This article is part of our FanDuel Survivor series.
We all knew Season 40 of Survivor was going to be great. How could it not be? An all-out war between 20 former winners means higher stakes, bigger moves and surprising twists. But this most recent episode might just be an all-timer.
We'll recap the action from episode six and give you a preview of what we think happens this Wednesday night, including our lineups and strategies. If you're new to fantasy Survivor, you can find a full breakdown of the scoring system in our article from last week.
The action started off on Extinction Island, where the players were given a cryptic message hinting at the location of an advantage. Tyson managed to piece together the clues and found an "Idol Nullifier" advantage at low tide, rewarding anyone who had him in their lineup with five points. As many predicted, including our expert panel, the advantage was sold to the player with the most fire tokens: Parvati. For the price of one fire token, she acquired a powerful advantage in the game and five fantasy points for your lineup.
We knew coming into this double-elimination episode that picking the winning tribe would be critical. Despite low morale and a numbers disadvantage, the Yara tribe managed to pull off a surprising win earning both immunity and reward. As a result, Sophie, Ben, Sarah and Adam each received an impressive 25 points. Any fantasy players that went all-in on Yara in their lineup likely found themselves at the top of the standings.
At the Sele tribe, it seemed clear right away that Parvati was in trouble. Even with her recently acquired advantage, it was going to be hard to fight her way out of the minority. An opportunity seemed to present itself when Wendell offered to vote with Parvati in exchange for her fire tokens. Rather than work with Wendell, she decided to tell his closest allies about his offer in the hopes that they would doubt his loyalty. For a moment it seemed she might have done enough to sway some votes away from herself. Ultimately, it was a classic Survivor tale of too little, too late. The fan favorite and winner of Season 16 became the seventh person sent to Extinction Island with three votes against her for a total of minus-14.5 fantasy points. Anyone with Parvati in their lineup was reminded just how detrimental those negative points can be. Before heading to Extinction Island, she bequeathed her three remaining fire tokens to her closest ally, Michele. With each token earning her 7.2 points, Michelle was the second-highest point scorer of the week with a total of 26.6 points. Let this serve as a reminder when setting our lineups this week. It's hard to predict, but bonus points from bequeathed fire tokens can add up quickly.
Over at Dakal, it was unclear who was on the chopping block. Both Denise and Jeremy were mentioned as potential candidates. This may be why the only two-time Survivor winner, Sandra, extended Denise a lifeline. By offering her own immunity idol in exchange for two fire tokens, Sandra gave Denise the opportunity to remain safe this week and flip the script. What Sandra didn't realize, however, was that Denise was already armed with an immunity idol of her own. Knowing that she and Jeremy were in trouble, Denise was able to use her two idols to essentially choose who was headed to Extinction Island. Once the last vote was read, we learned her target: Sandra. That's right, in the span of one episode Sandra gave up her immunity idol and her guaranteed safety just to have that very same advantage used against her. To say the ending of this episode came as a surprise is an understatement.
Denise was clearly the big winner of this episode. She came into this season as an underrated player, but reminded us all that she is capable of game-changing moves. Fittingly, she was also the highest point scorer this episode with a total of 32 points. Sandra, comes dead last in the rankings with one vote against and a total of minus-11.5 fantasy points. She bequeathed her remaining fire token to Yul on her way out, earning him a bonus 7.2 points. Who could have guessed coming into this episode that Sandra and Parvati, arguably two of the greatest players of all time, would both be voted out? They'll have some time together at Extinction Island to think about what went wrong.
State of the Game
As exciting as a double-elimination week was to watch, having a normal week simplifies things for our fantasy purposes. Here's where everyone stands going into Wednesday night:
Denise ($21) one fire token (from Danni)
Jeremy ($24) "safety without power advantage," one fire token (from Natalie)
Kim ($17) one immunity idol, one fire token
Tony ($20) one fire token
Michele ($27) four fire tokens (three from Parvati)
Nick ($18) two fire tokens (one from Tyson)
Wendell ($18) one fire token
Yul ($22) two fire tokens (one from Sandra)
Adam ($16) one fire token
Ben ($20) one fire token
Sarah ($20) "vote steal advantage" (from Natalie)
Sophie ($23) one immunity idol, one fire token
Edge of Extinction
Natalie ($7) 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)
Keys to This Week
- Four of the six highest scoring players last week came from the winning tribe. Getting as many points in the "Immunity" category remains the best way to boost your overall score. Unlike last week, however, two tribes will win immunity in this episode. With that in mind, the key to this slate is less about picking the winning tribe as it is avoiding the losing one. Avoiding one tribe entirely is a viable strategy and can get you a lot of points provided you pick correctly.
