Was Taking the Dolphins in Survivor a Dumb Decision?

Cleveland Browns kicker Cody Parkey (3) aims for a field goal as Cleveland Browns punter Britton Colquitt (4) holds the ball during the first half an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Here are some facts:

The Dolphins beat the Browns yesterday 30-24.
The Browns missed three field goals yesterday.
If you took the Dolphins in survivor yesterday, you survived.

Here is an opinion:

If you took the Dolphins in survivor yesterday, you are a lucky ass who deserved to lose.

That is not an opinion of my own, but one that was rampant after the game ended in overtime yesterday.  Let’s break down the decision to take Miami and discuss both sides of the issue.

First things first; the result of yesterday’s game shouldn’t affect your analysis of the pick.  If the Dolphins had won by 30 points and you weren’t willing to say it was a dumb decision, then you are only basing your opinion after the fact.  At the time someone selected Miami in survivor, they didn’t have that information so it’s unfair to include it in whether or not the decision was a good one.

Here is the argument for NOT taking Miami yesterday.  That so many people were going to be on the Dolphins, that if they lost and you didn’t take them you would gain a lot of ground in your pool.  Now, in my pool I don’t have access to the ownership numbers until after the games are over, but I also expected Miami to be the most popular choice in Week 3.  Here is the breakdown of the most popular week 3 picks from ESPN:

Dolphins 33%
Cardinals 12%
Cowboys 12%
Packers 8%
Seahawks 7%
Steelers 4%
Giants 4%
Panthers 3%
Buccaneers 3%

The teams in bold are teams that lost yesterday.

The idea in fading Miami is basic game theory.  If the Browns pull the upset, one third (or more depending on your pool) of your opponents are eliminated in one game.  As it turns out, nearly a third of entries were knocked out thanks to upsets by the Bills, Eagles, and Redskins among others.

Here is the reason that I decided to take the Dolphins anyway.  My second choice was the Packers at home and I did not want to waste such a good team in Week 3.  I believe I will have an advantage later in the season when I have more options since I don’t project the Dolphins to be a +EV play in any other game.  Perhaps in another universe, Cody Parkey nails the kick at the end of regulation and the survivor pool ends for me yesterday.  As it turns out, the Browns are still the Browns, and those of us that pivoted to the Dolphins live to see another week.

If you still want to argue about this, hit me up on twitter @Bet_Labs and assuming you aren’t an egg avatar calling me a dumbass, I’ll be glad to engage in some friendly debate.


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