As this season has displayed numerous times, things go far different than expected, but there looks to be at least a handful of excellent locks this week. Week 16 recommended survivor picks start with a couple of teams looking to end their losing streaks.
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1. Los Angeles Rams (@ Arizona)
Last week, then-4-9 Falcons were the top survivor pick because of their matchup against the Cardinals, so the struggling Rams are a great bet to get back on track when they face the same team this Sunday. Jared Goff and the offense are being counted out after back-to-back poor performances, but they’re too good not to bounce back—if not, recently-quiet Aaron Donald and the defense should be able to carry the team versus a rookie quarterback that has not played well this season.
2. New England Patriots (vs. Buffalo)
Also coming off back-to-back losses, it’d be unwise to bet against the Patriots not getting out of the funk to avoid a third straight loss. If this game was in Buffalo, New England might not be as strong of a lock; but returning to Foxboro will likely lead to success after consecutive losses on the road. The Pats are the second biggest favorite for Week 16.
3. Tennessee Titans (vs. Washington)
The Titans are the third biggest favorite of the week, and they appear to have found a recipe for success led by Derrick Henry and a stingy defense. This might be closer than most anticipated with the Redskins still alive in the NFC playoffs, but you’d think the Titans will be ready to go at home as they kick off Week 16 on Saturday afternoon. Marcus Mariota avoids mistakes, which will make it more difficult for Washington to pull off a road upset.
4. Chicago Bears (@ San Francisco)
There are a couple of factors that make the Bears not quite as attractive of a lock as one might think. They could have a mini letdown after clinching the NFC North last Sunday, though they still have seeding to play for. More concerning might be that the Niners are 7-1 in December under Kyle Shanahan, which doesn’t feel like luck or coincidence at this point.
5. Atlanta Falcons (@ Carolina)
Cam Newton will not play this Sunday, but it’s unclear whether that’s a bad or good thing for the Panthers considering the former MVP is not at 100% while dealing with obvious shoulder issues. Tyler Heinicke, who has been impressive during preseasons, could come out and light it up, but don’t be afraid to use the Falcons as a lock against a quarterback making his first career start.
6. Dallas Cowboys (vs. Tampa Bay)
Last Sunday was ugly for the Cowboys, who didn’t look anything like the team seemingly poised to easily clinch the NFC East. The good news for this week is that you know they’ll be focused and determined to turn things around. With a 6-1 record at home this season, they should be able to get a W against the Bucs.
7. Indianapolis Colts (vs. Giants)
The running game for the Colts got going last week, and the Giants can be run on since their trade of Damon Harrison before the deadline. Odell Beckham Jr.’s status remains shaky with the quad injury, so the Colts should have an easier time of limiting Saquon Barkley on the ground. Indy is 5-2 at home and should be a solid Week 16 lock.
8. New Orleans Saints (vs. Pittsburgh)
If this game was in Pittsburgh, it’d be a completely different story, but the Saints are very tough to beat in the Superdome. In a one-week survivor type of pool where you want to go in a different direction than most people, New Orleans isn’t a bad pick.