It’s Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season, and we had another banner week in this article, going 5-0 with our picks of the 49ers, Eagles, Chiefs, Vikings, and Chargers last week. We had to sweat quite a bit with a bunch of one-possession games, but hey, we got there. Let’s go for another perfect week this week to keep you on your path to being the last survivor in your pools.

We will help you get to the promised land one week at a time with our picks, but in case you’re not familiar with Survivor pools, here’s a quick rundown:

Pick a team that wins in each NFL week. Typically, you choose a team just once, so each selection is incredibly important. Some survivor pools have double-elimination so that you can slip up and still be in the running. Make sure you’re checking out our weekly matchup previews and our Survivor League Strategy in the Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide as guides toward picking the best winners for each week and developing a strategy. Let’s dive right in with Week 3’s picks!


2023 Survival Pool Picks Record

Week 4: 5-0 (1.000)

Overall: 16-4 (.800)

NFL Week 5 DraftKings Odds, Implied Totals, Spreads, and Over/Under

*All lines current as of 3:00 ET, 10/4/23, courtesy of Vegas Insider*

NFL Week 5 Survivor Picks

Miami Dolphins

The best part about these three teams we have listed (Miami, Detroit, Washington) is that it’s pretty likely multiple haven’t been used through the first four weeks. Miami is a lock-button play this week against the Giants, who have looked deplorable on offense. We know what Miami is capable of on offense and how quickly they can take a competitive game and make it out of hand.

30 implied points is a LOT, but the Dolphins have earned that kind of respect from bettors. The lack of respect for the Giants is also conveyed by them being 11-point underdogs on the road against the Dolphins. This game seems very lopsided, and seeing how Miami’s steamroller offense has taken advantage of bad teams, this one feels pretty good for the Dolphins. Yes, anything can happen in the NFL, but I’m willing to push in my chips on Mike McDaniel, Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and company having success against the Giants in Week 5.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are at home and favored by 9.5 points against a dink-and-dunk Carolina Panthers team that, let’s face it, is pretty bad at 0-4. They’re not only one of the worst offenses in the league by scoring and yards, but are also averaging the second-lowest yards per completion in the league at 5.4. And that’s skewed a little by an Andy Dalton start.

We see how well C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson are acclimating to the NFL, and we want that for Bryce Young, too, but it seems he has some growing up to do in terms of lifting the old, rickety boat (Adam Thielen) and towing an anchor (Miles Sanders) across the field to score some points. The Panthers are not doing well, but Young doesn’t have the weapons that the other young quarterbacks have to help him.

Back to the Lions, they’re playing well on both sides of the ball here and have extra rest from their Thursday Night Football game in Week 4, where they trounced the Packers. Bank the Lions in Week 5.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders will be a very popular pick this week against a suspect Chicago Bears team, and this week is the most attractive week to use Washington. The Bears have the second-lowest implied point total at 18.5 and hit the road to face Washington. Despite Justin Fields having his best game of the season, the Bears still collapsed against a bad Denver Broncos team for their 14th-straight regular-season loss. Picking the Commanders here isn’t saying much about the strength of Washington but rather the ineptitude of the Bears at this point.

I feel pretty confident in Washington this week with some quality pieces on offense and Sam Howell looking much better (minus a four-interception game against Buffalo) than anybody is willing to give him credit for.

Other NFL Week 5 Survivor Pool Options

Buffalo Bills

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not looked great this season and will play in London for a second-consecutive week against a Bills team that dominated the Miami Dolphins and held them to just 20 points in Week 4. The Bills have the third-highest implied point total at 27 and while there’s a chance they might have been used yet, this isn’t going to be particularly chalky play this week if you take the Bills in London.

Cincinnati Bengals

We must get creative with the bye weeks with two games off the table this week. Many of these matchups are very close in terms of point spread, and the Bengals game in Arizona vs. the Cardinals is only a three-point spread, with Cincinnati being the favorite. The Cardinals have been incredibly plucky this season and way more competitive than anybody has given them credit for. While a lot of the Week 5 slate has coin flips where games could skew either way without a lot of certainty to bank on… well, this is no exception. But do we really think the Bengals are a sub-.500 team? I certainly don’t. Do they have the talent advantage over the Cardinals? Absolutely. This is in no way a flag plant, but if we’re going by the talent on the field (even minus Tee Higgins), the Bengals have it in spades. 

This is an ultra-contrarian pick if you’ve exhausted a bunch of favorites, but it’s one that I think the Bengals absolutely need to save their season. It’s wild to think about in Week 5 for one of the best quarterbacks and teams over the last couple of seasons, but that’s where we are. Realistically, this is the only week to use the Bengals for the rest of the season unless one of the remaining teams on their schedule collapses and/or packs it in for 2023, so if some of the big favorites lose this week, this is where you gain an edge.