The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Week 11 Survivor Pool Rankings

Week 11 contains a matchup featuring two one-loss teams, a game where the two teams have combined for three wins, and everything in between. There are also another six teams on bye this week, making the field difficult to navigate. With viable choices being few and far between, this could be a make or break week for those still competing in survivor pools. Here are my Week 11 survivor pool rankings.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This will be the last installment of the Survivor Pool series this season. If you’re still alive and fighting reach out to Mick on Twitter at @themick23 for his take on that week’s games.

Week 11 Survivor Pool Rankings

Best Bet: New Orleans Saints v. Philadelphia Eagles

I should probably be a bit more confident in choosing a team who has won eight straight hosting a reeling 4-5 team whose only victories since the end of September have come against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars. But we have seen this movie before, specifically in last year’s Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles were a prohibitive underdog facing a team with a Hall of Fame quarterback and elite offense when they upset the New England Patriots in February. But for whatever reason, this season’s team just has not put it together quite yet. And I do not see that changing this weekend when they head down to the bayou to face the New Orleans Saints.

New Orleans is clicking on all cylinders right now. I foolishly thought they were in line for a letdown last week, but they thoroughly thrashed Cincinnati. The Saints lead all clubs with nearly 37 points per game and have scored a ridiculous 35 points in each of their last two first halves. New Orleans has also scored at least 40 points in three of their four home games this season. I simply cannot go against them this week. With six teams on a bye and several others ineligible from being selected in previous weeks, the New Orleans Saints are the top team in my Week 11 Survivor Pool rankings.

Next Best Thing: Los Angeles Chargers v. Denver Broncos

The Los Angeles Chargers are the most overlooked 7-2 team I have seen in recent memory. They play in a huge market, have won six straight games, and their only two losses have come against 9-1 teams. Yet people talk about them as if they are 5-4 or 4-5. This team is a legitimate contender and should keep things rolling when they host the Denver Broncos in Week 11.

Fantrax Football CommissionerDenver has lost six of seven and sits at just 3-6 on the year. But, to their credit, they have been largely competitive. Due primarily to a blowout victory in Arizona, the Broncos have actually scored more points than they have allowed over their last six games despite a 1-5 record in that stretch. The Broncos should put up a good fight, but I do not see it being enough to withstand the Chargers. Known mostly for their offense, it is the defense that has carried Los Angeles of late. The Chargers have allowed just 66 points in their last five games, with no opponent scoring as many as 20 points in that timeframe. I have already selected the Chargers and generally try to avoid divisional games. But I certainly would not argue against anyone wanting to use Los Angeles as their Week 11 survivor pool choice.

Best of the Rest

Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars

These teams are certainly heading in opposite directions as they head into Week 11. Pittsburgh has won five straight and has a stranglehold on their third consecutive AFC North crown. They are also finally free of the questions surrounding running back Le’veon Bell. The star holdout did not report to the team by Tuesday’s deadline, making him ineligible for the remainder of the season. Pittsburgh seems largely relieved that this saga has reached its conclusion, and several Steelers even celebrated by ransacking Bell’s locker and copping some swag. I do not see Pittsburgh being any worse for wear, and they can now focus solely on winning ballgames. They should be able to do just that when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Whereas Pittsburgh enters on a roll, the Jaguars have lost five straight and six of seven. Their only win in that period was a home win over the New York Jets, hardly a feather in the cap. Jacksonville’s vaunted defense has been just shy of the elite this season, which has made their margin for error on offense razor thin. With inconsistent play from quarterback Blake Bortles and running back Leonard Fournette missing time due to injury, the results have been disastrous. Jacksonville will have a hard time turning things around against a motivated Steelers team. Pittsburgh remembers all too well how Jacksonville ended their playoff run last year. They will look to return the favor and crush any hopes the Jaguars may have about saving their season. The Steelers should win this game and continue their march toward the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions

Most football fans saw Carolina get annihilated last week by the Pittsburgh Steelers and may be hesitant to back them as a result. But I believe last week’s game was largely a result of circumstance. Thursday games are too often a crapshoot because defenses do not have time to fully heal from the previous week. Nor do they have proper time to plan for their upcoming opponent. It is no coincidence that Thursday night games have seen an average of 55.9 points this year. A team has scored at least 34 points in eight of nine Thursday night games. Personally, I am inclined to give the Panthers a pass and believe they will right the ship on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

Detroit’s season is quickly circling the drain. In the last three weeks, they have lost three straight games, traded receiver Golden Tate, and lost starting guard T.J. Lang to a neck injury. They are in last place in the NFC North and are beginning to set their sights on the future. Detroit does not figure to have enough to contend with Carolina. I generally try to avoid road teams in survivor pools, but you can certainly make the case for Carolina this week. I believe they will get the better of the Lions in this game.

