For four consecutive weeks, I’ve hit my best bet and sleeper pick in the Survivor Pool. With the NFL season winding down, now’s the time where many pools force participants to pick at least two teams each week.

After a surprising start to the season, the straight up winners have been far less exciting in recent weeks. There are some major mismatches this week, so here’s the week 16 Survivor Pool picks.

Best Bet

Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco will be OK when leading the Ravens to a week 16 Survivor Pool victory. Flickr/ Allison

If you want to pick up a game on other players in your league, then the Ravens likely aren’t the best bet. But if you only care about surviving, then the Ravens make sense.

Everybody’s going to be on the Ravens bandwagon this week. Baltimore is a two-touchdown favorite for a reason over Indianapolis. The Ravens are showing more spunk on offense, and even in a matchup that screamed letdown in week 15 against Cleveland, the Ravens took care of business.

That makes me believe they won’t overlook a bad Colts team. Indianapolis hasn’t been great on the offensive side of the ball this season. But they’ve been tremendously bad in the last three weeks.

Indianapolis is averaging just 4 yards per play in the last three games, with a pathetic 4.2 yards per pass attempt.

Meanwhile, the Ravens are still really good on defense, giving up just 6.1 yards per pass attempt, all the while the offense is averaging 5.8 yards per play in the last three games, a far cry from their season average of 4.7 yards per play.

The Ravens haven’t been a popular pick this season, so if you haven’t used them, now’s the time.

Sleeper Picks

Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals

Just in case you’ve already used Baltimore, here’s two more teams to consider for your week 16.

The Bears get the enviable task of being the next team up against Cleveland. I’ve had a nasty relationship with the Browns this season, so I’m backing off of them for at least one week.

The Bears and Browns are similar, except for the Bears having better quarterback play and a more consistent defense. This is a nice game for Mitchell Trubisky to put up nice numbers and put the Browns one step closer to a winless season.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals host the New York Giants, and own such a large edge on defense, that they should get consideration this week in the Survivor Pool. The Giants still don’t have weapons on offense, no matter what showed up in week 15. Arizona’s offense has been lethargic in recent weeks, but they should wake up against a porous New York defense.

Getting Arizona at home against a team with nothing to play for is enough to feel confident heading into the week 16 Survivor Pool.

Be Careful

Washington Redskins

I picked the Redskins as a Sleeper last week, so they wouldn’t even be at my disposal if I liked them. However, even if you have Washington this week, keep them sidelined.

Washington’s running game is pathetic. And the passing game isn’t much better. In the last three weeks, Washington is averaging 2.5 yards per play on the ground, while going for just 6.1 yards per pass attempt. Defensively, Denver will pack a much better unit than Washington’s.

I was surprised oddsmakers labeled Washington more than a field-goal favorite in this game. Denver has the much better defense, and without a solid tight end, deep threat or a consistent pass-catching running back, Kirk Cousins is severely limited for the Redskins.

Don’t take the bait with Washington as a favorite.


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