NFL Survivor Picks for Week 13: Can the Chargers Deliver Against the Flailing Pats?

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
NFL Survivor Picks for Week 13: Can the Chargers Deliver Against the Flailing Pats?

There aren't many more crucial things than nailing your NFL survivor picks, so we're here to help.

Based on numberFire's NFL survivor matrix, here are some of the best NFL survivor picks for Week 13.

NFL Survivor Picks for Week 13

These are the top five teams by expected win probability, according to numberFire's model. All NFL odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks
    • For the second week in a row, the Dallas Cowboys boast the highest win probability at 82.0%. They've won five of their last six and tout a league-high positive 162 point differential. Dallas will play a struggling Seahawks team that has dropped three of their last four games. Despite their winning record (6-5), Seattle has a negative point differential -- the same can be said for only two other teams. According to numberFire's power rankings, Dallas ranks second on offense and third on defense, while Seattle ranks 21st on offense and 17th on defense. If you've managed to fade the Cowboys up until now, it may be time to give them a nod. Their upcoming schedule is, in comparison, tough, save for a Week 18 matchup against the Washington Commanders -- although Dallas may have a set playoff game by then.
  • Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints
    • After winning seven of their previous eight games, the Detroit Lions fell to the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day. Even still, they enter this week with a 71.2% win probability over the Saints (5-6). However, Detroit is on the road and is favored by a modest 4.5 points, so I'd probably be more apt to side with them next week against the Chicago Bears.
  • Miami Dolphins vs. Washington Commanders
    • The biggest betting favorite this week is the Miami Dolphins. They are favored by 9.5 points against the Commanders, a team that has lost five of their last six (with the sole win coming against the New England Patriots). Miami has two breezy matchups on the horizon, with home games against the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets set to follow Week 13, so if you've saved them as a survivor pick-up until now, you aren't short of decent options.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers
    • The Bucs are the fan-favorite in this week's survivor pool. They currently have a week-high 39.43% pick rate (via Yahoo), and it's pretty clear why the public is siding with them. They are on many people's boards entering Week 13, as they have yet to place in the top five of pick distribution on a given week, and it's hard not to beat on the Carolina Panthers (1-10). With that being said, Tampa Bay has looked terrible as of late, dropping six of their last seven. Plus, Baker Mayfield is roughed up and a new coaching change in Carolina could give the Panthers some momentum. Even still, the Bucs are 5.5-point favorites and are given a 69.2% win probability, so while I'd proceed with a bit of caution, picking them wouldn't be an amateur move.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals
    • After losing Joe Burrow to a season-ending injury, the Bengals have emerged as a team to bully. A road primetime game for new signal-caller Jake Browning doesn't sound too appealing for Cincy fans, especially against a 12th-ranked Jacksonville defense. The Jags are on a roll, winning seven of their last eight games with an average 9.7 victory margin. They are 7.5-point betting favorites and are handed a 67.5% win probability, resulting in the Jags having the second-highest pick rate (22.49%) this week.

Digging Deeper

Have you already used all the teams mentioned above? Here are some other options.

Los Angeles Chargers

The New England Patriots (2-9) have been begging to lose games all season -- it seems like the goal at this point. Last Sunday, the Pats couldn't outdo the 10 points put on the board by the New York Giants and missed what would have been a game-winning 35-yard field-goal attempt.

A third win might be hard to come by this season, which is just what Pats fans want as they follow the path to a great draft pick.

The Los Angeles Chargers (4-7) are a mess for different reasons. Bolts fans have been experiencing deja vu all year -- five of LAC's seven losses have been decided by three points or less. It's pretty mind-boggling that a team with a .364 winning percentage has managed to have a positive 11 point differential, whereas two teams (Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos) that sit above them in the AFC West standings struggle with negative 34 and 54 point differentials.

Their bad luck, or incompetency at closing games, comes to an end this Sunday.

The Patriots allow 22.5 points per game (12th-most) and will face a 10th-ranked Chargers offense that scores the eighth-most points per game.

Los Angeles has the third-worst defense and allows 23.5 points per game (eighth-most), but the Pats are only scoring 13.5 points per game (second-fewest).

The Chargers D is the team's loud and clear Achilles heel, but the Patriots haven't proved they can take full advantage the way so many others have. New England has scored an average of 11.8 points across their last four. They've made the second-fewest red zone appearances per game this season, and their QB situation has gone from bad to worse.

Mac Jones is taking the brunt of the Boston media beating. After all, he has thrown more interceptions (12) than touchdown passes this year (10). But it's the Pats offense, as a whole, that isn't doing their job. They have the worst-ranked rush defense, and Bailey Zappe hasn't provided much of a boost upon being thrust into games following the repeated benchings of Jones.

Justin Herbert and the Chargers are favored by 6.0 points this Sunday, and this should be a great week to utilize them as a survivor pick.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) will go up against the Arizona Cardinals (2-10) this Sunday, and it seems unlikely that the latter will hand the former their first road win of the season.

It's no secret that the Steelers D is what's winning the team games. Only four teams have scored fewer points than Pittsburgh this season -- combined, those teams have an 11-34 record.

Per numberFire, Arizona has the fifth-worst offense in the league. I can't see them faring well against the sixth-best Pittsburgh defense.

The wrinkle here will be whether Kenny Pickett and the struggling offense can put enough points on the board to reward the defense's efforts. The good news is the Cardinals have the league's second-worst defense.

Pickett and company have yet to face a defense that fares this poorly -- in fact, they've yet to play a team that ranks in the bottom five -- so we could see one of their best offensive performances yet against a team that allows a league-high third-down conversion rate (47.02%) and the second-most points per game (26.8).

numberFire gives the Steelers a 66.7% win probability. As of this writing, they have the third-highest pick rate (12.74%) of Week 13. Pittsburgh will play New England next week, so there will be another decent opportunity to use them as a survivor pick, but they are a solid choice this week nonetheless.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your