Atlanta Falcons v. Dallas Cowboys

This battle of 4-5 teams could be of great consequence in terms of determining potential Wild Cards in the NFC. I think a little too much emphasis is being placed on last week’s results. Few people expected Atlanta to get blown out in Cleveland. Fewer thought Dallas would go on the road and defeat the Super Bowl champions in Philadelphia. I think some recency bias has crept into the early action on this game. Atlanta started out as a 4.5-point favorite. That number has dipped to three in most places.

Last week’s victory was the first road win for the Cowboys this year. They have been plagued by inconsistent play throughout 2018. I just cannot rely on them to win a second straight road game in a difficult environment. Having said that, I would not go out of my way to fully endorse the Falcons either. They allowed over 200 rushing yards in last week’s loss and allow 5.19 yards per carry this season. That mark is second-worst in the NFL. With Ezekiel Elliott coming into town, Atlanta will have to tighten that up in a hurry. I think the Falcons will find a way to do just enough to earn a victory this week.

Favorites Who Should Win

Chicago Bears v. Minnesota Vikings

Both Chicago and Minnesota enter this pivotal NFC North matchup with a bit of momentum. Chicago has won three straight and their offense has been electric since some early season struggles. The Bears have averaged nearly 38 points per game over their last six games. They own the sport’s third-best point differential, trailing only the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams. Minnesota, meanwhile, has won four of five, losing only to the New Orleans Saints during that stretch.

As hot as the Bears’ offense has been lately, I suspect it will be their defense that decides this game. Ultimately, I think this game will come down to turnovers. The Bears lead the NFL in takeaways (24) and turnover differential (+13). I feel that will be the deciding factor in this game. With Khalil Mack and company putting pressure on Kirk Cousins, I believe the quarterback will be forced into making mistakes. Cousins has turned the ball over in seven of his last eight games and is tied for second in the league with eight fumbles. With wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs a bit banged up, the Bears should be able to hold off the Vikings and increase their lead in the NFC North.

New York Giants v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail on why I would avoid using either the Giants or Buccaneers as my Week 11 survivor pool pick. I’m pretty sure a simple “they both stink” would suffice. But for the sake of posterity, I will throw a couple of quick facts out there.

The Giants are the league’s only team yet to win a home game. Tampa Bay’s lone victory since Week 2 came when they edged out Cleveland at home in overtime. Both teams have quarterbacks who are former No. 1 overall picks and have murky futures. Both feature dynamic wide receivers who were selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and who deserve much better than what they are currently saddled with. That about sums it up. So yeah, they both stink. Trust me, I know a lot about bad football teams. You don’t want to subject yourself to this game. Seek refuge elsewhere.

Arizona Cardinals v. Oakland Raiders

This game is essentially “Giants-Buccaneers” West. In fact, these teams are even worse than New York and Tampa Bay. They have combined for just three victories on the season. Oakland’s only victory on the year came in a game where they edged out Cleveland at home in overtime. I suppose that makes them the “Tampa Bay” in this equation. That leaves Arizona as the “New York”. I guess that is fitting since Arizona’s only two victories this year have come against San Francisco, whom New York just defeated on Monday night. I want to meet the person who sits through New York and Tampa and then watches Arizona and Oakland afterward. That is masochism at its finest. I’ll take Arizona here, but neither is worth consideration in survivor pools this week or any other week.

It’s a Trap!

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams

Monday night’s marquee matchup features the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs facing the 9-1 Los Angeles Rams. Kansas City’s only defeat came on the road against New England. The Rams’ only loss came on the road versus New Orleans. Those losses are certainly justifiable ones. Los Angeles and Kansas City are among the elite in the NFL, and some people believe this will be a preview of this year’s Super Bowl. This game has the highest Vegas total of any game in NFL history, and with good reason. Each team has scored at least 30 points in eight of 10 games played. Both teams feature innovative offenses and have a surplus of talent at nearly every skill position. This game will likely come down to who has the ball last, but I am going to give a slight edge to Kansas City.

I think the Rams could suffer a bit in this game due to a couple of factors. First, the loss of receiver Cooper Kupp should not be understated. Kupp’s six receiving touchdowns are among the top-10 at his position, while he ranks in the top-25 in yards per game and receptions of at least 20 yards. The Rams and Chiefs also seem to be trending in different directions defensively in recent weeks. The Chiefs have held six of their last seven opponents to 23 points or less, including four in a row. Los Angeles, however, has allowed five of their last seven opponents to exceed that number. They have given up 103 points in their last three games.

