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Eliminator Pool: Week 1 Staff Pick One Team to Win Each Week in a Eliminator / Survivor Pool Format

Over the past few years, we have given the subscribers of some help in playing office pools, one of the most popular methods to follow the NFL aside from fantasy football leagues.  For the past few seasons, the staff members have done the Staff Confidence Pool Challenge, where numerous staffers try and pick the winners each week with a confidence ranking, and Jeff Pasquino’s “For The Win” column where Jeff attempts to pick each and every NFL game against the Las Vegas spread.  Both of these have been very popular features, so this year Footballguys is adding a combination of the two called the “Against the Spread” Challenge and also the Eliminator Challenge, where staffers have to pick a team to win each week.  Just one?  That sounds easy, but here is the catch – you can only pick the team you choose in a given week once all season long.  Many contests and pools out there get pretty big, so an Eliminator (or Survivor) Pool can go 16 or 17 weeks.  

Jeff Pasquino has provided some insight into this kind of contest with two pre-season articles, first one that describes this kind of contest along with some advice on how to pick a team each week:

Survivor Pool Strategy

The second article is rather interesting, which describes Jeff’s preseason plan to get all the way through 17 weeks.  Will it work?  We are about to find out.

I Will Survive

This pool will run all season long, but to keep participation up, the pool will crown the staffer with the best W-L record for the season (which means that everyone in the pool will continue to make picks every week).


Here are the picks for this week.

Staff Member Record Wk01 Wk02 Wk03 Wk04 Wk05 Wk06 Wk07 Wk08 Wk09 Wk10 Wk11 Wk12 Wk13 Wk14 Wk15 Wk16 Wk17
Alessandro Miglio 0-0 ATL                                
William Grant 0-0 ATL                                
Aaron Rudnicki 0-0 BUF                                
Andrew Garda 0-0 BUF                                
Bear Heiser 0-0 BUF                                
Dave Larkin 0-0 BUF                                
Devin Knotts 0-0 BUF                                
James Brimacombe 0-0 BUF                                
Jason Wood 0-0 BUF                                
Mark Wimer 0-0 BUF                                
St Holloway 0-0 BUF                                
Chris Feery 0-0 HOU                                
Jeff Haseley 0-0 HOU                                
Matt Bitonti 0-0 HOU                                
Jeff Pasquino 0-0 PIT                                
John Mamula 0-0 PIT                                
Ari Ingel 0-0 LAR                                
Justin Howe 0-0 LAR                                
Andy Hicks 0-0 DEN                                


Nineteen staffers are in the pool (and maybe a straggler or two that will catch up with the rest of us), and it should be quite interesting right out of the gate.  Week 1 for the most part has very tight spreads, with just two teams favored by more than seven points (New England and Pittsburgh).   The most common pick, however, was a team favored right at a touchdown with the Bills hosting the Jets to start the year.  Most everyone thinks that the Jets are going to be terrible this year, so expecting a Buffalo win in their home opener is not a bad call, nor is it a bad idea to use a bad team for their best shot at a victory early in the year.  Almost half (9 of 19) of the staff went with the Bills, but several other teams received votes for Week 1.  Houston came in next with three staffers going with a home win for the Texans over Jacksonville, while two staffers each chose Atlanta (at Chicago), Pittsburgh (at Cleveland) and the Rams hosting the Colts.  Only Andy Hicks chose Denver at home against the Chargers, a very bold call.  That makes for six different selections in Week 1, which could make the standings a bit interesting out of the gate. 

Please note a few things:  We will be doing these picks every week, win or lose, to keep it entertaining all season long.  Normally a Survivor / Eliminator pool would end once all but one player lost once, but to provide our subscribers with more perspectives, everyone will pick every week even if they lose.  That said, we will still try and honor the spirit of an Eliminator / Survivor Pool, trying to win every week and not re-use any teams during the year.


Each week, contestants are invited to submit any comments that they might have about their picks. If they submit them early enough, we post them with the article. If not, the comments will be within the section below.

Jeff Pasquino: I decided to stick with my preseason plan and go with the Steelers on the road at Cleveland in Week 1.  I get the Buffalo pick and a few other calls by the staff, but I am taking what looks like the safest route with the biggest favorite for opening week, and also saving Houston for later.  Here is a more detailed breakdown of Week 1 that I wrote in that article just a week ago and it still stands:

Since Mike Tomlin took over the team back in 2007, he is 17-3 against Cleveland and one of those losses was a game where Charlie Batch was the starting quarterback.  While I am not thrilled with violating two of my Survivor rules, I am taking the Steelers because this is the best mix of taking a big favorite and timing the rest of the schedule for the year.  That's why I do this article in the first place.

The Pick:  Pittsburgh

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to