NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 4

Welcome to the fourth week of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week was a tough one for us.  Both of our alternative picks came up short as the Panthers surprisingly lost at home to the Vikings, and the Buccaneers lost a shootout at home to the Rams, a team that before Sunday couldn’t seem to find the end zone.  Even our pick of the week gave us a scare, needing OT to beat the lowly Browns, but a win is a win, and thankfully (although just barely) our streak continues.  Time to go for four!  Read on and feel free to comment at the end.

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

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Once again we saw some close division games last weekend.  While the Packers came out strong early against the Lions, the Lions rallied throughout the game and got within seven before losing on the road.  An even closer matchup happened in New York as the Redskins and Giants exchanged blows before the Redskins laid the final shot, completing the upset on the road.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division matchups:

  • Colts at Jaguars
  • Titans at Texans
  • Panthers at Flacons
  • Bills at Patriots
  • Lions at Bears
  • Rams at Cardinals

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Normally prime time brings exciting matchups where you are left sitting on the edge of your seat until the final whistle.  This past week? Not so much.  Yes, the Patriots absolutely humiliated the Texans, and both the Bears and Saints seemed overwhelmed in their games.  That being said, I still avoid these games, because you never know what the future holds, and prime time is when nobodies become somebodies.  Unless you want to take a chance I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Dolphins at Bengals
  • Giants at Vikings
  • Chiefs at Steelers

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Last weekend was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to home field advantage, but at the same time there were some huge upsets across the league.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t expect the Bills to beat the Cardinals by multiple touchdowns, or how about the Eagles absolutely dismantling the Steelers by a score of 34-3.  Sometimes all you need is the home crowd behind you and miracles can happen.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Broncos at Buccaneers
  • Seahawks at Jets
  • Cowboys at 49ers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Redskins over Browns

If you watched the Browns game last weekend, it was clear that the Browns will do whatever it takes to lose.  They were given opportunity after opportunity to win the game, and they just couldn’t pull it off.  Washington looks like a much better team than Miami after a hard fought win in New York, and I expect them to take care of the Browns in front of their home crowd.

Other options I like this week:

  • Ravens over Raiders

While this is not my favorite pick, the high amount of road games and division matchups has limited our options.  That being said the Ravens are currently 3-0 and will be playing in front of their home crowd.  As for the Raiders, they are once again traveling across the country to play in an early game, usually a recipe for disaster for west coast teams.

  • Chargers over Saints

Every year I really like the Saints, and every year I think Drew Brees is going to carry the team.  The truth is that they have such a bad defense that Brees cannot do it on his own.  If Atlanta can put up 45 points against the Saints, then I expect the Chargers similarly have some luck on the offensive side of the ball.

Thanks for reading!

Follow me for great fantasy football advice on twitter @DE_aaron

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