Eliminator Pool: Week 5 - 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

Ok, so NFL Week 3 was ugly (12 losses out of 16), but Week 4 was much more respectable with just one loss (Bear Heiser, Atlanta). Only Devin Knotts remains perfect, a rather remarkable feat given that 23 underdogs have won outright out of 63 contests this year - an amazing 36.5% clip. The fun has hardly begun, as there are 13 more weeks to go, so let us take a look at Week 5.

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
Devin Knotts
4-0
BAL
DEN
CLE
LAC
NE
Aaron Rudnicki
3-1
BAL
LAR
MIN
GB
CAR
Andy Hicks
3-1
BAL
LAR
MIN
LAC
NE
Ari Ingel
3-1
BAL
LAR
MIN
JAC
n/a
Dave Larkin
3-1
BAL
NO
JAC
LAC
CAR
Jeff Haseley
3-1
BAL
LAR
MIN
LAC
NE
Mark Wimer
3-1
BAL
LAR
MIN
LAC
NO
Matt Bitonti
3-1
NE
DEN
MIN
LAC
CAR
Alessandro Miglio
3-1
NO
LAR
KC
JAC
DEN
Jeff Pasquino
3-1
NO
LAR
PHI
LAC
CAR
Bear Heiser
2-2
NO
LAR
KC
ATL
LAC
James Brimacombe
2-2
NO
LAR
MIN
GB
CIN
Sean Settle
2-2
NO
LAC
JAC
NE
DEN
Justin Howe
2-2
NO
LAC
JAC
GB
TEN
William Grant
2-2
NO
SF
MIN
LAC
NE
Andrew Garda
1-3
DET
BAL
HOU
SEA
TEN

DISCUSSION

The picks lack consensus this week, and it is not a surprise at all. Only one team (New England) is favored by more than eight points this week according to Las Vegas, and 25% of the staff (4 of 16) went with the Patriots hosting the Colts on Thursday. Four others, including myself, went with the Panthers hosting the Giants, as Carolina should be very well rested after their early-season bye week. Denver (at New York Jets) and Tennessee (at Buffalo) were both selected twice, but both teams could be tricky selections. Tennessee looks solid at 3-1, but road games are never easy, as the Titans lost in Week 1 in Miami and barely beat a good Jacksonville team on the road in Week 3. Denver is also traveling on a short week after a tough loss at home to divisional rival Kansas City and then must face the Jets for an early 1 PM Eastern kickoff. Three other staffers had unique picks as Cincinnati (hosting) Miami), New Orleans (home against Washington) and the Los Angeles Chargers (hosting the Raiders) were single selections. Seven different NFL teams are on the list, so there could be some separation coming at the top of the standings once again after Week 5.

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 4 worked out fine with the move to the Chargers, and I am again moving away from my preseason plan to play it safer than that plan called for back in August. (Hint - San Francisco). Now, I will say this - if you are in a big, BIG tournament with a buyback option, I still like using the 49ers now to save some better teams for later, but this is a rather tough week. Playing it safer with Carolina, at home coming off of a bye week against a 1-3 Giants team that has not scored over 19 points except their shocking road win in Houston, feels like the safer path this week - and I will figure out December later.

The Pick: Carolina Panthers

Good luck this weekend!

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


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