Eliminator Pool: Week 1 - Footballguys

Footballguys.com 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 Footballguys.com 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 preseason articles. The 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).

THIS WEEK'S PICK SUMMARY

Here are the picks for this week.

Staff Member
Record
W01
W02
W03
W04
W05
W06
W07
W08
W09
W10
W11
W12
W13
W14
W15
W16
W17
Aaron Rudnicki
0-0
BAL
Andy Hicks
0-0
BAL
Ari Ingel
0-0
BAL
Dave Larkin
0-0
BAL
Devin Knotts
0-0
BAL
Jeff Haseley
0-0
BAL
Mark Wimer
0-0
BAL
Matt Bitonti
0-0
NE
Alessandro Miglio
0-0
NO
Bear Heiser
0-0
NO
James Brimacombe
0-0
NO
Jeff Pasquino
0-0
NO
Sean Settle
0-0
NO
Justin Howe
0-0
NO
William Grant
0-0
NO
Andrew Garda
0-0
DET

DISCUSSION

Sixteen staffers are in the pool, and it should be quite interesting right out of the gate. Week 1, for the most part, has very tight spreads, with just three teams favored by more than seven points (Green Bay, New Orleans, and Baltimore). With the Packers having some big changes on offense at wide receiver and at running back and the divisional rival Bears coming to town, everyone avoided that matchup, mostly in favor of the two other options. Both the Saints and the Ravens received seven selections, while two other staffers went down a different path. Matt Bitonti chose to go with the Patriots at home against a very good Houston team, while Andrew Garda (a well-known Jets fan) chose to go against his team on the road as they visit the Lions. If either Baltimore or New Orleans stumble, these two moves could be very smart plays. Clearly, most everyone in leagues like these is looking hard at Baltimore and the Saints (hosting a Jameis Winston-less Tampa Bay team) in Week 1.

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.

COMMENTARY

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 Saints hosting the Buccaneers in Week 1. I had some interesting email conversations with some subscribers who had me looking harder at Baltimore out of the gate, and I cannot really advise against that pick, but I do not see a better time to use New Orleans and I want to save Baltimore for later. I am sticking to my guns and going with the biggest favorite in Week 1.

The Pick: New Orleans

Good luck this weekend!

Questions, suggestions, and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com