If you survived last week, don’t be too proud of yourself. Every team that closed as a favorite won their game so EVERYBODY in your pool moved on unless they did something crazy or stupid. Before we jump into the analysis, let’s start with the grid for possible games this week.
There are a whopping 13 options this week that have at least a 65% chance of winning. This is normally the part of the article where I break down each team but that doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there are 13 freaking teams and I don’t want to write that much. The second reason is it’s Week 16 and you don’t have a majority of those options left so a majority of the teams would be meaningless to you.
At this point in the season you need to combine three pieces of information:
(1) Each team’s chance of winning (shown above)
(2) Who everyone is picking to the best of your knowledge (it’s coming down below)
(3) How many people remain in your pool
So we have seen the first piece of information we need, let’s look at the second:
Carolina is the favorite choice of users over at Yahoo this week. Chicago and Kansas City aren’t far behind either. In a vacuum, I think Carolina and Chicago are poor choices. But YOU aren’t playing in a vacuum, you are playing in your very own pool. How many users are left? If it’s a low number, you should put less emphasis on being contrarian and more emphasis on taking the team with the best chance to win. The reason they are popular isn’t a bad one either as neither team would be a legitimate option in Week 17.
As I suggested in last week’s article, saving the Ravens for this week would be the best strategy and they are my favorite choice this week. New England and Kansas City are also good options if you have them available but you also want to make sure that you have a good choice in Week 17.
Given the three factors that we discussed, here is how I would rank the options this week:
In cases where two teams were close in percentage, I would look to Week 17 and see who was the better option then. You should do the same exercise when you pick your team for Week 16. Only two weeks left to survive, but plenty of big favorites this week should mean you still have plenty of options left. Choose wisely and I’ll see you back for Week 17.