NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 2

NFL Eliminator Challenge

Welcome to week two of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series! As Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith would say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”  Last week we took what some people would call a risk by taking the Rams over the Colts.  With so many division games and games where the road team was favored, there honestly weren’t many great options.  In stepped Scott Tolzien, and we started our season out 1-0 with the Rams pounding the defenseless Colts by a score of 46-9.  As for our secondary picks, due to the limited options we were stuck with two division matchups (games I always recommend we avoid).  While the Steelers did win, it was a very close game, only decided by three points, and for our other pick, we completely underestimated the Jags (or overestimated Tom Savage), and the Texans disappointed any eliminator fans who rolled with them.  Hopefully you went with my pick of the week and are still alive!  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom!
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Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

There were some great division games this past weekend. While many probably didn’t watch the game in Buffalo, it was anyone’s game for a majority of the afternoon.  As mentioned previously, the Browns really showed up against the Steelers and got the score within a field goal before all was said and done.  We even saw some away teams (Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Philly) show up and embarrass some division rivals in front of their home crowds.  These games are not only incredibly entertaining, they are also very unpredictable.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
  • Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars
  • San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

On Thursday night we got to watch the Kansas City Chiefs travel to play the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. One team won 42 to 27, with their starting quarterback racking up more than 350 yards and four touchdowns.  The only problem is that quarterback was Alex Smith, and 7% of espn eliminator seasons were ended on the first night of the season.  Sometimes these games can be just as unpredictable as division matchups.

Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals
  • Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons
  • Detroit Lions at New York Giants

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

In the history of the NFL, more than 50% of games have been won by the home team. Last week, less than 50% of games were won by the home team.  Odds are this trend is going to right itself in week two, so I would be extra careful when looking at picking a visitor to win.

Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Arizona Cardinals at Indianapolis Colts
  • New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints
  • Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos

Step 4 – Make your pick!

The best thing in eliminator challenges are when there is a good team, hosting a bad team, traveling across the country. Rarely do teams having to go from one coast to another perform well, and this week we have a great matchup where the New York Jets travel all the way to Oakland to play the Raiders.  I expect this to be an easy win for Carr and the Raiders as the Jets didn’t even seem to want to beat a division foe in Buffalo just a week ago.

My pick of the week is:

  • Oakland Raiders over New York Jets

 

Other options I like this week:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Chicago Bears

Tampa Bay gets to play their first game of the season well rested, hosting a Bears team who seems to be running out of wide receivers on their roster. While I do think Chicago puts up a fight, in the end I believe Tampa Bay has too much talent and will put up too many points for the Bears to match.

  • Seattle Seahawks over San Francisco 49ers

Since I know many of you will continue to ignore my advice, if you are determined to pick a division game, I urge you not to pick against Cleveland (a popular pick currently in espn leagues). While Baltimore shut out Cincy last week, they didn’t look very dominant on offense, and the Browns looked better than they have in the past.  Instead look to Seattle, a team that took a tough loss in Green Bay, and one that is too good a team to start the season 0-2.

 

Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

Thanks for reading!

 

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