There are plenty of games with playoff implications in Week 15, including some potential postseason previews. While that makes for good football, it makes for some difficult choices in your survivor pool. Check out the analysis and selections for this upcoming week.
THURSDAY NIGHT GAME
Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles — The Eagles host the Bengals in a game that Cincinnati has to have in order to keep pace in the AFC playoff race. I would avoid taking a road team, especially on the short week.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON GAMES
As I mentioned in the preview, there are a number of close games this week with playoff implications. They include Green Bay at Chicago, New York Giants at Atlanta, Tampa Bay at New Orleans, Minnesota at St. Louis, Denver at Baltimore, Indianapolis at Houston, Pittsburgh at Dallas, and San Francisco at New England. This includes more than half of the Sunday schedule that should be eliminated from your survivor selection this week.
The Miami Dolphins are 7 1/2 point favorites over the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars and would be a sneaky pick for Week 15.
Detroit has been playing in close games, but the Lions have not been able to finish. It would be tough to pick Detroit, especially on the road, but the Arizona Cardinals are brutal.
The New England Patriots have won 20 straight games at home in December. I would feel comfortable taking Tom Brady even against the San Francisco 49ers at home.
The Houston Texans also should rebound at home against the Indianapolis Colts if you have them available. Nevertheless, it is unlikely you have either of these AFC juggernauts.
Seattle is playing hot right now, but the Seahawks are going on the road. However, this is not your typical road game. This is the annual game the Buffalo Bills host in Toronto. Buffalo has played better over the last four weeks, though. They have gone just 2-2, but have given up about 16 points per game. The offenses they were facing were nothing to brag about, but they still have made some plays. Seattle can win out and take the division if the Seahawks get help from New England on Sunday night. They should be fired up about that, but I am uneasy about taking the Seahawks away from Qwest Field.
If Robert Griffin III is out Sunday, I would not be tempted to take the Cleveland Browns. Stay away from that game at all costs.
SUNDAY NIGHT GAME
San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
— I briefly discussed this game, but if you have New England and you do not feel comfortable with the other options, you may can with the Patriots. I expect them to put up a better fight than Houston did, although that is not saying much.
MONDAY NIGHT GAME
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans — The Jets are still mathematically alive after all of the chaos that has gone on with them this season. I think the Titans put an end to everything this Monday night at home.
Houston and New England can be taken this week if you have those teams available. If you do not, Miami is likely to be the most popular choice. Arizona has lost nine straight and with Chicago and San Francisco on the schedule in Weeks 16 and 17, I would expect the Cardinals to play in their last chance to earn a win after starting 4-0. Therefore, I am not confident in the Lions getting up for this game in the desert. I would consider Seattle, but would roll with the home team in Miami as my top choice.