It’s Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season! We’ve made the long journey from the end of the 2022 season through the Super Bowl, and now we’re all back here to do it again. The great thing is that if you’re reading this and in an NFL weekly survivor pool, you’re still alive. NFL Week 1 is important not to overthink who you select in your survivor pool contests. We’re trying to get to the end of this sprint to be the last person standing in the pool to win you some sweet money, bragging rights, a sandwich – whatever you’re playing for!

It seems simple: pick a team that wins each week. Typically, you’re choosing a team just once during the NFL regular season and can't choose them again any other week – so each weekly pick is incredibly important. Some NFL 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 first look at the NFL Week 1 odds and betting lines before diving right into this week's top NFL survivor pool picks and predictions!


NFL Week 1 DraftKings Odds, Implied Totals, Spreads, and Over/Under

*All lines current as of 11:30 PM ET, 9/6/23, courtesy of Vegas Insider*

NFL Week 1 Survivor Picks

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are a pretty chalky pick this week as a 10-point favorite at home facing the Houston Texans, who have C.J. Stroud making his first NFL start with a roster bereft of talent. The Texans have the second-lowest implied point total (16.75) across the league in Week 1.

That should be enough, but there IS one rub: The Ravens should be good enough this season to warrant future use down the line, but if you’re looking to start off your survivor pool with what is likely the most popular pick, the Ravens are a fine choice. A fun stat: the Ravens are a whopping 43-0 all-time in regular-season games where they’re the double-digit favorite. While that feels like something that would go across a lower third on an NFL broadcast that immediately jinxes this pick, the Ravens would need a catastrophic meltdown in every phase to give up this game and start 0-1.

Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota is a six-point favorite heading into their home opener as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That point spread puts this contest as the third-highest of all Week 1 games. We know the Vikings will be putting up points, and the implied point total shows that. Minnesota has the fourth-highest total (25.75) of all Week 1 teams. Tampa Bay is rebuilding its offense following Tom Brady’s retirement and will use Baker Mayfield as a placeholder for this season. They still have Chris Godwin and Mike Evans (for now), but with Mayfield driving this car instead of the future Hall of Famer Brady, it’s going to be tough sledding, even if the Vikings sport a very porous defense.

Tampa Bay is very unlikely to get into a touchdown-for-touchdown game with Minnesota, and this would be a fantastic time to use the Vikings in your survivor pool. Their next six games? At Philadelphia, vs. LA Chargers, at Carolina, vs. Kansas City,  at Chicago, and vs. San Francisco. Minnesota MIGHT be favored in one of those games, and that’s as a road team against the Panthers.

Washington Commanders

The Commanders are one of the chalkiest defenses in DFS for Week 1, but we can definitely use that as a Survivor pick for Week 1. I’m going to be very blunt: The team that plays the Arizona Cardinals is going to be one of the picks here almost every week.

The Cardinals are telling us what they’re doing — actively tanking. Kyler Murray is on the PUP list and may not play a game this season. They outright released DeAndre Hopkins for zero return. They traded Isaiah Simmons for a seventh-round pick. Joshua Dobbs is expected to start Week 1 for the Cardinals. This is as bad as it gets, as the Cardinals also have the stone-worst implied point total (15.5) of the entire slate.

It’s not like the Commanders are slouches, and we’re just playing whoever plays the Cardinals — they’re anything but. Washington features a defensive line full of first-round picks, and they have two more first-rounders in the linebacking corps (Jamin Davis) and a rookie corner in Emmanuel Forbes. They’ve got a ton of talent, and the Cardinals simply do not.

The Commanders do not feature many games on their schedule where you can feel good about picking them, so you’re likely getting the best opportunity here in Week 1 to use a middle-of-the-road team in Washington for your Survivor pool and save your great teams for later on. Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon is up against it this week, as no rookie head coach has won a Week 1 game as a seven-point underdog since 1995.

Other NFL Week 1 Survivor Pool Options

Atlanta Falcons

Another team facing a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start, the Falcons are favored only by 3.5 points at home but should be running a ton and chewing up some clock against a not-so-great defense. The Panthers have the third-lowest implied point total (18), and Bryce Young could be scrambling a bit in this game, especially with a lot of their receiving weapons banged up like Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Terrace Marshall — who were all listed as limited in their first injury report of the week.

Seattle Seahawks

Favored by 5.5 points at home against a Rams team that has Cooper Kupp ruled out for Week 1, the Matthew Stafford-led Rams are going to likely struggle to put up some points on the road in Seattle. Adding Jaxon Smith-Njigba — who is expected to play in Week 1 despite a wrist fracture only two weeks ago — and Zach Charbonnet to last season’s Comeback Player of the Year quarterback Geno Smith, DK Metcalf, and Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks should be flying high in this one against a Rams offense that’s a bit undermanned minus Kupp.


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