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 pre-season articles, first one that describes this kind of contest along with some advice on how to pick a team each week:
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.
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, along with last week's results:
Week 10 was another great week for the staff, as all 20 picks were correct (Detroit, New England and the Los Angeles Rams), although there was a nailbiter in there for the Lions (38-24 over Cleveland, but it was close until the Browns lost DeShone Kizer at quarterback with the score tied at 24-24) Things are going to start to get trickier with 10 games behind us, and we are definitely seeing the impact of earlier choices.
Week 11 brings us five games where teams are favored by six points are more - Pittsburgh (home against Tennessee onThursday), Jacksonville (at Cleveland), Kansas City (at the Giants), New Orleans (hosting Washington) and the Patriots (against Oakland in Mexico City). That is where most of the staff went this week, with most going towards Kansas City (9 of 18 reported picks as of late Wednesday night). Pittsburgh and New Orleans each received two votes while Jacksonville also caught the eye of two staff members. Detroit (at Chicago) was the only other team to get two nods, and that looks like a tough one with a divisional road game (breaking two of my own Survivor rules). The only other team getting a vote so far are the Chargers, who host Buffalo in Week 11. With the Bills about to start a rookie at quarterback, Los Angeles is a risky but reasonable choice. Plenty of fun and interesting results lie ahead when all is said and done on Monday.
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: Well, my preseason plan has held up pretty well through mid-November, but I think we are about to radically veer away from it. Looking ahead, Weeks 11-17 are going to be tough so it is better to start planning now to line up opponents for Cleveland and the Giants - and probably the 49ers as well. This week both the Giants (hosting Kansas City) and the Browns (hosting Jacksonville) are perfect targets, but I decided to hold on to Kansas City with a few more games ahead where they should be big favorites. Better to take the Jaguars now and use them against a Cleveland team this is a little dangerous, but also pretty bad overall. I would not be adverse to using either the Chiefs or Jaguars this week, but New England is a strong third option. My recommendation would be to look for teams hosting the bottom teams (throw in Miami) over the final seven games and plan to take winning teams against those clubs, especially when the bad team is on the road. For now, let's take Jacksonville and hope we survive one more week. Good luck.
The Pick: Jacksonville
Good luck this weekend!
Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to firstname.lastname@example.org