NFL Survivor Pool Tips for Week 13 (2020 regular season)



University Professor. PhD in stats. Proud dad of 2 boys.



Which team should you pick in your NFL survivor pool in Week 13?

There are plenty of “safe” picks this week compared to last week. Indeed, there were just two teams favored by 9 points or more last week, while we have six available this week!

It was projected that many people would get eliminated from survivor pools last week, but only the 49ers pulled off a decent upset at the Rams. The other upsets were small ones.

Let me share with you my optimal strategy in survivor pools for Week 13 in the NFL!

SURVIVOR PICK #1: MIAMI DOLPHINS (vs Cincinnati Bengals)

There is no clear-cut top pick this week. I ended up putting Miami at #1.

Only the Chiefs have a higher probability of winning this week, but the Dolphins are preferable since they hold absolutely no future value. None of their remaining games is easy: vs Chiefs, vs Patriots, at the Raiders and at the Bills.

With Joe Burrow done for the season, Brandon Allen took over last week. He really struggled to get the offense going. Cincy scored 17 points against the Giants, but seven of them came on a kickoff return and the other TD occurred in garbage time. The Bengals picked up just 155 total yards on offense, which was abysmal.

Even if the team makes a switch and gives the nod to Ryan Finley, things won’t get better as he may actually be worse than Allen! Starting running back Joe Mixon is also still out.

Whether Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tua Tagovailoa is under center for Miami won’t change my pick. Having Fitzpatrick at the helm probably makes me feel safer, but no matter what I’ll go with Miami as my top survivor pick in Week 13.


This is the safest play of the weekend with a point spread of 14 points, but it ranks below Miami due to KC’s future value. You may wish you still have the Chiefs available in Weeks 16 and 17, where they are going to host the Falcons and the Chargers.

Those matchups may not sound great at first, but if you take a look at the schedule there may not be many easier picks in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Have you already taken the Ravens this year in your pool? If so, then I really believe you should avoid taking Kansas City this week. Why? Because Baltimore should be among the safest picks in Weeks 16 and 17, so you are likely to need Kansas City for one of those two weeks.

SURVIVOR PICK #3: PITTSBURGH STEELERS (vs Washington Football Team)

I suspect that very few of you still have the option of grabbing the Steelers in your survivor pool. Pittsburgh has already faced weak opponents, so many of you cannot take them for a second time this year.

Still, I need to mention them and they occupy the third rank this week. Their future value is fairly low, so they would be a good choice here. Facing the Bills, the Colts and the Browns won’t be easy, so the only time you may pick them in the future is Week 15 at Cincinnati.

SURVIVOR PICK #4: MINNESOTA VIKINGS (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)

Mike Zimmer’s squad is established as a 9.5-point favorite this week. Therefore, Minnesota is a pretty safe pick.

Is there any other week where we might hope to grab the Vikings? Not really. They will be on the road against the Bucs, the Saints and the Lions, while their lone home game will be against the Bears. Sure, Chicago’s offense stinks, but their defense is pretty stout so you never know.

For these reasons, I think taking Minnesota this week would be a sound choice.


At the time of writing this article, Daniel Jones seems unlikely to suit up for the G-Men, but he has not been ruled out yet. If Colt McCoy ends up being the starter, this would become a very safe pick.

The only downside to this play is losing what is projected to be the best pick next week BY FAR: Seattle hosting the Jets. I am expecting a point spread of at least 14 points for this game, while there might not be a single team favored by more than 7 points outside of Seattle. In other words, the Seahawks are projected to have a much higher probability of winning next week than any other NFL team. It’s preferable to keep them for later use, if possible.

SURVIVOR PICK #6: GREEN BAY PACKERS (vs Philadelphia Eagles)

Not a great pick, not a bad one either. Unless you have already picked the first five teams listed above, I wouldn’t touch the Packers.

They are solid favorites this week, but Green Bay should be favored in each of their remaining four games. With so many good alternatives this week, why go with them?


What a big time horrendous performance last week by the Raiders! Losing 43-to-6 in Atlanta was really bad.

Such a bad outing makes me feel more uncomfortable with this play. Granted, they are playing the lowly Jets. And Las Vegas is not projected to be a favorite by more than 4-5 points in any of their remaining matches, so you could consider taking them right now.

Best of luck with your survivor pool, I hope I can help you cash some big money!

Professor MJ

(Sports Betting Expert / University Professor / PhD in statistics)