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Survivor: Surviving Week 17

Chris Liss

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

Surviving Week 17

Congratulations if you've made it this far, especially after last week's bloodbath with the Lions, Seahawks and Chiefs going down. Let's take a look at this week's slate:

Team Opponent %Taken Vegas ML** Vegas Odds
STEELERS Browns 31.50% 275 73.33
SAINTS Buccaneers 13.50% 600 85.71
COLTS Jaguars 10.50% 525 84.00
DOLPHINS Jets 8.50% 225 69.23
Eagles COWBOYS 7.90% 245 71.01
TITANS Texans 5.80% 275 73.33
PATRIOTS Bills 5.20% 375 78.95
Broncos RAIDERS 3.90% 525 84.00
CHARGERS Chiefs 3.30% 413 80.49
SEAHAWKS Rams 2.40% 550 84.62
BENGALS Ravens 2.00% 250 71.43
Panthers FALCONS 1.50% 240 70.59
GIANTS Redskins 1.00% 175 63.64
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines

As always, when you get past Week 8 or so, it becomes increasingly important to look at what teams your opponents have used up to determine who they're likely to pick. The percent-taken column is an especially rough guide to your likely pool distribution this late in the year.

My Picks:

1. Indianapolis Colts

They're playing for seeding even though they have the AFC South wrapped up, and while the Jaguars have been tougher of late, the Colts just routed the Chiefs in Arrowhead. I give Indy an 86 percent chance to win this game.

2. San Diego Chargers

The Chiefs are locked into the No. 5 seed and have already said they're going to sit their starters at some point, likely after a couple series. The Chargers have an outside shot at a playoff berth and will be going all out at home. Plus, they beat a full-strength Chiefs team in Arrowhead last month. I give the Chargers an 85 percent chance to win this game.

3. Denver Broncos

The Broncos should win easily here, but there are a few minor concerns: (1) The game is in Oakland; (2) The Broncos defense is weaker without Von Miller; and (3) Terrelle Pryor gives Oakland a different look. But it's hard to see the Raiders keeping up in a game the Broncos need for home-field advantage. I give the Broncos an 83 percent chance to win this game.

4. New Orleans Saints

The Saints never lose at home, but the Bucs know them well, have played decently in the second half of the season and have an improving young quarterback. Still, it's hard to see Tampa keeping pace with Drew Brees in the dome. I give the Saints an 83 percent chance to win this game.

5. Seattle Seahawks

The Rams nearly beat the Seahawks in St. Louis, and they can get after Russell Wilson the way the Cardinals did. But the Seahawks are playing for home-field advantage and are likely to rebound in their building against a Kellen-Clemens-led offense. I give Seattle an 82 percent chance to win this game.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are 7-4 since their terrible start, and the Browns defense has fallen off since the first half of the year. I expect Pittsburgh to score, while the Browns erratic offense will have a tough time keeping up. I give the Steelers a 77 percent chance to win this game.

7. New England Patriots

The Pats always seem to figure it out, but this team is not great offensively without Rob Gronkowski, and the defense is frankly below average. The Bills have some upside, especially if C.J. Spiller gets loose, and they played well against the Patriots the first time around. I give New England a 75 percent chance to win this game.

8. Miami Dolphins

The Jets are so Jekyll and Hyde it's hard to know which team is showing up. But they've been more Hyde than Jekyll on the road, and the Dolphins are fighting for a playoff spot. I give Miami a 72 percent chance to win this game.

9. Carolina Panthers

The Falcons nearly took down the 49ers in San Francisco Monday night, and they typically play better at home. The Panthers are a tough team, but with Roddy White and Matt Ryan at the top of their games this won't be an easy matchup. I give the Panthers a 68 percent chance to win this game.

Notable Omissions:

Philadelphia Eagles: I doubt Tony Romo will play, but until he's ruled out, I'd stay away from this game.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are the better team, but the Ravens aren't likely to go down without a fight, and their defense got the better of Andy Dalton the first time these teams played.

Tennessee Titans: The Texans are talented enough to take down the Titans. Whether they ever get it together is an open question, but I'd stay away from Tennessee if I had one of the top nine options.