Week 6 NFL Survivor Strategy: Time To Roll The Dice

posted in NFL, NFL Survivor Pools

Welcome to the Week 6 installment of our NFL Survivor contest advice column. We apply a data-driven strategy to get an edge in Survivor pools, using analysis based on NFL predictions from our algorithmic Team Rankings models, public picking trends, future team schedules, and other data. This article presents our PRELIMINARY Survivor pick of the week; we publish our final, official pick on Fridays.

The good news: 20% of Survivor entries were knocked out of the Yahoo! public pool last week.

The better news: Our official pick, the San Francisco 49ers, crushed the Buffalo Bills, 45-3.

Our top line picks are still going strong, and we saw another fifth of the pool got eliminated. That leaves 19 thousand remaining on Yahoo!, after starting with 330 thousand. Not too shabby!

The bad news: Our top alternate pick, the Green Bay Packers, fell victim to a stunning second half comeback by the Indianapolis Colts.

The word “stunning” gets overused, but I do think it’s appropriate here. I turned away from the game at halftime with the Packers up 21-3, and I didn’t give it a second thought until I saw the final score and did a double take.

Does this mean you should be wary of moderate road favorites? Is a 6.5-point road fave less safe than a 6.5-point home fave, and should we pay more attention to that going forward? It’s a good question, and it was posed by reader TheTinDoor in last week’s comment section. However, the data seems to show that in that spread range, there’s no difference between home and road faves.

The worse news: this looks like it could be a killer Survivor week. There is only one team favored by at east a TD, and over half the public is picking them. That means there are basically no attractive choices, and we’re going to be forced to either make a risky pick, or a popular one. And neither of those makes us happy. GULP!

Week 6 NFL Survivor Decision Factors

This is the heart of our column, the table showing the factors that influence our weekly Survivor pick decision. For every team, here are the three questions we ask ourselves (and the data in our table that helps us answer them):

1. How likely are they to win? (consensus sportsbook Spread at -110 payout odds, Pinnacle Money Line, and TR Odds from our NFL win picks page)

2. How popular is this team? (Average public Pick % from sites like Yahoo! and OfficeFootballPool)

3. Should I save this team for later? (Future Value: the estimated number of future games where the team is expected to have win odds of 75%+, based on averaging projections from our NFL Survivor Tool [which uses data from only this season] and our NFL Season Projections [which incorporates our preseason team projections]. Near Value: a modified version of Future Value that places more emphasis on near term value and is more relevant to players in very small pools.)

Teams are listed in order of how attractive we think they are as a choice this week. They’re also separated into rough tiers. If two teams are in the same tier, you may want to choose among them based on which pros and cons are more important to your particular situation.

TeamOpponentSpreadMoney LineTR OddsPick %Future ValNear Val
Tier 1: Top Options
San Franciscovs NY Giants-5.0-224 / +20071%0.9%3.02.9
Arizonavs Buffalo-4.5-215 / +19363%7.3%0.50.2
Tampa Bayvs Kansas City-4.0-177 / +15965%3.0%0.00.0
NY Jetsvs Indianapolis-3.5-182 / +16463%0.9%0.00.0
Philadelphiavs Detroit-3.5-210 / +18865%3.4%1.50.9
Tier 2: Worth A Look
Pittsburghat Tennessee-6.0-245 / +21869%20.4%1.51.3
Baltimorevs Dallas-3.5-190 / +17162%2.2%1.00.8
Miamivs St Louis-3.5-180 / +16266%1.3%2.51.3
Minnesotaat Washington------- / ----64%0.6%1.01.2
AVOID
Atlantavs Oakland-9.0-390 / +33874%55.0%3.02.4
Houstonvs Green Bay-3.5-190 / +17162%0.4%5.04.2
New Englandat Seattle-3.5-175 / +15863%2.3%6.05.2
Cincinnatiat Cleveland-1.0-111 / +10149%1.2%0.50.4
San Diegovs Denver-2.0-120 / +10946%0.2%2.52.0

Teams We Already Picked (Final Picks): Houston Texans (WIN), Cincinnati Bengals (WIN), Dallas Cowboys (WIN), Green Bay Packers (WIN), San Francisco 49ers (WIN)

Teams We Already Picked (Wednesday Picks): Houston Texans (WIN), New York Giants (WIN), Chicago Bears (WIN), Green Bay Packers (WIN), San Francisco 49ers (WIN)

Weighing the Options

Atlanta Falcons (vs. Oakland Raiders)

