July 24, 2014

Fantasy Football: Week 16 Survivor Pool

Week 16 is upon us. We do not have a Thursday night game – that game is now on Saturday game so make sure you’ve got those players in your fantasy lineups if you need them. Onto the Survivor pool suggestions for this week.

Bye week: None

Survivor Pool – Week 16 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of Wednesday night:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Percent

Rank

Team

Percent

1

Carolina Panthers

44.70%

1

Carolina Panthers

32.50%

2

Indianapolis Colts

18.20%

2

Indianapolis Colts

32.13%

3

New England Patriots

11.30%

3

New England Patriots

11.86%

4

Denver Broncos

9.90%

4

Denver Broncos

7.36%

5

Green Bay Packers

5.30%

5

Green Bay Packers

5.30%

6

Washington Redskins

3.40%

6

Washington Redskins

4.73%

7

Chicago Bears

2.10%

7

Atlanta Falcons

1.73%

8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1.20%

8

Chicago Bears

1.63%

9

Miami Dolphins

1.00%

9

Houston Texans

0.58%

10

Atlanta Falcons

0.80%

10

Miami Dolphins

0.45%

The Carolina Panthers? Number one on the list? Huh. I don’t think anyone would have predicted that 16 weeks ago. Should we follow the leader?

My early picks for this week are below (my final column will be up Sunday):

  1. New England Patriots, Denver Broncos Houston Texans & Green Bay Packers – If you have any of these three teams left, it’s time to use them. There is no reason to hold on to them at this point. Unless you have a pool where multiple entrants have these teams left, you might want to hold off. However, I can’t see too many scenarios where these teams shouldn’t be used this week. I give the Pats an 88% chance to win, the Packers an 85% chance, the Broncos an 83% chance to win and the Texans a 81% chance.
  2. Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III will be back for Washington. LeSean McCoy will be back for the Eagles. RGIII > Shady McCoy. The Redskins are really rolling now and have the offense to take advantage of an uneven Eagles defense. I give the Redskins a 72% chance of winning.
  3. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers look rejuvenated on offense. Cam Newton is back to his All-Pro level of play and DeAngelo Williams is a new man with Jonathan Stewart on the bench.  The Raiders don’t have athletes on defense that can contain Newton. I see the Panthers winning in a shootout. I give the Panthers a 71% chance of winning.
  4. Indianapolis Colts – I like the Colts a lot more if Ricky Stanzi is playing QB as has been rumored. The Colts have a young QB who has matured enough that he should not be intimidated on the road at Kansas City. The Chiefs have no QB, no WRs and an underutilized RB. I think the Colts can overcome the Chiefs solid defense to win on the road. I give the Colts a 69% chance of winning.

Other teams I like early in the week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Chicago Bears on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. True, the Cardinals have no QB, but they have some offensive weapsons and an opportunistic defense. The Bears have a gimpy QB, lost their goal line RB and have only one WR in Brandon Marshall. The Cardinals bounced back in a major way last week and I think their defense can control the Bears.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about Baltimore Ravens at home against the New York Giants. The Giants are banged up all around and the Ravens were embarrassed last week (as were the Giants). The Ravens are a much better team at home and usually pose a pretty big challenge to road teams. The Ravens have to get Ray Rice involved at some point, right?

I also like the Cincinnati Bengals as road underdogs to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers will be one dimensional again and I think the Bengals have the secondary to keep up with them.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi

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