NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 11

Welcome to Week Eleven of season seven of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  Last week broke our streak of 3-0s as we dropped to 2-1.  Like many of the NFL, we did not expect the Dolphins to upset the Colts in Indy.  So much for picking who the Dolphins play each week.  Time to try to get back to our 3-0 ways.  Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Week Ten was an awesome week for division matchups.  While the Bengals didn’t pull off the upset in Baltimore, we did see the 1-7 Falcons pull off an upset against their rival, 7-1 Saints, in New Orleans nonetheless.  We even saw Chicago barely beat a Lions team without their starting quarterback.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

  • Pittsburgh at Cleveland
  • Jacksonville at Indianapolis
  • Buffalo at Miami
  • New Orleans at Tampa Bay
  • Atlanta at Carolina
  • Arizona at San Francisco
  • Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Nine points.  That is the combined total difference in points scored between the winners and the losers of the three prime time games in Week Ten.  One went into overtime, one was decided by two points, and the biggest margin of victory was only by four points on Sunday night.  These games were all close, exciting, and not something you should be risking eliminator picks on.  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Pittsburgh at Cleveland
  • Chicago at Los Angeles Rams
  • Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

Another week down and another week where home field advantage is showing up throughout the league.  We saw the Raiders upset the Chargers in Oakland on Thursday.  We saw the Steelers without Big Ben upset the Rams in Pittsburgh, the same team that was in the Super Bowl last year representing the NFC.  However, all that pales to the biggest upset, where the Titans beat the Chiefs with their MVP back in the fold in front of the Tennessee faithful.  What a week!  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Buffalo at Miami
  • Dallas at Detroit
  • New Orleans at Tampa Bay
  • New England at Philadelphia
  • Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Oakland Raiders over the Cincinnati Bengals

Since we can’t safely pick blindly against the Dolphins anymore, it’s time to shift our focus to the Bengals.  It looks like AJ Green may not play this season, their rookie quarterback looked lost last week and they are traveling to Oakland to play a team on the upswing.  This should be a blowout and is the lock of the week.

 Other options I like this week:

  • Minnesota Vikings over the Denver Broncos

The Vikings are proving they are a true NFC contender this season, especially after an important prime time win on the road last week in Dallas.  This week, they return home and host a Broncos team that seems to lack an offensive identity.  While I don’t expect a blowout, I do think the Vikings will put up points that the Broncos will struggle to match.

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Los Angeles Chargers

There aren’t a lot of great options for a third pick this week, so if we’re going to break a rule, let’s break them all.  Yes, this is a prime time game and it is also a division matchup.  On top of that, the Chiefs are also the away team, but let’s remember that when teams play in LA, there really is no home field advantage (my bet is you see more red jerseys in the stadium than anything else).  The reality is, I think Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are too good to lose two games in a row and if I had to pick a third game, this is where I’m putting my money.

Overall Record = 23-7

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

https://twitter.com/DE_aaron

Thanks for reading!

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