Fantasy football is one of the most researched subjects on the internet, right behind Kate Upton and iPhone release dates. Its popularity has spawned a plethora of other games like salary cap fantasy leagues, confidence pools and eliminator pools.
Eliminator pools (AKA: Suicide Pools or Survivor Pools) are simple enough. You pick one team to win each week, if your pick wins, you play next week. The only stipulation being, once you use a team you can not use them again for the season. This sounds easy enough (after all, no point spreads are involved) but as the season progresses your options begin to dwindle and the fear of a big upset always lurks.
There are many strategies when it comes to winning eliminator pools. One includes picking the known ‘’good’’ teams at the beginning of the season so you can get a sense of other ‘’good’’ teams as the season progresses. Another way to approach an eliminator season is to study the NFL schedule. Know what weeks middle of the road teams have a good match-up and when the elite teams play the bottom of the barrel (Like the Raiders and Jets). A less successful strategy is to ride out ‘’hot’’ teams on a weekly basis. Some are not a fan of this because its hard to gauge when a streaky team is going to cool off.
Every Tuesday, this is the place to study up on some picks for the upcoming week. So without further ado here are some Week 1 plays:
SAFE PLAY: Patriots – Regardless of who the Bills start at quarterback (sounds like it will be E.J. Manuel over Jeff Tuel), you have to believe the Pats D is already salivating. On the offensive side for the Pats, they are rumored to want to run the ball plenty this season and the Bills gave up 121 yards per game on the ground last year. Sure C.J. Spiller looks like he is going to be a monster to stop, but the Patriots have 17 wins in their last 18 games against the Bills. Spiller would have to be Godzilla for me to go against a trend like that.
GET THEM OUT OF THE WAY PLAY: Buccaneers – Josh Freeman did less than impress this preseason. His 101 yards and 9 sacks put many on a Mike Glennon watch. The thing with the Bucs is they have a hard schedule. The only games, excluding this week, in which you might feel comfortable using them are Week 4 (vs the Cardinals), Week 8 (vs the Panthers) and Week 14 (against the Bills). As far as their Week 1 opponent goes, the Geno Smith era is about to begin in New York and you know Darrelle Revis and company are chomping at the bit to face him. That leaves the Jets running game to score points which won’t be easy because the Bucs D allowed the fewest yards (1140) to opposing rushers in 2012. Playing devil’s advocate, traveling to New York is never easy, but it would be hard to believe the Bucs can’t handle it.
MY PLAY: Colts – Andrew Luck is a year older/wiser, Ahmad Bradshaw sounds ready to go and the Colts are at home (7-1 at home in 2012). That would be enough for me, but you also have to consider the fact that the Colts are playing perhaps the worst team in football, the Oakland Raiders. All those factors add up to the Colts being as good as any for a Week 1 eliminator pick.