Eliminator Pool: Week 2 - 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).

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

In a word - ouch. There were two consensus picks last week with the Ravens hosting the Bills and New Orleans opening the season against Tampa Bay. The Saints scored plenty of points, but forgot to play defense as Ryan Fitzpatrick helped the Buccaneers set a franchise record for most points scored in Week 1 with a big 48-40 road win. That put a lot of red on the chart with seven staffers losing in Week 1. Those who went with Baltimore chose wisely as they soundly defeated Buffalo to start the season. The two unique picks also split, as the Patriots held off Houston in Foxboro, but the Jets found a way to both please and upset Andrew Garda, who lost in the pool but won with his favorite team upsetting the Lions in Detroit.

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
1-0
BAL
LAR
Andy Hicks
1-0
BAL
LAR
Ari Ingel
1-0
BAL
LAR
Dave Larkin
1-0
BAL
NO
Devin Knotts
1-0
BAL
DEN
Jeff Haseley
1-0
BAL
LAR
Mark Wimer
1-0
BAL
LAR
Matt Bitonti
1-0
NE
DEN
Alessandro Miglio
0-1
NO
LAR
Bear Heiser
0-1
NO
X
James Brimacombe
0-1
NO
LAR
Jeff Pasquino
0-1
NO
LAR
Sean Settle
0-1
NO
LAC
Justin Howe
0-1
NO
LAC
William Grant
0-1
NO
SF
Andrew Garda
0-1
DET
BAL

DISCUSSION

The staff had a lot of variety in their picks this week. Half of the staff went with the big favorite of the week with the Rams expected to win by a 12-14 point margin in Las Vegas, so the clear top choice in Week 2 is the Rams at home hosting Arizona. Now, this does violate some of the rules with the contest being a divisional matchup plus Los Angeles on a short week, but this early in the year both of those can be forgiven - and the Cardinals looked to be pushing the Bills for the worst team after Week 1. Only two other teams received more than one vote as two staffers took both Denver and the Chargers to win this coming Sunday. The Broncos are hosting the Raiders in Denver, and Oakland also is playing on a short week and head to a tough place to play in the Mile High City. Oakland tried to hold their own in Week 1 at home against the Rams, but they were unable to hold onto their opening night momentum into the second half. The Chargers head to Buffalo this week and play an earlier contest, which can be a challenge for West Coast franchises, but anyone who saw the lack of production and inability to execute from Buffalo last week (and all preseason, for that matter) can understand why Los Angeles looks like a solid choice. Three unique picks round out the staff's selections for Week 2 as the Ravens (at Cincinnati on Thursday Night Football), Saints (hosting Cleveland) and 49ers (hosting Detroit) all were chosen once each. With six different choices, it could get very interesting quickly after just two weeks.

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: Well, let's just say I learned a few lessons in Week 1. First, remember the original rules and still try and avoid divisional matchups. Second, pick against bad teams first and foremost. Knowing that Buffalo looked bad should have pushed my selection away from the preseason plan pick of New Orleans and toward the bandwagon with Baltimore. Two other rules that should be remembered - do not try and save a team for December - just use them when you see fit. Trying to save a team when Week 1 is so tough to decide is not a good idea - because you may never get out of Week 1. Lastly, avoid backup quarterbacks who are actually very solid, like Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Now for Week 2, I am going to go back to that wellI decided to stick with my preseason plan (despite Week 1's results) and go with the Rams hosting the Cardinals. This is a divisional matchup and the Rams are on a short week, but Arizona looks abysmal this year. Washington is not that good, and the Cardinals made them look like Super Bowl contenders. The Rams are a very good team and Arizona is not, so it is reasonable to believe that Los Angeles can handle one less day of rest (and just a short in-state flight) to get a win in the Los Angeles home opener.

The Pick: Los Angeles Rams

Good luck this weekend!

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