This article is part of our FanDuel Survivor series.
Season 40 of Survivor is the gift that keeps on giving. After years of hype, the long-anticipated all-winners season is here. Even though it started with 20 returning favorites, the season has been full of firsts. The grand prize has been doubled to an impressive $2 million. A new in-game economy called "fire tokens" has been introduced to add even more strategy to the game. The most exciting news, however, is that for the first time, you can set a FanDuel lineup for Wednesday night's episode. Fantasy meets reality TV? Sign us up: https://www.fanduel.com/contests/castaways/5074
We're going to share with you our favorite strategies for this week's slate but before we do, you might have a couple of questions already.
Survivor is still on the air?
Absolutely! After hundreds of episodes, the show has evolved quite a bit since "The Marooning" aired back in May of 2000. If you haven't watched in a while though, fear not; the basics haven't changed.
What if I've never watched the show?
No problem! We'll break everything down so that you can still set a winning lineup.
RotoWire has Survivor experts?
You bet! We've been running our own Survivor fantasy league in the office for years.
How is Survivor fantasy scored?
Great question, let's dive right in!
Contestant Is Bequeathed A Fire Token: 7.2 points.
Cries On Camera With Tears: 4.25 points
Finds Or Buys An Advantage In The Game: 5 points
Finds Or Buys A Hidden Immunity Idol: 7 points
Catches Seafood For His Or Her Tribe: 4.25 points
Gets Chosen To Go On A Reward: 3 points
Plays Advantage At Tribal Council: 7.2 points
Plays Hidden Immunity Idol At Tribal Council: 10 points
Reenters The Game From Extinction Island: 12 points
Receives A Vote At Tribal Council: -1.5 points
Survives The Week: 5 points
Gets Voted Out At Tribal Council: -10 points
Wins Team Or Individual Immunity: 12 points
Wins Team Or Individual Reward: 8 points
MVP: 1.5x points multiplier
It might seem like a lot to keep track of, especially for new viewers, but thankfully for this slate we can pare this list of scoring categories down. In this episode, it's highly unlikely we see anyone re-enter the game from Extinction Island (where the six previously voted out contestants have been living). We can effectively ignore that category until next week or later. We also know that so far, all challenges have been for team immunity, and we don't expect that to change this week with two tribes of five and one tribe of four in place. With that in mind, we can forget about "individual immunity/reward" bonuses as well as the "being chosen to go on a reward" bonus. Once we take those categories out of consideration, the scoring boils down to three main themes: Team Immunity, Votes Against and Bonuses.
Of the three tribes in the game, only one will win immunity and each member of that winning team will get 12 points. No other category will get you as many as this one, so it's important to get it right. It's a viable strategy to stack your lineup with players from the same tribe. This strategy promises a minimum of 60 points if you can pick correctly. However if you choose a losing tribe, you will miss out on this bonus entirely. It is high risk, high reward. If there's a tribe you want to avoid, it might be the Yara tribe. With only four players, you are prevented from playing a full stack of five and the other tribes will have the advantage of being able to choose someone to sit out for the challenge. Here is a breakdown of the three tribes (and the advantages each player holds) entering Wednesday's episode:
Denise ($17) one immunity idol, two fire tokens (one from Danni)
Jeremy ($29) "safety without power advantage", one fire token (from Natalie)
Kim ($16) one immunity idol, one fire token
Sandra ($14) one immunity idol
Tony ($24) one fire token
Michele ($13) one fire token
Nick ($15) two fire tokens (one from Tyson)
Parvati ($18) four fire tokens (two from Boston Rob, one from Ethan)
Wendell ($23) one fire token
Yul ($26) one fire token
Adam ($10) one fire token
Ben ($16) one fire token
Sarah ($20) "vote steal advantage" (from Natalie)
Sophie ($14) one immunity idol, one fire token
Edge of Extinction
Natalie ($5) four tokens (three from Sandra/Jeremy/Sarah)
Amber ($2) one fire token
Danni ($1) one fire token
Ethan ($2) one fire token
Boston Rob ($4)
One of the keys to your lineup this week will be avoiding those dreaded negative points for votes against. After all, this is a double-elimination week! Two players will lose 10 points for being eliminated this episode, on top of the 1.5 points lost for each vote they received. This season, eliminated players have received an average of six votes. Having any of these players in your lineup could result in nearly 20 points counted against your total score for each player. Denise, Kim, Sandra and Sophie all have immunity idols that they could play to avoid elimination. Meanwhile, Jeremy's advantage will allow him to skip a tribal council if he so chooses, though he won't be able to vote. Sarah's advantage allows her to steal a vote from another player, which could have significant power in a four-person tribe. Picking from that group may increase your chances of avoiding negative points this week. Plus, you would get the added bonus of five points for playing an idol.
