NFL Survivor and Confidence Pool Picks and Advice: Week 16
If your Survivor Pool was still going into Week 15, it might have ended thanks to some surprising upsets.
It all started in the Thursday night finale for 2018 as the Chargers almost impossibly rallied from down 14 points with less than four minutes left in Kansas City to stun the Chiefs 29-28. Anthony Lynn is my new favorite coach not named Matt Nagy for having the stones to go for 2 and the win.
Still not sure how the Redskins won in Jacksonville with Washington QB Josh Johnson making his first start in more than seven years. (Oh yeah, the Jaguars suck.).
However, the three biggest upsets all came Sunday late afternoon/night as the Steelers ended their hex against Tom Brady and the Patriots, the 49ers stunned the visiting Seahawks (two weeks after getting blown out by Seattle) and the Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive with a massive upset at the Rams - the biggest straight-up upset by the Eagles from a spread perspective since the mid-1980s. Thankfully, my top Survivor choice was Baltimore and the Ravens had little trouble with Tampa Bay.
As for Week 16, just two games where neither team has any shot at the playoffs and thus any motivation at all: Green Bay at NY Jets, and the Monday night finale between the Broncos and Raiders in Oakland. The problem with some games in Week 16 is that a couple could become meaningless depending on what happens in other results. So it's best to just steer clear of those or rank them low from a Confidence perspective. Also keep in mind that some top players are being shut down.
Here are my Week 16 Survivor Picks in order of how I would also do my Confidence Pool selections (with occasional exceptions noted when necessary). The team listed first is my choice. Interesting schedule. About half the games seem like mismatches and the other half coin flips.
16. Dallas vs. Tampa Bay: The Bucs won Week 1 in New Orleans somehow but haven't won on the road since. Cowboys clinch the NFC East with a victory and will go all-out to get it in order to rest starters Week 17.
15. New England vs. Buffalo: Patriots have lost back-to-back December games for the first time in forever. Not ready to put the nail in their dynastic coffin yet … but would be should they lose at home to a team Tom Brady totally owns (29-3).
14. Tennessee vs. Washington (Saturday): A Predators-Capitals game might feature more scoring than this one. So, yeah, bet 'under.' Redskins are getting too many points simply because Tennessee isn't great on offense, either, but Titans will ride sudden fantasy monster Derrick Henry (see you in the fantasy finals, pal!) to another victory.
13. Cleveland vs. Cincinnati: One issue here is that the Browns could be eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday night should Baltimore win at the Chargers. They still should beat their state rivals.
12. Indianapolis vs. NY Giants: I would not want to face the Colts in the playoffs. They have to win here to keep that chance alive. Is this the week we finally see Kyle Lauletta for New York?
11. Miami vs. Jacksonville: Florida football … it's fantastic! Cody Kessler. Haha. Fins actually still mathematically alive for a playoff spot.
10. LA Rams at Arizona: I took the points against the Rams last week, but they ruined me in my Confidence Pool with that loss to the Eagles. Please, dear God, shake that slump this week Jared Goff (yep, fantasy reasons).
9. Minnesota at Detroit: The Vikings got back to pounding the ball last week and looked as good as they have all season. Please don't be the Bears' first-round opponent.
8. Carolina vs. Atlanta: Drop this all the way to 1 and switch to Falcons if the Panthers shut down Cam Newton, which they really should.
7. Philadelphia vs. Houston: Nick Foles isn't as good as Carson Wentz, obviously. But that Eagles offense does look … better/different in ways when Foles is in there. Texans still have some playoff wiggle room, while Philly doesn't.
6. San Francisco vs. Chicago: This feels like the biggest Bears trap game in many years. Thrilled they won the division and eliminated the Packers last week, but they are a bit banged up and surely locked into the third seed. Celebrated pretty hard in "Club Dub." The Niners have been very competitive at home, and Chicago never, ever plays well out there. I fully expect a loss here, and that's fine.
5. NY Jets vs. Green Bay: Move Jets higher if Packers decide to shut down Aaron Rodgers; they already have with Aaron Jones.
4. New Orleans vs. Pittsburgh: If the Saints weren't so tough at home, I'd go against them here on a short week, with some potential playoff wiggle room and against a desperate opponent. Yeah, I might change my mind.
3. Oakland vs. Denver (Monday): Rather "flaccid" way to end the 2018 Monday night schedule. Like Oakland simply as it could be the final NFL game ever in that city. Broncos have zero reason to put up much of a fight.
2. Seattle vs. Kansas City: The Seahawks run the ball as well as anyone, and the Chiefs can't stop the run - and haven't been quite the same without Kareem Hunt.
1. Baltimore at LA Chargers (Saturday):
Bolts may get Melvin Gordon back, but not at 100 percent. Keenan Allen in
question. L.A. off an incredible comeback win and faces a desperate
opponent. Yep, this looks like an upset.
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