NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 4

Welcome to Week Four, season nine, of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  For those of you who are new to our series, we follow four simple steps to make our picks.  While these are not hard rules (more like guidelines and suggestions), they have historically worked out well for us in the past.  We are happy to have you join our eliminator community and feel free to hit me up on twitter to give me your thoughts!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups

It only took three weeks and we finally got some juicy division upsets.  The biggest, coming out of Kansas City where the defending AFC champs were taken down by the LA Chargers.  However, the Chiefs weren’t the only team to get upset by a division foe.  Up in Pittsburgh, the Bengals came to town and absolutely manhandled the Steelers where Ben looked lost with most of his receiving core dealing with injuries.  That’s two major division upsets happening in front of home crowds!

Every single year, one of the top teams gets upset by an underdog division rival.  The problem is, you never know when it is going to happen.  Unless you can predict the future, I recommend avoiding these division matchups:

  • Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
  • Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

We now have three weeks in a row where at least one prime time game has been decided by less than a field goal.  Last week on Sunday night, we had a thriller as the Packers and 49ers went back and forth until Green Bay pulled it out in the final seconds.  Thursday and Monday night may not have been the best matchups, but at least we got one!

For whatever reason, when primetime hits, some teams rise to the occasion while others shrink in the bright lights. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the below marquee games:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

We have now seen eight teams win in front of their home crowd three weeks in a row, putting home field advantage at exactly 50% on the season.  Last week, we even saw the biggest upsets coming from home teams like Kansas City and Pittsburgh.  While we did see the Rams technically upset the Bucs in LA, I’m not sure I consider that a huge upset.  We’ll keep paying attention here, but it is starting to seem like home field advantage is slowly dwindling in the NFL.

While home field advantage may not be what it used to be, the stress behind travel and being out of your comfort zone is still a real thing and something you should be careful with.  Be aware and avoid the below games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Washington Football Team @ Atlanta Falcons
  • Cleveland Browns @ Minnesota Vikings
  • Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets
  • Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots
Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • New Orleans Saints over the New York Giants

While the Saints have been up and down this season, they looked good last week against a Patriots team, coached by Bill Belichick, which is not always an easy feat no matter who is on the roster.  This week, they return home to host a Giants team that couldn’t even beat a bad Falcons team at home this past Sunday.  While I don’t expect a blowout, the Saints should be able to easily take care of business in this one.

 An alternate option I like this week:

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  • Buffalo Bills over the Houston Texans

If you didn’t use Buffalo last week, you have another chance this week.  After blowing out a Washington team on Sunday that was supposed to be known for their defense, the Bills now host a Texans team that got destroyed by Sam Darnold and the Panthers this past Thursday.  After seeing what Josh Allen did to the Washington secondary last week, I’d recommend putting him in any fantasy lineup you can for Week Four.

Rule breaker pick of the week:

  • Tennessee Titans over the New York Jets

We may change this pick to “pick whoever the Jets are playing.”  As bad as the Giants have looked, it doesn’t hold a candle to how New York has played this season.  Unless the Titans absolutely implode, Tannehill should have no problem winning in New Jersey like he has multiple times in the past.

Last Week’s Record = 3-0

Season Record = 8-1

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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