Of course, playing an idol isn't the only "bonus" category that makes up Survivor scoring. Most of these extra categories aren't worth a ton of points and ultimately won't be the biggest separator between lineups, but we'll highlight the ones that might be most important this week. We expect at least one person will get the opportunity to buy an advantage this week (five points) and the front-runner for those points has to be Parvati. The fan favorite and winner of Survivor: Micronesia has four fire tokens. Every other player (except for Natalie, who is on Extinction Island) has two or fewer. We also know that with two players being eliminated this week, each will get the opportunity to bequeath their fire tokens to someone still in the game (7.2 points to the recipient). There's only one player who has received this bonus twice this season. You guessed it, that player is Parvati. Noticing a trend here?
Keys To This Week
- Stacking players from one tribe is a good idea. It doesn't have to be all five since that is very risky, but two to three players from each increases your expected points from an immunity win.
- Any players with an advantage should be higher in your rankings. They're more likely to survive this week and that's what you need to have a winning lineup. This group includes Denise, Kim, Sandra, Sophie and Jeremy.
- There's little upside to picking anyone from Extinction Island. They are guaranteed not to receive votes, but they also have no shot at winning immunity.
- The contestant in your MVP slot will receive a 1.5x multiplier to their point total. This should be a person you feel confident makes it to next week and has a chance at multiple bonus points. Players with immunity idols and advantages are all good candidates. Players with multiple fire tokens like Parvati and Nick are also in play for this spot.
"I'm thinking that physical threats will start to fall over the next few weeks before the final merge, so I'm putting most of my focus on avoiding the 10-point subtraction and retaining a clean sweep of the +5 point bonus across the board for my players not getting voted out. All other point accumulations are too hard to decipher in any one week. Adam seems to be an important player this year, given his screen time, so that's my rationale for making him my MVP." - D.J. Trainor
"I'm all in on a tribal stack. This week I'm focusing on the Sele tribe. Since victory in the immunity challenge is worth the most points, I'm banking on the most fit and young tribe out there to win it. Also, if an idol or advantage is found at the Sele camp, then at least one of my players is guaranteed to find it. For some of the minor point categories, I believe Yul or Wendell will be able to catch a fish and with the past relationship between Michele and Wendell, a rift between them could cause either of them to cry at a confessional. My picks are definitely high risk, high reward." - Kurt Kroll
"Parvati is my MVP pick, solely going off of last week's action. Boston Rob bequeathed her two fire tokens, which brings her total up to four. She's clearly on the bottom of her tribe, so I think she could get points for not only buying an advantage/immunity idol, but playing that advantage/idol at tribal. Tyson is a very risky play with little upside. I realize that Tyson cannot get points for winning immunity, but he can possibly get points for finding an advantage on Extinction Island. I'm combining Parvati with Yul in case they are the tribe that wins the immunity challenge. That seems to be the biggest advantage for this scoring system. I'm spending the rest of my money on Tony and Jeremy. Based on the preview for this week's episode, it looks like another very physical challenge, and I think their tribe has the best chance to win it."- Andrew Parr
"This week's episode being a double elimination means it's critical to pick multiple players from the winning tribe. One way to do that is to swing for the fences and stack all of one tribe. I was initially tempted to go with Dakal because they are a strong tribe that could do well in this challenge. They also have multiple players with immunity idols, increasing your chances for bonus points. My gut feeling though is Dakal goes to Tribal Council this week. Their tribe feels due for more air time and that usually comes with losing the challenge. That leaves me picking between Yara and Sele, and I think the former is just too risky. I have a hard time envisioning them winning a challenge given their low morale and numbers disadvantage. I'll happily take Sele tribe and make Parvati my MVP because of her upside to buy an advantage with her four fire tokens." - Harry Thompson
"I think Yara will be the least popular tribe stack by virtue of only having four members, but I don't think it'll necessarily be a massive disadvantage. When there's an imbalance between the tribes, Survivor often has one member of the larger tribe(s) sit out, so I think we could see a 4 v. 4 v. 4 competition in the immunity challenge. For that reason, I'll roll the dice on Yara pulling it out, in the hopes there's low rostering for all their members. As for the other spot, I'll go with Jeremy, who appears well insulated against drawing votes in tribal thanks to his safety without power advantage." - Adam Wolf