise and it nearly got her voted out. Adam seems to be flapping in the wind, and is likely to be a guy who will give his vote to any alliance who says they won’t vote him out.
Edge of Extinction
The other thing we know from the previous Edge of Extinction season is at the merge we will see the challenge in which someone is coming back into the game from the Edge. Casual fans or people just playing Fantasy Survivor because there are no sports won’t know this fact, and it is a chance to get 18 points if you have the guts to pick that person as your champion, or 12 points if they are one of your other castaways. Will the fire tokens gain players an advantage in the challenge to return to the game? We do not know the answer there, but I think it is a safe assumption that they didn’t have these people running around Extinction Island for no reason, so it could be advantage Natalie and Rob there. Here is the current fire token inventory and the players to choose to win the challenge to get back into the main game to help your lineups.
Natalie – 4 Fire Tokens
Rob – 3 Fire Tokens
Amber – 1 Fire Token
Ethan – 1 Fire Token
Tyson – 1 Fire Token
Parvati, Yul, Danni – zero Fire Tokens
Natalie ($8) – If you haven’t been watching, let me tell you something. Natalie is an impressive physical specimen. She is a crossfit instructor and she is in phenomenal shape. She didn’t get a chance to show much of anything being voted off on the first show, but I would have no problems betting that she would be the one to win the challenge to come back into the game. If she does, she has an instant ally in Jeremy, and the person who returned last time on Extinction was given an idol. She also has the most fire tokens of the folks on the Edge, and that could yield an advantage of some kind. She is a great bet to be the one to get back into the game.
Boston Rob ($6) – He is one of the biggest Survivor legends of all time, and one of the savviest players as evidenced by his snapping up the three fire tokens without anyone knowing it last week. He hasn’t been performing his best this season, but I think the trip to the Edge of Extinction may have humbled him. Rob has those three fire tokens in his pocket which could also lead to an advantage in the challenge. He is a couple dollars cheaper than Natalie, and could easily win this challenge.
Tyson ($6) – I had a hard time debating between using him or Parvati here. Tyson stupidly used his fire tokens on peanut butter, so if they do give him an advantage he blew it there. However, Tyson is a very strong, physical player who excels at challenges. This is also his third time on the show, so there is always a chance of the challenge being something they used before so perhaps it will be one Tyson has done before. He has to be a favorite to win the challenge and get back in the game at the merge.