Survivor pools: Best picks for Week 13 NFL games


Top NFL Survivor picks for Week 13

Whether your Survivor pool considered Thanksgiving as its own week or not, having at least one entry left standing going into Week 13 is an incredible feat. With just six weeks left in the regular season, there can’t be many left, which means it is more important than ever to be smart about your selection. Hopefully you’re in a pool where you can see which teams your competitors have left so that you can do some additional planning and strategizing.

By this point, it is unlikely that you or the remaining contestants are holding many good teams with which to survive. Uncomfortable gambles may have to be taken, but hopefully you can come out ahead while others do not.


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Cleveland Browns (-7) over Houston Texans

The reality is that we have no idea what Deshaun Watson will look like as he makes his first start in nearly two years. What we do know is that the Browns continue to have one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks and that bodes well for getting and protecting a lead against the hapless Texans. Houston ranks 25th in Rush EPA (expected points added) against and 26th in Rushing Success Rate against. The pass defense grades below average as well.

The Texans have the league’s worst offense by EPA/play, so this is about as good of a matchup as the beleaguered Browns defense can ask for. Cleveland has gotten better at various points throughout the season and held its own against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers last week. Most importantly, Cleveland is a team that you are likely to still have available and this is a road favorite number that they’ve only approached during the 1995 and 2020 seasons, so it’s about the best-case scenario for them away from home.

Dallas Cowboys (-10) over Indianapolis Colts

You probably don’t have the Cowboys available at this point. Dallas has one of the league’s best records and was also a Thanksgiving Day participant if that wrinkle is part of the rules of your pool. If you do, they’re in a really good spot on Sunday. The Cowboys are on extra rest after beating the Giants last Thursday. The Colts are on a short week after hosting the Steelers on Monday with interim head coach Jeff Saturday.

The Cowboys defense is definitely better against the pass with their elite pass rush, but they’re also just a superior team all over the field and the situational spot is a real detriment with a first-time head coach and less time to prepare and recover. If you have the Cowboys, they make a lot of sense this week, but mostly got a mention because they’re the biggest favorite. They’re probably not an option for most entries that are still alive. Teams with 8-3 records after 11 games have usually been used up by this point.


Seattle Seahawks (-8) over Los Angeles Rams

The Seahawks have a huge game this week against the Rams. After back-to-back one-score losses to the Buccaneers and Raiders, Seattle has fallen to 6-5. This week against the Rams and next week against the Panthers are effectively must-win games with the 49ers and Chiefs the following weeks. Seattle has a great chance at going 10-7 with the Jets and Rams at home to finish the regular season. 

The Rams are pretty much done for the 2022 season. They lost again to fall to 3-8 and are staring at another start from Bryce Perkins with nobody to throw the ball to outside of Tyler Higbee. Allen Robinson joined Cooper Kupp on the injured reserve and the Rams haven’t been able to run the ball all season long. Perkins accounted for just 86 net passing yards and 44 rushing yards last week against the Chiefs. With Matthew Stafford unlikely to return this season, the Rams may turn back to John Wolford, but they might as well find out what Perkins can offer.

Even with Stafford and Kupp for the majority of the season, the Rams have scored just 16.2 points per game and been outscored by nearly a touchdown per contest. The pass defense is really falling off quickly and the overall effort and interest level of the team has to be waning. Aaron Donald is also hurt, so the Rams may be missing another one of their best players.

Pick: Seattle Seahawks