The sledding gets tougher for Survivor Pool entrants as the season goes and top teams fall off the list. Week 16 presents limited options, with most heavily favored teams likely off your potential list of teams to pick. And even if they were available, being a big favorite doesn't guarantee victory. Just ask the Vikings, who were shelled at home by the Bills in Week 3 as 17-point favorites. Or ask the Saints, who were laying more than a touchdown to the Cowboys last month and lost by three. Before making your NFL Week 16 Survivor Pool picks, you'll want to hear what SportsLine's Mike Tierney has to say. Tierney, the national sportswriter who has reported from seven Super Bowls and whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, has his finger on the pulse of the league.

Tierney excels both against the spread and straight up. The past two seasons, he hit on nearly 65 percent of his straight-up NFL office pool picks (330-180-2), beating the vast majority of experts on NFLPickWatch.com. 

Tierney is an amazing 138-84 picking every NFL game straight up in 2018. Now, Tierney has studied the matchups and locked in his optimal Week 16 NFL Survivor Pool pick, in which you need to pick one team each week to win but cannot select the same team twice in a season. This week, we can tell you he's not backing the Colts, favored by nine points at home against the Giants

Indianapolis (8-6) has rattled off eight wins over its last nine games led by the arm of Andrew Luck, who has 3,951 yards, 34 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Over the last eight games, he's passed for 18 scores and just five picks. 

The same could be said of maligned veteran quarterback Eli Manning. After a tough start to the year, Manning tossed 10 touchdowns and two interceptions over the previous five games before last week's 17-0 loss to the Titans without starting wide receiver Odell Beckham

The Giants' defense ranks a solid 12th against the pass, matching up well with the Colts' ninth-ranked aerial attack. New York's solid pass attack -- if healthy -- also matches up well with the Colts' weakness, their defensive backfield.

Tierney says there is a better option out there for Week 16, and it's a surprising team you're not even thinking about. He is revealing a confident pick that also sets you up well for the final week of the season. The time to pick this team is right now, and he's sharing his play over at SportsLine. 

So which highly surprising team is a must-back in your Week 16 survivor pool? Visit SportsLine now to see which team will survive and advance, all from the man who has hit on nearly 65 percent of his straight-up NFL office pool picks the past two seasons