With the Bengals hosting the struggling Cleveland Browns on Sunday, the Bengals are one of our top survivor picks for Week 14.
As if it wasn’t already slim pickings in survivor pools, there are six teams on bye this week. Additionally, a lot of the largest favorites of Week 14 probably aren’t available to most poolies.
I expect the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders and Detroit Lions to be popular selections for contestants without a chalky team at their disposal.
Here’s a look at the odds list and a breakdown of the top teams to target and fade in survivor pools for Week 14.
Week 14 Survivor Pick Rankings
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Top NFL Week 14 Survivor Picks
5. Eagles (at Giants)
The New York Giants are in the midst of a 1-3-1 skid, and facing the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium presents arguably their toughest matchup to date.
New York ranks 21st in DVOA per Football Outsiders and 30th in overall grade per Pro Football Focus, while Philadelphia ranks third and first, respectively, in the two metrics. The Eagles are also coming off a statement 35-10 win over Tennessee in Week 13.
The Giants defense has allowed the seventh-highest EPA per dropback and rank 27th in defensive DVOA during the team's five-game slide.
I don't anticipate the Giants being able to slow down the Philadelphia offense and keep this game competitive.
4. Bills (vs. Jets)
While I expect the New York Jets to keep this game relatively close, I value the additional rest and preparation time for the Buffalo Bills following their 24-10 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football last week. Additionally, Highmark Stadium is one of the few venues I value with regard to home-field advantage.
This will also be the second consecutive road game for the Jets, and their third on the highway over the past four weeks. It’s a tough schedule spot for Gang Green. Add the revenge narrative for Buffalo following a 20-17 loss to the Jets in Week 9, and I’m confident the Bills win this Week 14 rematch with AFC East Division implications also in play.
Check out our Week 14 teasers picks.
3. Bengals (vs. Browns)
The Browns topped the visiting Bengals 32-13 in Week 8, and it served as a wakeup call for Cincinnati. The Bengals have since won four straight with an average of 31.5 points per game and the top-ranked offense by DVOA. Additionally, Cincinnati has won four consecutive home games, with its lone loss at Paycor Stadium coming all the way back in Week 1.
I’m also not expecting Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson to return to his Pro Bowl form just yet. He posted an underwhelming 53.4% completion rate and threw for just 5.95 yards per attempt in his 2022 debut against the lowly Houston Texans last week, and the Cincinnati defense represents a considerable uptick in class.
Admittedly, this a potential letdown spot for the Bengals following their Week 13 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. But I just don’t see the Cleveland defense slowing down the Bengals. The Browns rank 27th in defensive DVOA and 28th in defense grade per PFF while allowing the fifth-highest EPA per play.
2. Chiefs (at Broncos)
I expect Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes to pick apart the Denver Broncos defense this week. Denver sports the third-worst pass defense DVOA in the league during its current four-game losing streak, and Mahomes and the Chiefs will have added motivation to rebound from last week’s 27-24 loss to the Bengals.
Additionally, this is a huge step up in class for the Denver defense. The Broncos have faced the third-softest schedule of opposing offenses, and Kansas City boasts the top-ranked offense in points per game, EPA per play, DVOA and offense grade per PFF.
1. Cowboys (vs. Texans)
Consider it a luxury to have the Dallas Cowboys available this week in survivor pools. Dallas is the largest favorite on the docket by a considerable margin, and has won by an average of 26.7 points across the past three games.
The Houston Texans rank last in both overall DVOA and grade per PFF, and they’ve lost seven straight. Add that Houston averages the second-fewest points per game (15.7), and Dallas should be in cruise control for the entire second half.
It’s worth adding that the Cowboys have three road games and a date with the Eagles at AT&T Stadium in Week 16 remaining on their schedule. As a result, I see no reason to pivot off Big D.
Others to Consider
- Raiders (at Rams)
- Seahawks (vs. Panthers)
- Titans (vs. Jaguars)
Check out our Raiders-Rams picks and predictions.
Week 14 NFL Favorite to Fade
49ers (vs. Buccaneers)
The quarterback matchup in this contest is reason enough for me to steer clear of using the San Francisco 49ers in survivor contests this week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rank eighth in both defensive DVOA and EPA allowed per dropback, and San Fran is forced to start rookie quarterback Brock Purdy on Sunday.
San Francisco has the skill-position talent to help Purdy tread water, but I do expect there to be growing pains on offense Sunday. Additionally, even with the Niners checking out as an elite defense in every metric, I’m not comfortable bowing out of a survivor contest in Week 14 because I picked a quarterback in his first career start against Tom Brady.
Others to Consider
- Steelers (vs. Ravens)
Where to Bet on NFL Week 14 Survivor Picks
Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:
NFL Week 14 Survivor picks made 12/7/2022 at 11:15 p.m. ET