NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 2


Welcome to the second week of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series. Last week we took some risks but using our four simple steps of picking games, we were able to go three for three. While none of them were pretty, the Jets were able to knock off the Browns, while the Cardinals and Broncos were similarly able to start their seasons 1-0. Let’s go for two! Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom.

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

There weren’t a ton of games in week one where division foes matched up against each other, but one worth noting went down in St. Louis. The young and talented Rams shocked the NFL by defeating the reigning NFC champion Seahawks in overtime this past Sunday. It was a great game as most division matchups are and that’s why I keep my gambling as far away from these games as possible. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Detroit at Minnesota
  • Dallas at Philadelphia
  • New England at Buffalo
  • New Orleans over Tampa Bay

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Being the first week of the season we got the pleasure of having four prime time games with a double header on the first Monday of the season. This is where things got tricky. Down in Atlanta everyone had the Eagles pegged as one of the top teams in the league and the same general public thought they were going to walk all over the Falcons. The Falcons must have missed that memo because they won 26-24. Then following that matchup many expected the return of AP against a team in the 49ers, which had one of the most devastating offseasons in recent history, was going to go the way of the Vikings. We were wrong again; 49ers 20, Vikings 3. Just like division matchups, some of these marquee games can be just as unpredictable. Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Denver at Kansas City
  • Seattle at Green Bay
  • NY Jets at Indianapolis

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

While there were a lot of away teams who were able to overcome jetlag to get their first win of the season, there were also plenty of upsets on the road throughout the weekend. How about up in Buffalo where the Bills manhandled the Colts, a team expected to be one of the top in the league by many analysts. We already mentioned the victories by the Falcons and 49ers, but what we didn’t mention is both underdogs were playing at home. Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • St. Louis at Washington
  • Arizona at Chicago
  • Baltimore at Oakland
  • Miami at Jacksonville

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Pittsburgh over San Francisco

The Steelers didn’t look great against the Patriots last Thursday while the 49ers looked dominant, so at first glance this probably looks like a strange pick, but take a closer look. You have a team that has 10 days of rest before this game hosting a team with less than a week. You also have a west coast team traveling to the eastern time zone to play a 1pm game, something that usually doesn’t go well for the away team. I expect both teams to be 1-1 after this weekend as the Steelers get back on track.

Other options I like this week:

  • Cincinnati over San Diego

Looks like I’m riding the AFC North train this weekend. The Bengals looked good against a bad Raiders team but that’s not what’s driving this pick. The Bengals in the Andy Dalton era have been very good at home (excluding the post-season), and here is another west coast team traveling for a 1pm kickoff.

  • Carolina over Houston

I am by no means a Panthers fan, and while I personally think they have a rough season ahead of them, I do think this is a very winnable matchup for them. Hoyer or Mallet, I honestly don’t think it will matter.

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to follow me for great fantasy football advice on twitter @DE_aaron


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