NFL Week 16 Survivor Pool Picks
Need some help advancing one more week in your NFL survivor pool? Here are three options for Week 16 to get you to the final dance.
How we did last week: Very well. We went 3-0 with our choices of the Lions (who beat the Bears on Saturday afternoon), the Jaguars (who thumped the Texans on Sunday), and the Falcons (who made us sweat with a narrow win on Monday night). As always, we'll try to make our selections as diverse as possible as we know your options are limited the deeper we get into the season.
Option 1: Chicago Bears
We know you haven't used the Bears yet…right? Come on, you haven't used the Bears, right?! Okay, assuming you stayed away from the 4-10 Bears this season, now is the time to burn them. The reason is simple: They play the winless Browns on Sunday at home. That's not to say there's zero risk involved. Chicago is a 4-10 team, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is coming off his worst performance of the year, and John Fox is seemingly a dead-man walking. Oh, and Cleveland won its first game of the season in Week 16 last year, a 20-17 victory over the Chargers at home. Still, the Bears have been somewhat good at home this year (2-5 straight up and 4-2 against the spread) and are a 6.5-point home favorite. Thus, oddsmakers like their chances to hand the Browns their 15th consecutive loss this season.
Option 2: Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are having a down season but if you're scrapping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to your survivor pool options, Arizona makes for a sound selection this Sunday. Bruce Arians' squad hosts the 2-12 Giants, who gave the Eagles quite a fight in Week 15. Still, I don't expect the Giants to have anything left in the tank this Sunday. For starters, it's easy to get up for a division rival at home. It's a different beast to turn around the following week, travel cross-country and play another team that is out of the playoffs. The Cardinals are 4-3 at home this year and clearly is still fighting, losing by only 5 last Sunday in Washington. Somebody has to win this week in the desert and I feel good about the home team. After opening as a 5-point home favorite the Cardinals are now -4 versus the Giants.
Option 3: Carolina Panthers
You may have burned the Panthers before and if you have, we apologize. The other two options on this list should suffice (you haven't burned the Bears…have you?!). If you've managed to avoid Carolina over the first 15 weeks, the Panthers host the extremely banged-up Bucs on Sunday and are a 9.5-point home favorite. Tampa Bay gave it all it could against Atlanta on Monday night but eventually fell, 24-21. They could once again be without key defenders Gerald McCoy, Lavante David, Vernon Hargreaves and T.J. Ward. Plus, the Bucs are coming off a primetime game against a divisional rival where they basically used up all of their energy in a losing effort. The Panthers should roll.