Eliminator Pool: Week 3 - 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

NFL Week 2 was relatively quiet when it came to Survivor and Eliminator contests, even with yet another tie between Minnesota and Green Bay. With six different selections across the staff, the week was ripe for an upset, and only one loss was suffered by the team. Andrew Garda went down with the Ravens, who lost in Cincinnati last Thursday. On the surface that may have appeared as a reasonable pick, but three rules flew in the face: (1) Do not pick a road team, (2) Do not pick a divisional matchup, and (3) Do not go with a road team on Thursday Night Football. While none of these three rules are 100% true all the time, breaking three general guidelines should have given anyone pause.

THIS WEEK'S PICK SUMMARY

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
Aaron Rudnicki
2-0
BAL
LAR
MIN
Andy Hicks
2-0
BAL
LAR
MIN
Ari Ingel
2-0
BAL
LAR
MIN
Dave Larkin
2-0
BAL
NO
JAC
Devin Knotts
2-0
BAL
DEN
CLE
Jeff Haseley
2-0
BAL
LAR
MIN
Mark Wimer
2-0
BAL
LAR
MIN
Matt Bitonti
2-0
NE
DEN
MIN
Alessandro Miglio
1-1
NO
LAR
KC
Bear Heiser
1-1
NO
LAR
KC
James Brimacombe
1-1
NO
LAR
MIN
Jeff Pasquino
1-1
NO
LAR
PHI
Sean Settle
1-1
NO
LAC
JAC
Justin Howe
1-1
NO
LAC
JAC
William Grant
1-1
NO
SF
MIN
Andrew Garda
0-2
DET
BAL
HOU

DISCUSSION

The staff have some variety again in Week 3, with three unique picks and three teams getting multiple selections. Minnesota was the clear favorite with half the staff leaning towards the Vikings, who are heavily favored against the 0-2 Buffalo Bills. That pick looks solid, except for what was pointed out in I Will Survive. Week 11 looks like a very challenging week and the preseason "best bet" for that week was Minnesota at Chicago, but the Bears look better than expected. Week 11 is eight weeks from now and much can change between now and November, so there is some validity to going with the heavily favored (16-17 points) Vikings, but sometimes you have to look beyond the present week. Other selections that are popular with the staff for Week 3 are Jacksonville (three votes) and the Chiefs (two). The Jaguars are hosting the Tennessee Titans, and even with Leonard Fournette ailing, Jacksonville is favored to win in north Florida at home. Kansas City also looks like a solid pick as the 2-0 Chiefs have their home opener against San Francisco. Jeff Pasquino chose to go out on his own this week with his selection of the Eagles at home, while Andrew Garda is looking to bounce back with the Texans hosting the Giants. Both home teams are favored, so these contrarian picks look like solid choices. The final unique pick goes to Devin Knotts, who is taking his favorite team in Cleveland to defeat the Jets in Ohio on Thursday Night Football. Six different NFL teams are on the list, so there could be some separation coming at the top of the standings after Week 3.

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: Week 2 worked out great with the Rams, so I am sticking with my preseason plan and taking the Eagles at home against Indianapolis. The Colts may have Andrew Luck back in the saddle, but Philadelphia is getting Carson Wentz back this week and this is the first Sunday game at home for the Eagles. There does not appear to be a better spot to take the Eagles the rest of the way, and they should be very motivated to take care of business at home behind their franchise quarterback.

As for the other picks this week, Minnesota still appears to be a trap for those looking to go the distance in Survivor Pools. Week 11 is a minefield, and the best choice still appears to be to save the Vikings (at Chicago) for that week. No plan is a lock (See Week 1), but sometimes it is better to go in a different direction in a week where over 50% of the contenders will be leaning towards using Minnesota here in Week 3. Using the Eagles now takes a good opportunity to use the defending Super Bowl champions and to save Minnesota for later - even if it is not for Week 11. Food for thought.

The Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

Good luck this weekend!

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