We’re back for Week 17 of the 2020 NFL regular season. It’s time to wrap things up with the playoff pool finalizing. The final regular season week is always an odd one because teams with nothing to play for will bench starters, and injured players on non-playoff teams might just call it a season. This week Ben Roethlisberger and Patrick Mahomes are both expected to sit, and we’ll likely see plenty more, which will impact making picks in Survivor pools.
If you’ve never played in a Survivor pool, it’s a pretty straightforward deal. You pick one team each week that you think will win. If your team loses in Week 1, you’re eliminated (unless it’s a double elimination pool). If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick the same team twice. You could use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you would not have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.
Survivor pools are usually either a single elimination contest or a double elimination contest. I was in one of each and got eliminated from both in Week 5. But, we’re still here to help you win your pools with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps. Last week, three of our four safe picks (Ravens, Chiefs, Bears) survived, while the Browns wee the second straight team lose to the Jets. We were 1-1 with our dice roll picks, with the Bucs crushing the Lions while the Texans lost to the Bengals.
On to Week 17!
Colts over Jaguars
Ravens over Bengals
Browns over Steelers
Titans over Texans
Vikings over Lions
Most of the teams with something to play for are worth grabbing this week. The Vikings face a Lions team that could be without Matthew Stafford.
Roll the dice pick
Chargers over Chiefs
Dolphins over Bills
The Chiefs are sending out Chad Henne and who knows how many other backups in the season finale.
Buffalo has not said if they’ll be resting starters on Sunday, but there’s a good chance Josh Allen & Co. do not play the full game. Pittsburgh is resting Ben Roethlisberger and Buffalo clinches the No. 2 seed with a Steelers loss. And even if Pittsburgh wins, the No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed is not a big deal with only one bye this year.
The one game I’m really not sure about is Jets-Patriots. The Jets have won two straight and the Patriots are struggling. The Patriots are a field goal favorite, but I just don’t know about touching that one to close out the season. I actually think the Jets win it, but I suspect the Patriots will be a somewhat popular pick.