NFL Week 16 Survivor Picks: Cowboys Play it Safe

Survivor pool pickings look slim this week, as the available teams for poolies dwindle like active players on NFL rosters. We weave through the minefield for the safest and savviest plays with our Week 16 NFL survivor picks.

Dec 23, 2021 • 12:46 ET • 5 min read
Micah Parsons Dallas Cowboys NFL survivor picks
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With the pandemic kicking the piss out of NFL depth charts right now, survivor pool players aren’t alone in their struggle entering Week 16. 

The very teams they’re selecting are just trying to avoid COVID and make it to gameday with key players available. Add to that chaos, the Arizona Cardinals going down to the Lions in Week 15, and it’s a Christmas miracle that anyone has made it this far. 

And speaking of the holiday, some survivor pools are forcing poolies to treat the Thursday and two Saturday tilts as a separate slate. Yikes.

Here are our Week 16 survivor picks – savvy and safe - as well as a team to avoid. Good luck and be safe out there.

My pick: Atlanta Falcons 

Chances are you still have the Falcons in your back pocket – and for good reason. Atlanta is 6-8 and has just two wins in its last six outings. But if there ever was a week to fly with the Falcons, this is the one. Atlanta is back home for just the second time since Week 12 and hosting the Detroit Lions.

Detroit did take out a good chunk of poolies with its upset over Arizona last weekend, but the Lions are ripe for a letdown and could be without QB Jared Goff, who is currently on the COVID list, along with a bunch of other players. 

The Falcons own an implied win probability of 69.97% and don’t hold much future value beyond this game, taking on the likes of Buffalo and New Orleans in the final two games – two foes fighting for playoff position. Atlanta is a popular survivor pool selection in Week 16 with more than 8% of pool players rolling the dice on the ATL (third-highest).

Safest pick: Dallas Cowboys

The “safe” pick has been anything but in 2021. And with big Week 16 favorites like the Chiefs and Chargers dealing with COVID issues and the Bucs banged up something awful, safe is as tough to come by this Christmas as a PS5.

The Cowboys provide the most stability for survivor pool picks. Dallas is home to Washington, with the Football Team getting just five days' rest after losing at Philadelphia this past Tuesday. Washington is now playing in its second straight road game (third in the past four weeks), has a laundry list of COVID/injury issues, and had its defense log 35 minutes of field time versus the Eagles.

Dallas can beat you on both sides of the ball and knocked off Washington 27-20 in Week 14, allowing a 24-0 lead to evaporate late. The Cowboys do have a potential lookahead spot in place, with a trip to Arizona next week, but own a win probability of 82% for Sunday. More importantly, as of now, Dallas doesn’t have any major COVID outbreaks.

Here’s a look at the Top 5 favorites, in terms of moneyline odds and implied probability, for Week 16:

Team Moneyline odds Implied probability
Tampa Bay -480 82.76%
Dallas -460 82.14%
L.A. Chargers -450 81.82%
Philadelphia -430 81.13%
Kansas City -375 78.95%

Odds above current at time of publish. Check live NFL moneyline odds and use our odds converter to convert any line to implied probability. 

Team to avoid: Seattle Seahawks

At this point into your survivor pool season, your Week 16 options could be a barren as the shelves of a toy store on Xmas Eve. The Seahawks appear to be one of those leftover options, as over 6% of poolies are picking them against the Chicago Bears at home this Sunday (fourth-most popular pick)

Seattle is one of the most schizophrenic teams in the NFL, more so the offense. Russell Wilson continues to be hit and miss in the passing game and now the Seahawks have a short turnaround in Week 16, after losing to the Rams on Tuesday.

Seattle has a win probability of 74.68% for Sunday and faces a Bears team that battled hard versus Minnesota on Monday night, despite missing its entire starting secondary. Chicago’s pass rush could throw a wrench in the Seahawks’ plans, ranked T3 in sacks (40) and facing a Seattle offensive line that sits 30th in adjusted sack rate at Football Outsiders (8.9%).  

2021 survivor pool pick results

Week Survivor Pick Result Safe Pick Result
1 Minnesota LOSS L.A. Rams WIN
2 Pittsburgh LOSS Tampa Bay WIN
3 Kansas City LOSS Denver WIN
4 New Orleans LOSS Buffalo WIN
5 Baltimore WIN Minnesota WIN
6 Cincinnati WIN Indianapolis WIN
7 New England WIN Green Bay WIN
8 Cleveland LOSS Cincinnati LOSS
9 Miami WIN Buffalo LOSS
10 Indianapolis WIN Buffalo WIN
11 Miami WIN Tennessee LOSS
12 Houston WIN Dallas LOSS
13 Indianapolis WIN L.A. Rams WIN
14 L.A. Chargers WIN Green Bay WIN
15 Philadelphia Eagles WIN Arizona Cardinals LOSS

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