Just like Alex Smith, I was knocked the f*** out last week.  I didn’t like the survivor picks heading into Week 8 and I certainly didn’t like them after the dust had settled.  My entry was lost this week but I’ll continue to analyze all the choices for those of you that are still alive.  Hopefully, this will still be a useful tool for you to advance in your pool.  Here’s this week’s grid:


The two highest teams projected to win are the Cowboys and Chiefs according to the model.  It’s important to note that no adjustment was made to the Chiefs for injuries and they are expected to be without Alex Smith and Spencer Ware on Sunday.

As far as the current betting market, here are the largest favorites for this week:

Chiefs -7.5 (-105)

Cowboys -7.5 (+104)

Packers -7.5 (+116)

Seahawks -7


Another thing that is important to analyze is what other people are taking.  Using ESPN’s eliminator challenge shows us the following picks for this week thus far:

Cowboys 44%

Chiefs 19%

Saints 8%

I get that the 49ers aren’t any good, but taking the Saints on the road seems like a really bad choice given all of the other options.  The important thing to note is that a large majority of picks are going to be on the Cowboys (or more accurately, against the Browns).  Going forward, it’s likely that the majority of picks are going to keep fading Cleveland.  I think it’s in your best interest to avoid following this strategy.

If I had all teams available to play, my order of picks this week would be:






The Chiefs are one of the top picks according to both the model and the betting market and they don’t have the popularity of the Cowboys this week.  I think the Packers and Seahawks are both good contrarian plays that are both good plays according to the market.  The Vikings are a good play according to the model and again will be a contrarian play.  I would only play the Cowboys this week if you have already used the other four teams.  The goal is to win the entire pool, not split it with a bunch of other people at the end.  You would much rather the Browns notch their first win and knockout nearly half of your pool than be on the same side and advance together.

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