NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 5

Welcome to Week Five of season seven of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week was a disaster. I don’t know how else to put it.  This is the first time I can remember going 0-3 for an eliminator article.  The Rams giving up 55 points to a Bucs team in LA was a complete shocker.  On top of that, both the Falcons and Colts lost games in front of their home crowds as well.  That being said, not everyone lost last week and for those of you still alive in your own contests hopefully I can help you along your journey to victory.  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on Twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

There were certainly some surprises last week with division matchups.  New England barely beat Buffalo, the Giants destroyed the Redskins and Cleveland beat a good Ravens team in Baltimore.  While Buffalo didn’t exactly pull off the upset of the season, some of these games were too close for comfort.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Los Angeles Rams at Seattle
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans
  • Baltimore at Pittsburgh
  • Denver at Los Angeles Chargers

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

While we didn’t see huge upsets in division matchups, we did in primetime.  On Thursday, the Eagles beat a Packers team in Green Bay, who as of the night prior, was undefeated.  Then on Sunday night, the Saints, with a backup QB running the show, beat a Dallas team that at times looked unbeatable.  Ignoring the battle of winless teams on Monday, we continue to see these games not disappoint.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would still avoid the below marquee games:

  • Los Angeles Rams at Seattle
  • Indianapolis at Kansas City
  • Cleveland at San Francisco

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

On average, home teams win more games than away teams.  Every year this has been one of our most important rules and has helped us avoid some huge upsets that ended our competitor’s eliminator seasons early.  However, this season seems to be an anomaly to this rule.  Last Sunday there were 13 games played.  Of those 13 games, only 3 were won by the home team.  We saw west coast teams from LA, go all the way east to Florida to win.  We saw east coast teams from Florida go all the way west to LA to win.  Home field advantage seems to be a thing of the past, but I’m not ready to give up on it yet.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Chicago at Oakland
  • Minnesota at New York Giants
  • Baltimore at Pittsburgh
  • New England at Washington

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Philadelphia Eagles over the New York Jets

While the New York Jets are coming off a bye week, the reality is, the Eagles should be well rested, as well as coming off a Thursday night upset of the Green Bay Packers.  The Eagles seem to be a team on the upswing, and while the Jets are still waiting for their starting QB to return from injury, this should be an enjoyable one for Philly fans.

 Other options I like this week:

  • Houston Texans over the Atlanta Falcons

I personally hate this pick because I don’t understand how the Falcons offense isn’t better than they are currently performing.  That being said, I can’t argue results and right now the Texans are the better team.  I hope I’m wrong, but it looks like the Texans are a good alternate if you’ve already used Philly this season.

  • New England Patriots over the Washington Redskins

Yes, the Patriots are the away team, but this is the same Redskins team that got manhandled by the New York Giants.  This is about a safe a pick you will find this season.

Overall Record = 7-5

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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