Week 14 is on tap and that means only four weeks to go in the NFL regular season. Some teams are eliminated and fighting for a top draft pick, while others are in the playoff hunt battling for first round byes. We have a ton of important matchups on the schedule and from an NFL survivor standpoints a few games to look into. By now if you are still alive, you only have a fraction of the teams remaining in your league and you don’t have the luxury of having most of the big name teams available.
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What is a Survivor Pool?
There are several variations of the NFL Survivor Pool format, but the most basic and common one is each week, everyone in the pool has to select one team to win a game straight-up, not against the spread. If the team gets a win, you survive the week and move on while if the team you pick ties or loses the game, you are eliminated from the pool and it is game over. The twist is that you can only use any team once so anyone you pick is no longer available for weeks in the future, making it increasingly difficult as the season goes on. The pool ends when there is one player left who survives the longest and usually will take home a big pay day depending on the pool and the structure.
Week 14 Schedule
Cowboys -2.5 at Bears
Ravens -6 at Bills Redskins at Packers -13 Broncos at Texans -9.5
49ers at Saints -2.5 Bengals at Browns -8.5 Panthers at Falcons -3
Dolphins at Jets -5.5 Colts at Buccaneers -3 Chargers -3 at Jaguars
Chiefs at Patriots -3 Steelers -2.5 at Cardinals Titans -3 at Raiders
Lions at Vikings OTB Rams at Seahawks -2.5
Giants at Eagles -9
Week 13 NFL Survivor Recap
The most popular choice at 54% of Yahoo leagues turned out to be a bad one as the double-digit favorite Panthers went down at home. This is yet another big upset that could have possibly ended some pools depending on how many people were left. The Redskins answered a slow start and took control of the game, despite almost giving it away late. This was a trap that was easy to fall into, and if you were able to avoid it, you certainly were rewarded.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were my pick for Week 13 and the third-most popular choice across NFL survivor leagues. The Chiefs rolled along at home against the Raiders and it was smooth sailing for Patrick Mahomes and this offense. After seeing Carolina go down, it was a huge asset to have the Chiefs this week and they did what you are looking for when rostering a big favorite at home. Despite being a top team, the Chiefs didn’t have many slam dunk games before this one and having them available got me through the week.
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay was the second-most popular choice and the only reasonable team that you could back despite being on the road. The Packers traveled to New York to take on the Giants and they also showed why they are an NFC contender. They forced Daniel Jones into three interceptions and were in control for most of the game, leading to an easy survivor pick for anyone backing them in Week 13.
Week 14 NFL Survivor Picks
Green Bay Packers
Hopefully you didn’t burn the Packers last game or earlier in the season, as they draw a top matchup this week. The Redskins went into Carolina and emerged with an upset victory, but going into Lambeau is a different animal. The Packers are a 13-point favorite, which is the biggest spread of the week and the spot most people will gravitate towards. The only question you are asking yourself here is do you have the Packers available, or will you be forced to go elsewhere?
It seems like a bad idea to back a team that just lost to the Dolphins, but here we are. The Eagles somehow still control their own destiny for the playoffs and they are at home against their NFC East rival in the Giants. The offense has been banged up, but most of Carson Wentz‘s weapons are ready to go and it’s the Giants coming to town, which is a huge plus. On the other side, Daniel Jones is a turnover machine and I mentioned earlier what the Green Bay secondary did to him last week in New York. As bad as that loss was to Miami, I cannot imagine the Eagles blowing another game, especially at home on Monday night, which makes them a reasonable NFL survivor option this week.
Most people probably have Houston available as they haven’t had a ton of big spreads in their favor, or a week where they were the obvious choice. The AFC South is bunched up like it seemingly always is and the Texans need to build on the momentum they secured with a huge win last week against New England. Deshaun Watson is a top quarterback in the league and with his weapons, it is a tough matchup for anyone coming into Houston. The Broncos grabbed a win last week at home against the Chargers and Drew Lock certainly showed he could be part of their future plans. Still, this Texans team is a different caliber on both sides of the ball and away from Mile High, I expect Lock to struggle a bit more than we saw last week.
My Week 14 Pick: Packers
Teams I’ve already used (Week 1: Seahawks, Week 2: Ravens, Week 3: Cowboys, Week 4: Rams-L, Week 5: Eagles, Week 6: Patriots, Week 7: Bills, Week 8: Vikings, Week 9: Niners, Week 10: Saints-L, Week 11: Raiders, Week 12: Browns, Week 13: Chiefs)
I have the Packers available so I will be taking the far and away best choice of the week. The Packers have the only double-digit spread as they are at home against this bad Redskins squad. The NFC playoff picture is so crowded that a single loss could mean the difference between a top-two seed and possibly a road wildcard game, so there is no room for error for the Packers. Expect Aaron Rodgers and this offense to have their way and for Dwayne Haskins to struggle in what will be a tough environment.
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Good Luck everyone!