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Survivor pool strategy and straight-up picks for Week 14

We’re back with more NFL picks, including a look at Week 14 straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

We are officially entering the final quarter of the 2017 NFL season. Well, the regular season at least. The San Francisco 49ers will not be taking part in the playoffs, so we are approaching the final four games of this season. Given the notable change at quarterback, there will be just a little bit to watch for this final quarter.

The 49ers travel to face the Houston Texans on Sunday, but in the meantime, we get a great Thursday Night Football matchup to kick off the week. That also means, it’s time once again to ponder options in NFL Survivor pools. I was knocked out of my own double elimination pool thanks to back-to-back picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos in Weeks 6 and 7. That ended ... poorly.

For the few of you still alive, the New England Patriots in Miami are going to be popular with anybody who has held off using them. For the rest, rolling the dice on the Los Angeles Chargers at home against Washington, or maybe the Cincinnati Bengals at home against Chicago. It’s not pretty.

For Thursday, we get a huge NFC South matchup, with the Atlanta Falcons hosting the New Orleans Saints. The Saints lead the division, by a game over Carolina and two games over Atlanta. Carolina and Seattle hold the two wild card berths, and so Atlanta is just looking to stay alive behind the two of them. The Saints opened as a four-point road favorite, but that line has come down quickly to a point, according to Odds Shark. I think Atlanta has the upset in them, even against the improved Saints defense and run game. But, I’ll take Atlanta outright.

Who are you taking?

Saints @ Falcons: Falcons
Colts @ Bills: Bills
Bears @ Bengals: Bengals
Packers @ Browns: Browns
Raiders @ Chiefs: Chiefs
Cowboys @ Giants: Giants
Lions @ Buccaneers: Bucs
Vikings @ Panthers: Panthers
49ers @ Texans: 49ers
Jets @ Broncos: Broncos
Titans @ Cardinals: Titans
Washington @ Chargers: Chargers
Eagles @ Rams: Rams
Seahawks @ Jaguars: Jaguars
Ravens @ Steelers: Steelers
Patriots @ Dolphins: Patriots