NFL Weekly Survivor Plays: Week 16
Andy Spiteri brings you his guidelines to help you navigate your Eliminator Pools in Week 16 of the NFL season to make sure you're the lone survivor!
The Jets finally won one and luckily I didn’t pick against them last week. Yes, the Rams were the chalk of the week, but many had taken the Rams earlier in the season so the carnage was limited. It was the same with the Steelers losing to the Bengals. A week where there were two upsets of teams favored by 14+ points in the same week for the first time since 1973 (I think that’s what I saw, so don’t take that 100%, but it’s been a long, long time) the devastation to survivor pools wasn’t as bad as it could have been. If this happened in week 3, some pools may have ended. So having been spared an untimely elimination due to the Jets’ continued ineptitude or the Steelers’ rapid demise, let’s take a look at week 16.
We have four home and four road favorites over seven points. Eight teams for your consideration to potentially move on.
The biggest favorite of the week is Kansas City at home over the Falcons by 10.5. Most have taken the Chiefs by now, but if you have them available, by all means, take them. The Falcons have played better as we have talked about, but they shouldn’t be able to beat the best team in the league on the road. He hasn’t had a huge role but the injury to Edwards-Helaire will give LeVeon Bell a bigger role in the offense. Expect Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill to be targeted even more. The Falcons ground game struggled against Tampa and they will again rely on Calvin Ridley if Julio Jones is out again. Chiefs for the win.
The Ravens are ten-point home favorites over the Giants and will be under major consideration for my pick as I haven’t used them yet. The Giants are struggling on offense with the sidelined Daniel Jones. Combine that with a rejuvenated Ravens defense after the team’s bout with COVID-19, this game may not be close. Lamar Jackson has picked up his game over the last few weeks as well and the Ravens are making a strong playoff push. I think the Ravens are one of the better plays this week.
New Orleans lost a close game to the Chiefs on Sunday and find themselves seven-point home favorites over the Vikings. Drew Brees returned from his broken ribs and did seem a little rusty but the Saints kept it close. They are one of the NFC favorites to make the Super Bowl and will have to contain Dalvin Cook , Adam Thielen , and Justin Jefferson in order to keep them in contention for that first-round bye. I think there are better options this week.
Cincinnati visits Houston and are eight-point underdogs. The Texans are another team that should be on your radar this week. The biggest problem is the Bengals’ upset of the Steelers. Have the Bengals improved enough to garner your attention or are the Steelers in a deep, uncontrollable dive? If the Bengals had lost in typical fashion, the confidence in Houston would be higher. This would be a good pick as Houston’s value is zero going forward as they should be dogs against the Titans in week 17. They will also be low owned as many may pivot elsewhere. Remember at this point in the season you may have to go contrarian in order to win.
Can the Jets do it again? The Browns visit the swamps of Jersey and are 9.5-point favorites over the now Trevor Lawrence-less Jets (not like he was a Jet prior to last week anyway). The Browns are now contending for a division title and are playing well. The Jets do defend the run well, so it will have to be Baker Mayfield leading the way. Somehow the Jets held the Rams passing attack at bay and they’ll have to do it to the Browns in order to have a chance in this one. Both teams have improved but the Browns have way more to play for. Expect a road win for the team with no helmet emblem.
David Montgomery is running better than ever and helping the Bears and Mitchell Trubisky stay in contention for a wild card spot. They visit Jacksonville who have one of the worst run defenses in the league, giving up the third-most rushing yards thus far. The Bears will continue to feed the ball to Montgomery and control the game. The Jaguars may be without James Robinson who left Sunday’s game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be an ankle sprain. This should be monitored and if he does miss the game, it will give a boost to the already good chances of a Bears victory. The Bears are another team, like Houston, that most probably have available and they have little value next week against Green Bay.
Tom Brady brought the Bucs back against the Falcons last week and find themselves visiting Detroit as 9.5-point favorites. Detroit ranks near the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed per game and Brady will be ready to take advantage. He threw for nearly 400 yards against the Falcons as Ronald Jones was sidelined with COVID-19. Expect more of the same and a Bucs victory. Tampa is a team that has been used by most but can be your pick this week if available. They take on the Falcons at home next week and could be used then if you need them.
The last of our eight is Buffalo on the road against the Patriots. Buffalo is a seven-point favorite and have clinched the AFC East. The Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in 11 years and will be in the unfamiliar situation of having nothing to play for. The Bills are one of the hottest teams in the league and should take care of the Pats but it’s on the road, and it’s Belichick. If you haven’t taken Buffalo, I’d probably save them as they are better suited to beat the Dolphins at home next week.
There’s a lot to consider depending on your league rules and how many teams are left. Some require two picks in week 17 in order to whittle down the survivors before the playoffs start. I have four of the eight teams available to me to pick from. Before last week I was targeting the Browns this week against the Jets. Let’s see if that’s where I end up.
Here’s a list of my picks so far: Buffalo, Arizona, Chargers (L), Rams, Dallas, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Giants, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Tennessee.
Pick of the Week: Baltimore Ravens
This is not where I expected to go this week because I was planning on saving the Ravens for week 17 but then I noticed something. The team with the current highest chance of winning in week 17 are the Colts and I have not taken them yet. This allows me to take the Ravens who are on a roll and have the highest chance of winning THIS week.
I know that all of you are in different situations, but if you have the Ravens and Colts still available, this is the way to go. If you have to take someone else, the Browns, Bears, and Texans are the teams that are most likely available to you. I would take them in that order but move the Bears and Texans over the Browns if you want to go low-owned/against the tide.
If you have a specific question, please feel free to DM me on Twitter @gasdoc_spit and I will be happy to give you my opinion.
Good luck this week in survivor and if you are lucky enough to be in a Championship game, the #FAmily is behind you!