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Survivor: Backing the Ravens

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Surviving Week 14

Last week there was one major upset, the Jaguars over the Browns (my No. 2 choice), and it was significant because for many Cleveland was the biggest favorite they had left. At this point, given how many upsets there have been of heavily-used teams, I imagine all but the largest survivor pools are either finished or down to their final few entrants. I'll include the pick distribution below, but as I wrote last week, it's far more important to look at what the remaining survivors have available than to rely solely on the table as you might have earlier in the year.

Team Opponent %Taken Vegas ML** Vegas Odds
RAVENS Vikings 32.50% 275 73.33
PATRIOTS Browns 26.20% 600 85.71
BRONCOS Titans 16.50% 625 86.21
CARDINALS Rams 7.70% 250 71.43
Chiefs REDSKINS 4.80% 165 62.26
BENGALS Colts 3.40% 240 70.59
STEELERS Dolphins 3.00% 160 61.54
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines

My Picks:

1. Denver Broncos

It's unlikely you have them available, but in the event you do, they should handle the Titans at home fairly easily. Tennessee has two top cover corners, but the Broncos can attack the middle of the field as effectively as the outside, and Ryan Fitzpatrick is likely to make a mistake or two. I give the Broncos an 85 percent chance to win this game.

2. New England Patriots

The Browns' defense is slipping a bit, and the timing is not good facing a New England offense that's hitting it's stride. Moreover, the Browns' top two quarterbacks could miss the game with concussions, and as a result they might have to turn to Caleb Hanie or Alex Tanney. I give the Patriots an 85 percent chance to win this game.

3. Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are the most popular team picked according to our data (and you'll want to fade them if you think more than 50 percent of your remaining pool is likely to use them). Otherwise, they're a far better team at home, and they're facing a Vikings' squad with a subpar passing game and a weak pass defense. I give the Ravens a 76 percent chance to win this game.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

The Colts are a dangerous team, and the Bengals are missing two key defensive players. But Cincy held the Chargers to 10 points in San Diego last week, so this is still a strong unit, and Andrew Luck has a weak supporting cast in Indy. I give the Bengals a 73 percent chance to win this game.

5. Arizona Cardinals

The Rams are no longer a doormat, but the Cardinals have been tough at home this year, and St. Louis still has Kellen Clemens at quarterback and an exploitable pass defense. I give the Cardinals a 71 percent chance to win this game.

Notable Omissions:

Green Bay Packers: I can't advise you to use them right now, but should Aaron Rodgers be cleared to start, they're about on par with the Ravens as a reliable home favorite playing a team with a weak defense.