Friday Five, Week 16

It’s championship week, you’ve made it! If you’ve got teams playing for the title, doubtless you’re monitoring all the wires for every scrap of news. If you’re out of it, maybe you’re just enjoying life as an NFL fan as we hit the home stretch on the regular season. Either way, you’re bracing for games today—Merry Christmas by the way!—Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Below are the five pre-Monday games I’m watching closely this week.

Saturday Games:

Dolphins vs Raiders Week 16 Picks and Predictions

Miami Dolphins (9-5) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)
This one has big playoff ramifications. The Raiders are all but eliminated, but the Dolphins are in the thick of the race. The Colts and Browns have more wins, and the Ravens have an easier schedule, so the Dolphins must keep winning. The problem is that Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker are ailing. But Tua Tagovailoa has looked solid and the Dolphins have a pair of good backs in Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin. The Raiders, meanwhile, found an offensive spark—but not a win—with Marcus Mariota last week. Mariota may well be back this week, and the offense is powered by Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs. This should be a fun way to wrap up our Saturday.

Sunday Early Games:

HIGHLIGHTS: Colts vs. Steelers | Week 9

Indianapolis Colts (10-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
This should be the game of the early window on Sunday as the Colts head to Pittsburgh. The Colts have had a good season, racking up 10 wins and sitting in prime position to make the playoffs. They’re tied with the Titans atop the AFC South, so a win here would help keep the pressure on. The Steelers, meanwhile, started 11-0 and have lost three straight, including a 10-point loss on Monday night to the woeful Bengals. Pittsburgh has lost its grip on the top two seeds in the AFC and now face a challenge from the Browns for the AFC North title. They need a win, badly. This one will be a war.

New York Giants (5-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
The Ravens were once 6-5 and looked like they were fading from contention. Now the Ravens are 9-5 with the easiest schedule of the Wild Card contenders from here on out. The Giants were in first in the NFC East a couple weeks ago, coming off a win over the Seahawks. They’ve since lost two straight and appear to be fading. If the Giants want any chance at the playoffs, they need a win in Baltimore, which means bottling up Lamar Jackson. That is a tall task and feels like an unlikely task. Either way, this game will have a major bearing on the playoff field.

Sunday Late Games:

Rams vs Seahawks Fantasy Football Worksheet, Week 16 | Sharp Football

Los Angeles Rams (9-5) at Seattle Seahawks (10-4)
This is a tale of two teams that have struggled of late but will decide the NFC West. The Rams were in the driver’s seat until they were stunned at home by the winless Jets in Week 15. The Seahawks, meanwhile, haven’t always looked stellar on offense or defense, but they’ve found ways to win, rebounding from a brutal home loss to the Giants to win two straight. Now, if the Seahawks hold on at home against the Rams, they’ll capture the NFC West. Should they lose, the Rams will be back in first, and hold the tiebreaker heading into a Week 17 clash with the Cardinals. This is a must win for both teams.

Sunday Night Game:

Tennessee Titans (10-4) at Green Bay Packers (11-3)
Derrick Henry is a beast, and he’s been running wild. He’s just 321 yards shy of 2,000, and the Titans have been trucking along. But at 10-4, while they sit atop the AFC South, they face a tight race with the Colts. The Packers, meanwhile, have easily won the NFC North thanks to the trio of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams. At 11-3 they sit atop the NFC and are chasing the elusive top seed and a first-round bye. This will be a clash of high-powered offenses on Sunday Night Football!

Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry tosses Lions CB with mean stiff-arm

Week 16 Picks

Last week Matt Bruening got 13 right to hold the lead for the network with 154 correct picks. I’m now 10 picks back, so his lead is looking insurmountable. Lindsay and I each picked 12 correctly, so I’m holding strong to my lead with two weeks left in the regular season. Let’s see how we finish!

Matt’s Week 16 Picks:
Saints Over Vikings
Buccaneers Over Lions
Cardinals Over 49ers
Raiders Over Dolphins
Chiefs Over Falcons
Bears Over Jaguars
Texans Over Bengals
Browns Over Jets
Colts Over Steelers
Ravens Over Giants
Broncos Over Chargers
Washington Over Carolina
Cowboys Over Eagles
Seahawks Over Rams
Packers Over Titans
Bills Over Patriots

Last Week: 12-4
Season: 143-81

Lindsay’s Week 16 Picks:
Saints Over Vikings
Buccaneers Over Lions
Cardinals Over 49ers
Raiders Over Dolphins
Chiefs Over Falcons
Bears Over Jaguars
Texans Over Bengals
Browns Over Jets
Colts Over Steelers
Ravens Over Giants
Chargers Over Broncos
Washington Over Panthers
Eagles Over Cowboys
Seahawks Over Rams
Packers Over Titans
Bills Over Patriots

Last Week: 12-4
Season: 135-89

Matt’s Week 16 Picks Against the Spread:
Vikings +6.5 Over Saints
Lions +8.5 Over Buccaneers
49ers +4.5 Over Cardinals
Raiders +2.5 Over Dolphins
Falcons +10.5 Over Chiefs
Bears -7.5 Over Jaguars
Bengals +9.5 Over Texans
Browns -9.5 Over Jets
Colts +2.5 Over Steelers
Giants +11.5 Over Ravens
Broncos +3.5 Over Chargers
Washington -2.5 Over Panthers
Cowboys +1.5 Over Eagles
Seahawks -1.5 Over Rams
Titans +3.5 Over Packers
Bills -6.5 Over Patriots

Last Week: 9-7
Season: 106-118

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.

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