We have just three weeks of games left to go, including this week’s full 16-game slate. Bouncing back from a bad Week 15, we hit every pick, but we did trust Arthur Smith and his Falcons, and that was our one blemish last week. Some elite teams are playing each other this week, which takes some options off the board, like the Cowboys, Dolphins, Ravens, and 49ers, but there are some quality spots this week to pick up that much-needed victory and advance into the penultimate week of Week 17.

We will help you get to the promised land one week at a time with our picks, but in case you’re not familiar with Survivor pools, here’s a quick rundown:

Pick a team that wins in each NFL week. Typically, you choose a team just once, so each selection is essential. Some survivor pools have double-elimination so that you can slip up and still be in the running. Make sure you’re checking out our weekly matchup previews and our Survivor League Strategy in the Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide as guides toward picking the best winners for each week and developing a strategy.

Let’s dive right in with Week 16’s picks!


2023 Survival Pool Picks Record

Week 15: 4-1 (.800)

Overall: 53-22 (.706)

NFL Week 16 DraftKings Odds, Implied Totals, Spreads, and Over/Under

*All lines current as of 1:30 PM ET, 12/20/23, courtesy of Vegas Insider*

NFL Week 16 Survivor Picks

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos have been solid defensively through the second half of this season, and they’ve done enough on offense with Russell Wilson, Courtland Sutton, and Javonte Williams leading the charge. The Patriots haven’t done much of, well, really anything over the second half besides beating a Mitch Trubisky-led Steelers team.

The Broncos get to host those Patriots on Sunday night and are 6.5-point home favorites. The Patriots have the third-lowest implied team total at 17.25 points, and this game has the lowest over/under at 34.5. While that theoretically decreases the margins for the Patriots to where they can keep pace with the Broncos, the Patriots have not shown any offensive prowess to keep pace with even just a league-average offense from Denver. Odds are that Denver is still available in your Survivor pool, so they would be my top choice to move ahead in Week 16.

Buffalo Bills

Of all the “chalk” good teams in the NFL, the Bills are probably the most likely not to have been used yet, and what a game to use them in this week despite heading west. Buffalo meets up with the Chargers and is the rare road team favored by double-digits. That’s largely thanks to the lack of confidence in Easton Stick, the forgotten North Dakota St. quarterback between the Carson Wentz and Trey Lance eras. How bad is it? Well, the Chargers have THE lowest implied point total at 14.25 and still may not have Keenan Allen back in time for Saturday’s game.

This game feels like a confluence of many factors going Buffalo’s way, so we’ll use them and reap the benefits this week.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams have been on a tear offensively, scoring 37, 36, 31, and 28 points in three wins and one overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens on the road. Even losing one of those games tells me the Rams’ offense is one we want to target.

That leads us to the Thursday Night Football matchup with the Saints, where the Rams are at home and are a 4.0-point favorite against the New Orleans Saints, who have been hit hard by the injury bug and, at best, are banged up. The Saints are 7-7, but their wins could be more impressive. Those wins include Carolma twice, the Giants, Colts, Bears, Patriots, and Titans. Derek Carr has multiple broken ribs, but the oddsmakers still have the Saints as a below-average offense with 19.75 implied points on the road. 

The Rams should be able to control this game by air with Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and others or by land with running back Kyren Williams. No matter how the Rams decide to attack the Saints' defense, they should be plenty successful in Week 16.

Other NFL Week 16 Survivor Pool Options

Green Bay Packers

While the Carolina Panthers have been a free square all season, the Packers have been up and down with losses in their last two games to the New York Giants on the road and at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is the get-right opportunity for the Packers if they want to be in the playoff hunt to take care of the Panthers. The Packers enter Week 16’s trip to Charlotte as a 5.0-point favorite with the second-lowest over/under (35.5) on the slate. That’s partly thanks to Carolina’s putrid 15.5 implied point total — the second-lowest of all 32 teams this week. 

Bryce Young has not shown he’s capable of running an NFL offense right now, so with the Packers desperately needing a win, this looks like an excellent spot to trust in a team that must win to have any shot at making the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles

This shouldn’t be too hard to figure out: Eagles are at home with the second-highest implied point total (29.5) facing a Giants team, who, while spirited in their own right, is probably playing over their skis right now.

The Eagles are looking to seal up the NFC East, and while there is still a matchup with fellow birds in the Arizona Cardinals next week, it depends on who you have available to you in Week 17 to use the Eagles this week. Frankly, I prefer to trust Philadelphia in this matchup while they still play for their division and playoff positioning.