It's Week 5 of the NFL season, and if you've nailed your NFL survivor pool picks each week so far, you know how perilous the season has been. Upsets have crumbled plenty of NFL knockout pool picks, injuries are piling up and several popular teams are playing below expectations. The Week 5 NFL schedule has numerous big favorites you might find enticing, but you likely have already scratched a few of those teams off your board, while others have red flags.

The Ravens (-13 vs. Bengals) and Chiefs (-12 vs. Las Vegas) could be popular NFL picks for survivor pools, but you might need to look at teams like the Seahawks (-7 vs. Vikings) or Cowboys (-9.5 vs. Giants) and proceed with caution. Future schedules should always be a consideration for NFL football pool picks as well. Before making any Week 5 NFL survivor picks, see what NFL guru Mike Tierney has to say. 

SportsLine's all-time No. 1 NFL expert, Tierney excels both straight-up and against the spread. Anyone who has followed his NFL picks is up more than $3,750.

Last year, Tierney went 161-94-1 on straight-up NFL picks, beating the vast majority of experts on NFLPickWatch. A renowned sportswriter who's reported from seven Super Bowls, Tierney is an authority on the survivor pool format.

In Week 1 -- when hundreds of thousands of survivor players blew their entire season by picking the Colts, Eagles or 49ers -- Tierney rolled with the Ravens over the Browns. The result: Baltimore 38, Cleveland 6. Then Tierney advanced with the Steelers (Week 2), Colts (Week 3) and Rams (Week 4).

He has studied the entire regular-season schedule, plotting out which team he plans to take each week. You can only see his optimal survivor pool strategy over at SportsLine

Top Week 5 NFL survivor pool predictions

For Week 5, Tierney is not going with the undefeated Seahawks, who are laying a touchdown to Minnesota, or the Cowboys, who are 9.5-point favorites over the winless Giants. Seattle is undefeated and Russell Wilson has been stellar, but a long trip home from Miami before preparing to face a dangerous Vikings offense makes it too risky.

Dallas has the NFL's top offense, but it will be a sketchy option until the major problems with its defense are resolved. 

Seattle ranks last in the league in passing defense at more than 400 yards per game, while Dallas is the worst (by far) in total defense at more than 500 yards per game. "The Cowboys are fortunate to have one win and are yielding 36.5 points per game, which could breathe life into an offense as static as New York's," Tierney said. Your best bet is to look at other options this week.

How to make Week 5 NFL survivor pool picks

There's a much better option, Tierney says. He has a confident pick on a team he says will cruise to a convincing Week 5 win. Picking this team not only will get you to Week 6, Tierney says, it will put you in the optimal position to go deep in your NFL survivor pool. The time to pick this team is now, and you can only see the play over at SportsLine.

Which team is a must-back in your Week 5 survivor pool? Visit SportsLine now to see which team carries you to victory in Week 5, all from the No. 1 expert who crushes the NFL year-in and year-out, and find out.