Winnowing down survivor pools

By Adam Burke  ( 

December 14, 2021 06:59 PM

Sweats were few and far between with the most popular picks in NFL Week 14, and that is a blessing and a curse for those still alive in survivor pools. Advancing is great, but you’d certainly like to see a favorite or two that didn’t end up being your pick go down. It was a chalky Sunday, and that means most everybody lived to fight another week.

Like I’ve said recently, it is an excellent accomplishment to make it this deep into the season in a survivor contest. But the focus definitely shifted from “happy to be here” to “I want to win” a while ago.

The goal here is to pick another winner for survivor pools, something I did last week with the Broncos. The picks are 11-3 on the season, and I did repeat a team last week for the first time. An editorial decision was made after the first loss to shuffle all 32 teams back into the mix. Because I believed a lot of readers would still have Denver available, that became the first. This week’s pick is not one I’ve used so far.

Let’s see what Week 15 has in store.


Cleveland Browns (-6) over Las Vegas Raiders

The Games to Consider went 4-0 last week to improve to 35-13 on the season, and the starting point for this week is the Browns, who are nearly a touchdown favorite Saturday against the slumping Las Vegas Raiders. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield had a great first half against Baltimore before being unable to make the right adjustments in the second half, but he looked healthier off the bye week, and that matters a lot.

The Raiders are in free fall, having lost five of six. They managed only nine points and were held under 5 yards per play by the Chiefs last week. It marked the fifth time in six weeks they’d scored 17 or fewer points, and, well, that explains the losses. Derek Carr suggested in his postgame news conference that effort has been an issue with some players.

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