We’re past the halfway point of the 2020-21 NFL season and there are many ways to cash in on your knowledge of the most popular professional sports league in the country. The smartest and most fortunate bettors should still be alive in their survivor pools.

At PlayPicks, we’re breaking down the NFL survivor pool landscape to bring you weekly options that will help you stay alive and ahead of the field in your pool.

For those new to survivor pools, the format is simple: Pick an NFL team to win each week, advance if they win, and you can’t pick the same team twice. The last member of the pool standing takes home the cash.

In this article, we will identify our strongest survivor pick for this week, called a “lock“, and a “thrifty” pick that can help you save better teams for later in the season.

The lock is our safest and most obvious pick for the week. The thrifty pick is a good team to consider at this point in the season schedule. And our land mine identifies a team that might be a popular pick but could come up short when the defecation hits the oscillation in the NFL and thousands of survivors lose a supposed lock to an upset.

You can also use advice from this article to place bets on FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook. Many of the recommended bets can be applied to those sportsbooks. Also, be aware that the point spread could be considerable with these teams favored to win by over a touchdown in some cases.

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Week 11 Lock Survivor Pool Pick

Los Angeles Chargers vs New York Jets

The Chargers dropped yet another one possession game on Sunday and are now 2-7 with their contests decided by an average of 4.6 PPG. But they open as 9-point home favorites this week against a toothless Jets team that is likely going to finish 0-16 this year. The Jets one strength is in run defense, but the Chargers are averaging 39.3 pass attempts per game over their last 3 outings.  Justin Herbert ranks sixth in DVOA passing this season, indicating the strength of schedule he’s faced, and he should shred a Jets secondary that ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense. The Chargers rank eighth in red zone defense and ninth in opponent’s completion percentage (63.3%) so it will be difficult for Joe Flacco to keep pace at SoFi Stadium.

Week 11 Thrifty Survivor Pool Pick

Minnesota Vikings vs Dallas Cowboys

The Vikings made some simple adjustments to their run-blocking scheme in Week 7 at Seattle and have been crushing opposing front sevens ever since. Dalvin Cook has posted massive lines against most weak run defenses and will face a Cowboys team that allows a league-high 32.2 PPG and the second-most rushing YPG (157) this season. Dallas averages the fewest pass attempts (43.3) per game now that Dak Prescott (ankle) is out and Garrett Gilbert shouldn’t threaten a Vikings secondary that has improved each week under the excellent tutelage of Mike Zimmer. The Vikings are 31-10 when listed as home favorites since Zimmer took over in 2014.

Week 11 Survivor Pool Land Mine

New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons

Drew Brees (ribs) is likely out for multiple weeks and the Saints could be in trouble with turnover-prone QB Jameis Winston under center. New Orleans will likely depend on the run game and short screen game this week, but Atlanta’s run defense is underrated. The Falcons rank 8th in DVOA rush defense and allow the seventh-fewest rushing YPG (99.7). Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley should both be healthier coming out of the bye and the Falcons could win a shootout with those weapons on the perimeter. These teams have split their past 4 meetings in New Orleans and Atlanta is 9-5 against NFC South foes since 2018.