t the penultimate week of the NFL season, and if you’re still alive in your pools, what a road we’ve been on! Last week, just the Denver Broncos decided to lay down for the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve night, but our other picks all hit for a 4-1 week in Week 16.

If you’ve got your big teams still left (49ers, Eagles, Bills), now’s the time to let them loose. Otherwise, we’ll be hitting on some of the middle-of-the-road teams with good matchups that aren’t likely to have been used yet.

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 17’s picks!


2023 Survival Pool Picks Record

Week 16: 4-1 (.800)

Overall: 53-22 (.713)

NFL Week 17 DraftKings Odds, Implied Totals, Spreads, and Over/Under

*All lines current as of 10:30 AM ET, 12/27/23, courtesy of Vegas Insider*

NFL Week 17 Survivor Picks

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are on a heater right now, with wins in five of their last six and have been given the “team nobody wants to play” tag in the NFC. Luckily for them, they get to travel to MetLife Stadium to play the Giants, who are going through a quarterback carousel right now, with Tommy DeVito being benched for veteran backup Tyrod Taylor on Christmas Day. No matter what quarterback winds up under center on Sunday afternoon, they won’t be able to score with the Rams.

Los Angeles has averaged 29.8 points per game in their last six contests and is favored by six points against the Giants, so look fo the Rams to keep the foot on the gas as they lock up a wild card playoff berth in Week 17. You won’t be using the Rams against the 49ers next week, so lock them in here if they’re available to use.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have lost four games in a row, so what compels me to put them here in Week 17? That’s right; it’s everybody’s favorite Survivor pool free square, the Carolina Panthers. While Carolina looked remarkably spry up against the “vaunted” *chortles* Joe Barry-led Packers defense, the Jaguars should be a stiffer test at home, where their 6.5-point line seems to imply that Trevor Lawrence should be good to go for this matchup. While I do feel a bit less confident if C.J. Beathard is under center for Jacksonville, Beathard is one of the better backups in the league. Carolina is so inept that it may not matter who starts at quarterback for the Jaguars. If you haven’t used the Jaguars, now’s the best time.

Cleveland Browns

While this game could be an actual slugfest with booth defensive units, the Browns are at home, giving up 7.5 points to the Jets. New York has the stone-worst implied point total of Week 17 at just 13.5 points, and honestly, they may not even get half of that. After Breece Hall went off against the Commanders in Week 16, the bill arrives with this week’s Thursday Night Football matchup in Cleveland.

Which means to say no, I feel much less confident in Trevor Siemian putting up enough points to hang with the Browns than I do with Joe Flacco putting enough together to score against what is a tough Jets defense. In a battle of attrition, we’ll side with the home team Browns.

Other NFL Week 17 Survivor Pool Options

Houston Texans

While the Texans have skirted through some tough games with the combination of Case Keenum and Davis Mills, the reason we like the Texans this week is because of the return of C.J. Stroud for Houston and the mismatch of the Titans’ pass funnel vs. Stroud and offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik. The Texans are just 3.5-point favorites at home against the Titans, but that doesn’t seem to have Stroud’s return factored in too much.

While the Titans do play up to their opponents and bring the opponents down to them as well, the Texans should be able to score in bunches and provide a spark to their playoff chances heading into the regular season’s final week. The Texans beat the Titans just two weeks ago with Keenum; they should be able to do that again at home with Stroud returning.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are very “Los Angeles Rams-adjacent” through the back half of 2023. Tampa has won four straight games, and Baker Mayfield has looked fantastic. Who would have thought back in August that the Bucs could clinch a division title? Well, that’s what they’re about to do if they win this Sunday afternoon at home against the New Orleans Saints.

The Bucs are just three-point favorites against New Orleans, and only one of the Saints’ wins this season has come against a team that currently has a winning record. They’re a remarkably average team that seems to be running into the Buccaneers’ buzzsaw with how hot they’ve been over the last month of games. The only caveat here is that the Buccaneers do finish out the regular season with the Carolina Panthers, so the Bucs would be my choice only if you’re up against it with teams you don’t feel comfortable using next to Tampa.