Welcome in, as we’re already in Week 9! Week 8 went a lot better than Week 7, our worst week of the season. The only blemish on our Week 8 was the Houston Texans completely bypassing everything that has made their offense successful just to lose to the only winless team in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers because we can’t predict football. Oh well. We persist because it’s a new week, and you’re reading this and still alive in your Survivor pools! Let’s get a win and get you to Week 10!

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 9’s picks!

2023 Survival Pool Picks Record

Week 8: 4-1 (.400)

Overall: 30-10 (.750)


NFL Week 9 DraftKings Odds, Implied Totals, Spreads, and Over/Under

*All lines current as of 11:00 PM ET, 11/1/23, courtesy of Vegas Insider*

NFL Week 9 Survivor Picks

Cleveland Browns

Myles Garrett vs. some fresh meat in Clayton Tune. This is going to be a juicy matchup. It may not take much maneuvering from the offense and P.J. Walker to get the Browns some points at home, where they’re 8.0-point home favorites against the Cardinals, who start Clayton Tune in sort of a bridge week to eventual starter Kyler Murray. The Cardinals have the lowest implied point total of the entire slate at 15 points, so the confidence that Tune can put some points on the board is minimal.

The hope is that the Browns are so dominant on defense that they give the offense some short fields and easy scoring opportunities. This is likely THE slam dunk of the week, but the chalkiest one for sure for fellow players in your Survivor pool if they haven’t used Cleveland yet.

Atlanta Falcons

Just seeing the Arthur Smith-led Atlanta Falcons as a recommended play in a Survivor pool article in Week 9… all together now: in THIS economy?

In a battle of backup quarterbacks, Taylor Heinicke is certainly the more accomplished one than Jaren Hall, which sounds like the dorm I stayed in at college rather than a living, breathing, functioning adult making his first career NFL start in the post-Kirk Cousins era. The Falcons are hosting the Vikings, who will likely start new acquisition Joshua Dobbs next week but will trot out Hall this week as 4.5-point underdogs on the road. The Vikings also sport the second-lowest implied point total at 16 points. That’s an indictment on the quarterback, not how good the Falcons have been. To their credit, Atlanta has been above-average at stopping the run, but the Vikings run at the third-lowest rate (32%) in the league this season. 

Unfortunately, we’re left without much on our plate in terms of slam-dunk matchups, with the Cowboys/Eagles, Chiefs/Dolphins, and Bills/Bengals all playing each other. We must persist and trust in the Arthur Smith mustache this week.

New Orleans Saints

This game and pick is another one that makes a ton of sense. The Saints are at home as the largest favorite on the slate at 8.5 points, hosting the Tyson Bagent-led Chicago Bears. The Saints know how to chew up overmatched offenses, and Week 9 should be no different. I trust Derek Carr (I know) to be able to move the ball for the Saints and certainly to a higher frequency and more success than Bagent can with the limited weapons the Bears possess.

Chalk this one up for the Saints, as between them and the Browns, most Survival pools will have some combo of the Browns, Saints, and Falcons being a few of the highest-volume plays.

Other NFL Week 9 Survivor Pool Options

New England Patriots

The Patriots have been actually able to move the ball with some regularity over the last couple of weeks, and despite losing Kendrick Bourne for the season, the Patriots should be able to still move the ball against the Washington Commanders, who allow an average of 28.5 points to opponents this season. The Commanders also traded Chase Young and Montez Sweat, so two big, productive pieces are gone, which should make it a bit easier on the offensive line for New England.

New England is favored by 3.5 points at home in Week 9 vs. the Commanders, who could be packing it in a bit on defense. Washington will pass, pass, and pass some more to try and close the gap, but Sam Howell is sack and turnover-prone. A nice recipe for a Patriots team at home looking to get a win to stay at least with a pulse in the AFC.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are on the road heading to the East Coast, but at the very least, it’s a night game on Monday. It’s not a 1:00 PM Eastern time zone game where traveling multiple time zones would directly affect them. They also looked fantastic against the Bears, with Austin Ekeler getting going for the first time since Week 1, so the Chargers looked like the Chargers, in a good way this time.

Enter the New York Jets, who are 3.5-point home underdogs, and Zach Wilson just hasn’t been very good this season in his season replacing Aaron Rodgers. The Giants ran the ball all game in Week 8 after losing backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and they essentially dared the Jets to pass, and they STILL couldn’t do that with any kind of regularity. If the Chargers look like the “GOOD” Chargers and Zach Wilson looks like the Wilson we’ve seen for most of 2023, this should be an easy victory for the Chargers in Week 9’s final island game.