NFL Eliminator Challenge: Week 16

Welcome to week sixteen of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series.  Last week 27% of eliminator players picked the 9-4 Rams to beat the 0-13 Jets in LA.  Like many of our competitor articles, it was the no-brainer pick of the week.  Welcome to 2020.  Thankfully both Baltimore and Tennessee easily took care of business so we were able to salvage our week at 2-1.  Time to finish the season strong at 3-0!  Feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

Every year there is a massive upset in a division matchup, one that catches everyone off guard.  This week it came on Monday night as the 2-10-1 Bengals with their third string QB and second string RB easily beat the 11-2 Steelers, a team that only a few weeks ago was undefeated.  That wasn’t the only upset though, we also saw the Chargers upset the Raiders in Las Vegas, almost certainly dashing their post season hopes.  Even Tampa Bay almost fell victim to a division upset until the Falcons did what they do best in the second half.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, do yourself a favor and avoid the below division games:

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  • San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers
  • Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
  • Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Not to be a broken record but between the Raiders losing to the Chargers and the Steelers losing to the Bengals, do you need any more evidence that prime time games, especially divisional ones, should be avoided whenever possible?  Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
  • Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
  • Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

While we didn’t see a ton of upsets on the road, we did see Dallas show up against a decent 49ers squad and have you heard about what went down in Cincinnati yet? 😊  We will continue to keep an eye on this rule for 2020 but for now I’m still going to play it safe and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
  • Miami Dolphins @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets
  • Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Chicago Bears @ Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
  • Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • Baltimore Ravens over the New York Giants

The Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives and they know it.  Last week they humiliated a tanking Jaguars team and the week prior they beat a Browns team that most recently defeated this same Giants team.  The Ravens have to win out to have a chance at the playoffs and this is just another week of them getting closer to that goal.

Other options I like this week:

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Atlanta Falcons

With only one AFC bye slotted for 2020 you know the Chiefs want that spot badly.  On the other side of the field is a team who can be winning 17-0 at half time and 24-7 late into the third quarter but can still lose.  Chiefs could spot Atlanta 30 to start the game and I still think they win.

  • Chicago Bears over the Jacksonville Jaguars

This is less about picking the Bears and more about picking against the Jaguars.  The Jaguars were given an absolute gift in the form of a Jets victory last week.  All they have to do is lose the next two games and they get the #1 pick in the upcoming draft.  This is betting that they don’t screw it up like the Jets did, even if this game is in Jacksonville.

Last Week Record = 2-1

Season Record = 33-11

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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