- Again, this week we don't expect any returning players from Extinction Island. This means we can largely ignore this group, except for salary relief, as even their highest scorer likely won't earn more than five points.
- The MVP this week is likely to be someone from one of the winning tribes who manages to separate from the field by purchasing, finding or playing an advantage. With that in mind, any players who already have an advantage or multiple fire tokens should be higher in your rankings. Parvati proved this idea right last week (despite her elimination), meaning Michele, our new fire token leader, should be viewed similarly. In fact, Michele's Sele Tribe as a whole has as many tokens as Dakal and Yara combined. If another advantage is purchased in this episode, don't be surprised to see a Sele member on the receiving end.
- Next week is likely to be the merge episode, where tribes are no more and individual challenges begin. Historically, this has meant targeting the biggest threats in the game as well as the most physical threats. It might be worth thinking twice about any players who have already received multiple votes this season. Denise has six votes against, Kim and Adam both have four and Nick has two.
"My survivor picks this week are going to be based off of the preview that CBS put out based on the immunity challenge. It's another physical challenge, that was done in Nick's season, where they had to carry a huge saucer and fill it with water to unlock puzzle pieces. Based off of that alone, I think I'm going to stay away from Sele. They don't have any big people on their tribe to carry the weight like Ben, Tony or Jeremy. Also, if you go off the narrative, Nick lost this challenge by a huge amount the first time he did it. I find it hard to believe they would drive that point home if he was not in trouble of losing again. My MVP pick is Michele. I know this contradicts my whole explanation, but this pick is just like last week. I am hoping that Michele acquires an idol and plays it wisely. I predict that Sele is headed to tribal this episode. If Michele acquires an advantage and survives the vote, she will be worth the investment. The rest of my picks are based on people that are going to win the team immunity challenge: Ben, Sarah, and Adam from Yara, and Kim from Dakal." - Andrew Parr
"I value a tribal stack as the best strategy. The Yara Tribe has a mixture of strength and intelligence, and I believe they will be able to win at least one of the immunities. So, my first four picks will come from Yara. Tony will be my fifth pick and my MVP. He is on the bottom of the Dakal tribe and will most likely look for an immunity idol. If he finds one, he'll play it." - Kurt Kroll
"Based on the preview, this looks like a very physical challenge. As a result I'll take Tony, Denise and Kim from Dakal, who are arguably the strongest tribe. Admittedly, I'm nervous about having Tony in my lineup. If I'm wrong about Dakal winning immunity, I suspect he'd be the one voted out. I think it's worth the risk though, given the way pricing broke down this week and his outside shot at some bonus points. For my remaining slots, I went with Yul and Nick from Sele. It's a risk fading the Yara tribe entirely, but I think they could struggle in this challenge and we saw suspiciously little from them in the preview. My MVP pick ends up being Yul. I think he could be the one to buy an advantage this episode. Most of the players at Extinction Island are winners from earlier seasons, like Yul. They likely know he has multiple fire tokens after having just received Sandra's." - Harry Thompson
"As mentioned in the "Keys to this Week" section, if you're going all in on a tribe "stack" this week, it's best to avoid the one that goes to tribal council, so as to steer clear of the minus-10 (or minus-15 for MVP) penalty in the event one of your players gets voted out. Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in predicting which tribe is going to win the immunity challenge, so I'm constructing my lineup mostly of players that I think are the best positioned to avoid elimination. The advantages of Sophie and Sarah have along with the fact that they're working together leads me to believe they're the two safest players this week, and if they go to tribal, there's a good chance one or both of them plays an advantage and accumulates points. Similarly, Kim has an idol on hand, and strikes me as a great value as one of the cheaper priced players still in the game. Nick doesn't have much point-scoring upside given his lack of advantages, but both Michele and Wendell have been presented as more likely boot candidates based on what we've seen from the Sele tribe so far. I feel less strongly about Yul's position on Sele than Nick's – he appears to have a closer relationship with Wendell than Yul does – but of the remaining players that can still fit in my budget, I think Yul ($22) is a less likely candidate for elimination than Denise ($21), Ben ($20), Tony ($20), Wendell ($18) and Adam ($16)." - Adam Wolf