NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 3

Welcome to our third week of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week we went 2-1, hitting our main pick and our first alternate as both the Cardinals and Panthers easily took care of inferior teams at home.  Unfortunately, our second alternate came up one point short as the Lions just couldn’t find the end zone.  Actually, they found the end zone multiple times, but just couldn’t seem to do it without laundry all over the field.  Two weeks down, plenty more to go!  Time to extend the streak to three!  Read on and feel free to comment at the end.

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

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The Jets and Bills game was decided by six points.  The Cowboys and Redskins game was decided by four points.  The Dolphins and Patriots game was decided by seven points. In fact, of the six division games last weekend, only one game was decided by more than a touchdown.  This is why I stay as far away from division games as possible.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division matchups:

  • Lions at Packers
  • Redskins at Giants
  • 49ers at Seahawks
  • Falcons at Saints

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Two of the three prime time games last week also came down to less than a touchdown difference between the winner and the loser.  As mentioned earlier, the Jets barely beat the Bills on the road, and similarly the Viking edged out the Packers at home by a field goal.  These games not only are unpredictable, they are also usually close until the end.  Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Texans at Patriots
  • Bears at Cowboys
  • Falcons at Saints

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

On Sunday, ten of fourteen games were won by the home team.  As expected, this week evened out the season a bit, once again favoring the home crowd.  What was even more eye opening, is the majority of the blowouts were all driven by the home team.  The Panthers won by 19, the Chargers won by 24, and the Cardinals destroyed the Buccaneers by 33.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Cardinals at Bills
  • Steelers at Eagles
  • Broncos at Bengals
  • Raiders at Titans

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  •  Dolphins over Browns

Yes, this is my homer pick of the season.  Yes, I am picking an 0-2 team for the third pick of my eliminator season (risky, I know).  However, take a close look at Miami this season.  They lost to the Seahawks and Patriots, both on the road.  Two quality playoff teams beat the Dolphins, and both of them did it by a touchdown or less.  Let’s also keep in mind the Browns are already on their third string quarterback of the season.  Let’s be honest, there won’t be many chances to roll with the Dolphins this season, so why not go with them for their home opener against arguably one of the worst teams in football.

Other options I like this week:

  • Buccaneers over Rams

If you don’t want to roll with the Dolphins, I do think the Buccaneers have a good shot this weekend.  The Rams are riding high after their home opener against the Seahawks, and the Buccaneers are most likely fuming after being embarrassed by the Cardinals.  The Buccaneers have too much talent on their roster to drop two duds in a row, and even though the Rams won last week, it wasn’t exactly the most impressive victory when you look closely.  I’m taking the home crowd and the Buccaneers in this one.

  • Panthers over Vikings

If you have not used the Panthers yet this season I think they are a safe bet to beat the Vikings at home.  Peterson is most likely not playing and in my personal opinion, the Panthers defense and Cam Newton are too good to lose to Sam Bradford.

Thanks for reading!

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

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