I also wonder if the Rams will suffer a bit of a letdown. While they will need to win every game possible if they want home field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Rams basically clinched the division with last week’s win against Seattle. The Chiefs will have to fight to stay ahead of the Chargers, but the Rams face no such threat. I also think the cavalry of Chiefs’ fans will make the trip to Los Angeles, which could make for an interesting dynamic. Either way, this game should be a blast to watch. Because both teams are so loaded, I would avoid taking either team in a survivor pool. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts

Entering their Week 8 bye, I wrote off Tennessee as being a threat in the AFC South. Their stout defense was being bogged down by an underwhelming offense led by new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. But the tide has turned for the Titans since returning to action. Tennessee has posted season-high point totals in back-to-back games, including last week’s 34-10 impressive victory over New England. Their defense continues to dominate. Tennessee has allowed a league-low 151 points this year. That number will be put to the test this week in Indianapolis.

The Colts have also hit their stride offensively of late. Winners of three straight, the Colts have scored 142 in their last four games. Andrew Luck has thrown for 26 touchdowns, and running back Marlon Mack has stabilized the Colts’ backfield. In typical “offense versus defense” matchups, I tend to lean towards the defense. That and Tennessee’s recent offensive surge has me gravitating their way. But I feel this is a game that can go either way, and I would try to avoid using either team as my Week 11 survivor pool pick.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati sits at 5-4 heading into Week 11, yet has lost two of its last three games by at least 35 points. That is hard to do. They have allowed 130 points in their last three games and give up an NFL-high 32 points per contest. The Bengals may benefit from facing a Baltimore offense that is far less dynamic than those of Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans.

Baltimore has lost three straight and four of their last five, averaging 18 points per game over those five games. They right around the middle of the pack in most offensive categories on the year. The Ravens also currently have an unsettled quarterback situation, as Joe Flacco’s status is very much in question. I wrote about the potential impact a shift to rookie Lamar Jackson would have for fantasy purposes, but I do not think the Ravens would all of a sudden become an offensive juggernaut should they turn to Jackson. With Baltimore’s sketchy quarterback situation and Cincinnati’s suspect defense and overall inconsistent play, this game appears to be one to avoid this week.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

Week 11 kicks off when the Green Bay Packers head west to face the Seattle Seahawks. The road has not been kind to Green Bay this season. They are one of just four teams (basement dwellers Cleveland, Oakland, and San Francisco being the others) who have yet to win a road game this season. But Seattle’s Century Link Field has not been the house of horrors for opposing teams that it has in years past, either. Seattle has the fifth-worst record at home this year, entering Week 11 just 1-2 at home in 2018. Both teams feature marquee quarterbacks who have won Super Bowls in Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, but this figures to be a matchup won on the ground and in the trenches.

Seattle leads the NFL in rushing attempts and yards per game. Starting running back Chris Carson is back and leads a three-headed attack alongside Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny. Green Bay allows 5.01 adjusted line yards per carry according to Football Outsiders. That number is third-highest in the league. On the other side, Green Bay seems to have finally committed to Aaron Jones. Better late than never, I suppose. Since Green Bay’s Week 7 bye, Jones has averaged over 100 rushing yards per game on just 41 total carries. He saw a season-high 73.7 percent of snaps in last week’s win in Miami. All he did was set career-bests in rushing yards (145), receiving yards (27), and touchdowns (2).

I think Seattle does just enough to win this game, but I would not target them in a survivor pool. As I have stated in the past, I would not go out of my way to bet against Rodgers. Despite being without wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison, Rodgers is always a threat to pull a rabbit out of his hat. (Or his head.) And although I vehemently oppose “planning ahead” in survivor pools, Seattle does host San Francisco in two weeks. No matter how you slice, there are better games to try to take advantage of this week.

Houston Texans at Washington Redskins

Houston and Washington enter this game leading their respective divisions with identical 6-3 records. Both clubs excel at running the ball and stopping the run. This game figures to be a good old-fashioned slugfest in the nation’s capital. I think a case can be made for both sides, but I am leaning towards taking Washington in this matchup.

Washington’s three losses this season have come against Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Each of those teams ranks among the top eight in the league in points per game. It is certainly not a hot take to say that a defense might struggle against elite opponents, but it highlights the fact that Washington has virtually shut everyone else down. They held the Packers and Panthers to 17 points each in their meetings, more than a touchdown below their seasonal averages. The Texans rank near the middle of the pack offensively in points scored and nearly all yardage stats but rank just 25th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. I just don’t think they will be able to solve Washington’s defense. There is a decent chance Washington enters Thanksgiving with a three-game lead in their division.

Also check out our Week 11 Sleepers: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends

Mick Ciallela has been writing for FantraxHQ since July 2017. He has also written for Bleacher Report. He is a lifelong sports fan and has been an avid fantasy sports player for many years. Mick was the Overall Champion of both the 2016 Football Challenge – Roto and 2017 Play 3 Football contests hosted by CDM Sports. Mick was born and raised in Mount Vernon, New York and currently resides in New London, Connecticut.

The Fantasy Black Book ShowReady to amp up your Fantasy Football game even more? Check out The Fantasy Black Book Show, where Joe Pisapia, Scott Bogman, and The Welsh bring the goods every week.

Fantrax is one of the fastest growing fantasy sites of 2018. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.