NFL Survivor League Week 16: Back Derrick Henry To Run Over Texans?

Five teams currently are favored by seven or more in Week 16


December 22, 2022

While the Minnesota Vikings needed a historic comeback to beat the lowly Indianapolis Colts and the Kansas City Chiefs needed overtime to edge the one-win Houston Texans, both teams were able to help NFL survivor league players advance after anxiety.

The Washington Commanders, however, weren’t able to say the same. And chances are some NFL survivor leagues either completely folded because of the Week 15 result or have been drastically impacted. Circa Sports revealed 53% of their entries bet on the Commanders to beat the New York Giants in Washington on “Sunday Night Football.” Their controversial loss, which featured at least two questionable officiating decisions, cost survivor leaguers their shot at a big payout and bragging rights as just 14 of 6,133 entries remain in the Circa Sports Survivor League Contest. Chances are others smaller leagues folded well before Week 15.

For what it’s worth, each of our top four recommendations in Week 15 emerged victorious with the Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers joining the Chiefs and Vikings on that list.

With that, here are three teams to pick and three to avoid in Week 16. Of note, there are five teams favored by seven points or more entering the slate with all betting lines courtesy of the live odds page.

Teams to pick
(-7) San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Commanders (-335 moneyline)
Having won seven in a row, the 49ers are one of the few teams that can be trusted. San Francisco continues to dominate on defense, as on display in Week 15 against the Seattle Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Commanders proved against the Giants that they are a middling NFC team. Washington has just one against a team above .500 since Week 5.

(-4.5) Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis Colts (-217 moneyline)
These next three weeks are exactly why we recommended saving the Chargers all season. Los Angeles finally seems to be getting back to full health with its defense playing its best ball of the season. Justin Herbert has excelled with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen back in the mix. Oh yeah, and they’re playing against a Colts team that just allowed the biggest comeback in NFL history. The mood can’t be great in Indianapolis, regardless of the quarterback switch from Matt Ryan to Nick Foles. It’s worth mentioning the Chargers have another favorable matchup in Week 17 against the playoff-eliminated Rams.

(-3) Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans (-166 moneyline)
Admittedly, it’s a bit more difficult to pick against the Texans given that Houston pushed both the Dallas Cowboys and Chiefs to the brink in consecutive weeks. Both those teams, it seems, are better than the reeling Titans who have lost four straight. This line opened at Tennessee -7 before Ryan Tannehill was ruled out and was reported to miss the rest of the season. Rookie Malik Willis now is slated to take over. Ironically, Willis started Tennessee’s Week 8 win against the Texans this season. He proved more than capable as Derrick Henry ran for 219 yards and two touchdowns. It marked the fourth straight time Henry rushed for 200-plus against the Texans. Sure, this is more of a contrarian pick, but it’s also worth wondering if Willis is better suited for the Titans, who are coming along on defense as well.

Obvious honorable mentions: (-10) Kansas City Chiefs vs. Seattle Seahawks (-467 moneyline); (-8.5) Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (-311 moneyline)
Contrarian honorable mention: (-2.5) Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers (-144 moneyline)

Teams to avoid:
(-6) Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-220 moneyline)
This line jumped after opening at Dallas -1 following the injury news of Jalen Hurts. Hurts was ruled out by head coach Nick Sirianni on Thursday. Gardner Minshew will take over for Hurts, giving Philadelphia a more than capable backup. The Cowboys, on the other hand, haven’t allowed for much confidence these last two weeks in a win over the Texans and overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dallas’ defense is decimated by injuries and it feels like taking the Cowboys here because of Hurts’ status isn’t a great move.

(-4) Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants (-207 moneyline)
Was the Vikings historic, 36-point comeback against the Colts impressive? Well, yeah. But Minnesota also allowed itself to trail 33-0 at halftime. We can’t confidently recommend that team against another in the playoff picture. Chances are with the Giants, Packers and Bears these next three weeks, we’re putting the Vikings out of our mind. It’s difficult to get a read on them.

(-4.5) Miami Dolphins vs. Green Bay Packers (-205 moneyline)
We’re among those believing Aaron Rodgers and the Packers aren’t dead. However, they would be if they’re not able to earn a Week 16 win in Miami. If you haven’t used the Dolphins yet, you’ve missed out on their value.

Honorable mention: (-2.5) Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams (-138 moneyline)

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Thumbnail photo via Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images

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