February 22, 2020

Fantasy Football: Week 13 NFL Survivor Pool Picks


Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for Week 13. As promised I skipped the Thursday games again though this week you could have probably been on Detroit with little issue. If you still need to make some decisions, my thoughts for the week are below. As I noted, last week there is just too much volatility in the Thursday night games this late in the season.

Bye Week: None – bye weeks are complete

Survivor Pool – Week 13 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of late Saturday night:


Middle America is well represented here. Should we stay in the heartland or go elsewhere for our choice this week?

As always, a friendly reminder, I never (almost never) save a team for later in the season. There is too much volatility (especially when it comes to injuries) in the NFL and the best information you have is for the upcoming week. Trying to predict performance in future weeks is nearly impossible.

Here are my choices for Week 13 in order of preference:

  1. St. Louis Rams – I actually like the Rams the best of all the teams this week. I know it seems odd to choose them over the number two team on the list. However, the Rams defense has been terrifying the last few weeks (and they get Chris Long back on the defensive line), their offense is stable if unspectacular and the Raiders will be without their best offensive player in Latavius Murray. I give the Rams an 85% chance of winning.
  2. Indianapolis Colts – Oddly, I’d like the Colts the best if Washington still had Robert Griffin III at QB. Yes, I believe that Colt McCoy gives them a much better chance to win. The Jim Haslett “coached” defense has shown up from time to time for Washington and could cause issues for the Colts’ front seven. That said, I think Andrew Luck will have enough time do damage. I give the Colts a 79% chance of winning.
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers – The Saints haven’t been able to win at home (where they always win) and now they head to Pittsburgh and face a defense that is getting healthy at just the right time. Moreover, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense has been untouchable at home with Big Ben’s 18:1 TD to interception ratio at home leading the way. I give the Steelers a 75% chance of winning.
  4. Baltimore Ravens – Yes, the San Diego Chargers are a solid team. However, they seem to struggle more than most teams do when coming to the east coast from the west. The Ravens run defense should be able to turn the Chargers into a one-dimensional throwing show and they should be able to pressure Phillip Rivers into enough mistakes to lead to a Baltimore victory. I give the Ravens a 72% chance of winning.
  5. Houston Texans – The Texans are going back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB and I do not like that one bit. However, the hope here is that the Texans ride the now-healthy Arian Foster and let Fitzpatrick throw no more than 20 passes against the Titans. The Titans have looked a bit better lately with Zach Mettenberger maturing well. I give the Texans a 71% chance of winning.
  6. Miami DolphinsThe Dolphins go on the road on Monday night to face a Jets team that now has Geno Smith leading the parade. Rex Ryan is a lame duck coach and even with the Dolphins playing waiver wire defensive backs, they won’t be able to take advantage of this huge mismatch. The Jets will be without Muhammad Wilkerson and I think the Dolphins could roll. I give the Dolphins a 71% chance of winning.
  7. New York Giants With Rashad Jennings finally healthy, I like the balance on offense that the Giants bring to the table. They face perhaps the poorest team in the league in the Jaguars. I don’t necessarily like taking a team on the road, but the Jags are pretty awful and the Giants should be able to hold rookie Blake Bortles down. I give the Giants a 69% chance of winning.

Other teams I like this week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Cincinnati Bengals on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Call it a hunch, but I just don’t trust this Bengals team. The Bucs have enough on offense to stay with the Bengals and a solid enough defense to keep Andy Dalton in check.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the New England Patriots on the road against the Green Bay Packers. These are two teams that are evenly matched and Bill Belichick can find the tiniest hole in an opponent and exploit it.

If you ever want to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @chrisgarosi

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