Week 13 Survivor Pick Strategy & Advice (2022)

Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season in survivor pools gets Cleveland facing Houston in Deshaun Watson's first game in nearly two years.

Nick Chubb and the Browns look to extend Houston's problems (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Week 13 of the 2022 NFL season brings us another big week in survivor, and a returning QB with plenty of off-field drama could be a big part of it right out of the gate.

In these weekly columns, we explore strategies to maximize your edge in NFL survivor pools, also known as knockout pools or eliminator pools. We also provide some of the rationale behind picks potentially recommended by our product.

We plan to periodically update this post until Sunday of Week 13 arrives, and we will also be posting video updates throughout the week as well, so check our articles section for those. Here’s what’s available now:

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Five Most Popular Week 13 Survivor Picks

Here are the most popular teams early on for Week 12 of the 2022 NFL season:

  • Cleveland Browns (34%) at Houston Texans
  • Dallas Cowboys (16%) vs. Indianapolis Colts
  • Seattle Seahawks (13%) at Los Angeles Rams
  • Minnesota Vikings (8%) vs. New York Jets
  • Baltimore Ravens (8%) vs. Denver Broncos

Here are some notes on these teams:

Cleveland Browns

  • Pros: Low future value, win odds over 70%
  • Cons: High popularity leads to lower EV, variability risk with Deshaun Watson making first start in nearly two years against former team

Dallas Cowboys

  • Pros: Largest favorite of week, high EV because of past usage and limited popularity
  • Cons: Likely an even bigger favorite in Week 14 vs. Houston, and better EV

Seattle Seahawks

  • Pros: relatively moderate future value, high EV because of higher win odds and lower popularity than Cleveland
  • Cons: some potential value in upcoming weeks (14 and 18), popularity could rise?

Minnesota Vikings

  • Pros: Kirk Cousins wears grills if they win
  • Cons: Decent future value, risky win odds, poor EV

Baltimore Ravens

  • Pros: Second-highest win odds, high EV
  • Cons: Good future value in Weeks 16 (vs. ATL) and 17 (vs. PIT)

Tuesday 11/29

Week 12 Survivor Recap

Miami was an extremely popular pick in Week 12, and it dispatched Houston with relative ease. Other key picks also emerged, and nearly everyone advanced.

San FranciscoNew Orleans12%W,13-0
NY JetsChicago5%W,31-10
Kansas CityLA Rams4%W,26-10
SeattleLas Vegas4%L,40-34
MinnesotaNew England1%W,33-26
Tampa BayCleveland1%L,23-17
LA ChargersArizona1%W,25-24

Based on our public pick data, about 93% of the public survived Week 12. That means 7% were eliminated, with Seattle’s overtime loss making up over half of those eliminations on average.

Our most common picks were Miami, the New York Jets, Kansas City, and Dallas. About 99% of our pick recommendations advanced, with the 1% of eliminations coming with Seattle as well.

Overall Season Summary

After nine weeks, less than 1.5% of all public entries are still alive (assuming no strikes and standard rules). Many smaller pools are done, and some larger pools are at much lower number of entries left.

About 3% of PoolGenius subscriber entries that started Week 1 are still alive. That still leaves our subscriber base advancing about two times more often so far than the public in pools that started in Week 1.

At this point, about 59% of all of our pick recommendations are for pools that started in Week 1 (late-start pools made up 41% of pick recommendations last week). Meanwhile, standard pools without any multi-picks, strikes, or other specialty rules are only making up about 16% of pick recommendations.


Survivor Strategy Articles

If you’re serious about winning more survivor pools, it pays to learn the strategies that give you a long-term edge.

You can start with our free survivor strategy articles, which explain a number of the concepts we apply to our customized survivor pick recommendations:


About Our Survivor Pool Advice

We break down the pros and cons of various survivor pick options in this column, but none of our advice is ever absolute.

Why can’t we just tell you the “best” survivor pick of the week? Because there is no universal “best pick” for all NFL survivor pools.

The best weekly pick for your pool depends on a variety of factors, including the number of entries still alive and your pool’s rules. For example:

  • Bigger survivor pools reward more risk-taking.
    The more entries in your pool, the lower the chance you have to win it. In addition, you have a fixed number of weeks to send hundreds (or even thousands, in really big pools) of opponents to slaughter while you survive unscathed. As a result, your best strategy for bigger pools generally demands more of a focus on avoiding the most popular picks.
  • Non-standard rules change optimal pick strategy.
    If your pool requires double picks late in the season, or if it’s a strike pool (i.e. your first incorrect pick doesn’t eliminate you), you don’t want to use the exact same pick strategy that you’d use in a standard-rules survivor pool. Those rule variations significantly influence decision factors, such as whether you should be more inclined to save a good team for later vs. use it now.

And then there’s all this stuff:

  • What if you’ve already picked the team (or teams) that some article says is the best pick this week?
  • What if the point spread for that “best pick” has gotten several points worse since the article was published?
  • How should you spread your picks across multiple teams if you’re playing more than one entry?

Technology to the rescue

As far as we know, we’re the only site that has built algorithms that evaluate all of the strategy factors that matter in survivor pools and provide you with customized survivor pick recommendations based on the data updated multiple times a day.

The result? Since 2017, our subscribers have reported over $3.7 million in survivor pool winnings using our data-driven picks and tools.

If you want to see all the picks we recommend for your pool, use our NFL Survivor Picks product.

Why we write this column

At the same time, we know our subscribers like to understand the rationale behind picks the product may recommend, especially when those picks go against the grain. So, over the years, we’ve started to write more about the “whys” behind our approach.

This column can also help educate our readers about survivor pool strategy. We highlight tactics proven to result in more survivor pool wins over the long term and point out common pitfalls to avoid.

We hope you enjoy reading, and we encourage you to check out more of our survivor pool strategy articles.

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