The race for the $2,500 Grand Prize continues in Week 14 and only four competitors remain alive in the FFChamps.com Survivor Pool! A survivor pool is a contest in which participants select one NFL team each week to win their respective game without regard to the point spread. If your team wins, you “survive”. If your team loses you are eliminated. There’s one more catch – you can never select the same team twice. The last participant standing wins.
With just four participants left after 13 weeks of the NFL season, we decided to ask them a few questions. Meet the “Final Four!”
FullTime Fantasy Sports: What is your name and where are you from?
Doug: My name is Doug Cunningham and I’m from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.
Aaron: My name is Aaron Smart, from Scotland, UK.
Dominic: I am Dominic Clemas from Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Tom: I am Tom Gallagher out of Herkimer, New York!
FullTime Fantasy Sports: In Week 1, the Saints knocked 109 people out of the tournament, more than any other pick in the contest. The other big pick that knocked a good chunk out was the Vikings in Week 3. Can you please provide some insight as to why you stayed away from those two picks?
Doug: In Week 1, I had Baltimore as the team I was taking. I did not even look at the Saints game as an option because I thought Tampa Bay had a chance of being better than what people were saying. As for Week 3, I am not sure if I even thought about the Vikings game. I was pretty locked in on the Bears beating the Cardinals.
Aaron: Week 1 was a lucky near-miss. It was Week 1 and you have all 32 teams to pick from, and luckily i avoided the Saints. Week 3 had a little more strategy to it. Having already used the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams in the first two weeks of the season, I wanted to try and save some of the bigger teams that I thought would be contenders later in the year, hence my choice of the Philadelphia Eagles over the Indianapolis Colts in that situation.
Dominic: Heading into Week 1 of the season, I knew Buffalo was in big trouble. They didn’t seem to have any skill position players. No quarterback, running back, or wide receivers or real merit. That is why I picked the Ravens right out of the gate. In Week 3, I liked what I was seeing in Kansas City. I didn’t think the 49ers had any real chance. Looking back on it now though, with the way the Chiefs are playing, that was probably a wasted pick so early.
Tom: I am in another Survivor Pool and in Week 1, I picked New Orleans in that pool. I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket so I luckily picked the Minnesota Vikings over the San Francisco 49ers. Then in Week 3, I had already used Minnesota so I couldn’t use them again. Got lucky there.
FullTime Fantasy Sports: How much experience do you have in Survivor Pools? Can you tell us a little something about your strategy coming into this one?
Doug: I have done some Survivor Pools for the past ten years. I have never made it this far or ever won one. I have been telling myself to not look ahead in picking teams in future weeks this year. I also do not like to take the primetime games, conference games and some luck has obviously played a factor.
Aaron: I think I played in the FFChamps Survivor Pool last year and maybe lasted 3 or 4 weeks before being eliminated. That was my first and only experience up until this year’s effort. My strategy has been simple: see what games jump out at me and stick with that pick. I’ve only got cold feet using this strategy twice this season (I couldn’t bring myself to pick the winless Browns against the Jets on a Thursday night and then I swapped out the Seahawks when they played the Packers on Thursday night – both occasions, the team I changed my mind about won, so I should have stuck with my instinct). Fortunately, I’m still alive in this contest!
Dominic: I have Played in the FFChamps Survivor Pool for many years. When it comes to strategy, the absolute most important thing is to make sure you don’t forget to submit your pick! I made this mistake too many times in years past. I also like to try to save a couple for sure winners for late in the season. Early in the season, I started looking for the likely losers, such as the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, and San Francisco 49ers. Later, I started looking at and considering some point spreads.
Tom: I play in about 4-5 Survivor Pools per year. I try to go with my gut and obviously the favorites. I don’t really try to look ahead and save any team for later. I go week-by-week.
FullTime Fantasy Sports: What has been your favorite moment of the contest thus far?
Doug: Making it this far into the schedule has been a blast and each week cheering for or against different teams.
Aaron: I enjoy picking a team each week, it gives me somebody else to support on a Sunday. I’ve so far managed to avoid any real nail biters (like the Colts 2 weeks ago). I was going to try and avoid picking my own team (Patriots) at all costs, but the Thursday night against the then hapless Colts was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. Thankfully, I didn’t curse the GOAT and the Hoodie.
Dominic: I have had two favorite moments so far in this Survivor Pool. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ last-minute win over Jacksonville was incredibly exciting to watch. Then in Week 13, seeing Tennessee beat the Jets to advance to Week 14, especially when I saw the three other competitors left in the competition all had Seattle, and they were winning for sure!
Tom: It’s been very exciting each week. Some weeks I moved on in the last second. Graham Gano’s last second 60+ yard field goal against the Giants was one of those weeks!
Clearly, this competition has come down to four contestants with tons of NFL knowledge and a knack for Survivor Pools. A special thanks to Doug Cunningham, Aaron Smart, Dominic Clemas, and Tom Gallagher. Good luck fellas! Stay tuned to see who wins the $2,500 Grand Prize!
Are you interested in competing next season? It’s simple. Just sign up for a FFChamps.com membership and get a free entry into the Survivor Pool!