Let’s just get this one out of the way up front. We’ve gotten a few comments already along the lines of “Yeah, they are super popular, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and take the popular lock, and move on to next week.” We’re guessing they weren’t paying attention in Week 2 this season, when New England lost at home (and knocked out 50% of contestants) as a roughly 2-touchdown favorite to Arizona. Or Week 5 last season, when the New York Giants lost at home (and knocked out 70% of contestants) as a -9.5 point favorite. Both times we suggested avoiding the popular pick, and this is a similar situation. Over half your pool may be on Atlanta, and they’ve got a 20% to 25% chance to get upset this week. That’s awesome! STAY AWAY from Atlanta, and hope the upset happens! Yes, you’ll be sacrificing some security, but look at it this way — you’re trading a roughly 10% higher chance to get knocked out for a greater than 20% chance to more than double your expected average pool win rate. The math is slightly in your favor there, and that’s before we’ve gotten to future value … which the Falcons have a decent amount of.

San Francisco 49ers (vs. New York Giants)

We just used the 49ers last week, so they’re not an option for us. But our models are high on them this week, less than 1% of the public is picking them, and there are not many great options. In small pools where future value is less important, we think the 49ers are the best pick. In large pools, it may be wise to save them for later. They are certainly in the top tier, though, as they are the second or third safest team this week.

Arizona Cardinals (vs. Buffalo Bills)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. Kansas City Chiefs)
New York Jets (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Detroit Lions)

Let’s discuss all four of these teams together, as they are essentially in a four way tie for the best pick in large pools. With spreads ranging from -3.5 to -4.5, money lines ranging from -177 to -215, and TR Odds ranging from 63% to 65%, they are part of a big clump of teams that are a solid notch behind Atlanta (and a smaller step behind Pittsburgh) in terms of safety. Also in this safety range are the Ravens, Dolphins, Texans, and Patriots.

So why are Arizona, Tampa Bay, New York, and Philly good options, but Baltimore, Miami, Houston, and New England aren’t? Well, Houston and New England have far too much future value to use them when there are so many similar options. Miami also has a bit more future value than any of the top-tier four. And then we can dismiss Baltimore — the Ravens are out on the basis of a head-to-head comparison with the Eagles, who have have a higher money line and TR Odds with equivalent future value.

Among this top tier, the Eagles appear to be the safest, and the Jets the riskiest, but we’re talking only a couple percentage points of difference. It’s really splitting hairs between the four, but we feel that Arizona provides the best mix of safety and minimal future value. Close behind is Tampa Bay, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the lines for this game, as Matt Cassel’s injury could cause some uncertainty there. If the line moves towards Tampa Bay, there’s a good chance they’ll be our final pick on Friday, but as of right now we’ve got them a hair behind.

The Jets are behind Tampa Bay mostly because our models are a bit down on them this week. Subjectively, that makes sense to us — Indianapolis seems friskier than a Chiefs team who may be starting their backup QB. Finally, the Eagles round out the top four. They are a bit safer than the Jets or Bucs, but have more future value.

Pittsburgh Steelers (at Tennessee Titans)

The Steelers are in the second tier in terms of safety, a bit back of Atlanta. However, they are the second most popular team (20%), so if you want to take a safer, non-Falcons team, we’d recommend San Francisco if you have them available. If not, “downgrading” to Arizona or Philadelphia is worth it, since you give up less future value and get to choose a less popular team.

Baltimore Ravens (vs. Dallas Cowboys)

See the big group discussion above. They are a bit riskier than the Eagles, with similar public pick rates and future value, so we’d prefer the Eagles to the Ravens.

Miami Dolphins (vs. St. Louis Rams)

The Dolphins are similar the group of four discussed above, except they have more future value, so we’d save them in case they are needed in Week 10 (vs TEN) or Week 15 (vs JAX).

Minnesota Vikings (at Washington Redskins)

Given that RG3’s status is up in the air, and there are no lines for this game, we’re going to stay away. But it’s worth paying attention as the week goes on, to see if we get some more clarity.

The rest of the teams have spreads and money lines low enough that we can dismiss them without a second thought.

Preliminary Week 6 NFL Survivor Pick: Arizona Cardinals Over Buffalo Bills

Hey, another team facing the Bills! I sense a pattern…

This is a crazy week, and I’m sure a lot of you will be very hesitant to lay off of Atlanta, given their large win odds advantage. That’s understandable. However, the math is pretty clear on this one. Let’s lay it out for Atlanta versus Arizona, like we did for San Francisco versus Green Bay last week. Last week the math said to go with the safe team. This week it says to take a risk:

We’ll average the Vegas and TR win odds estimates, and use 76% for Atlanta, and 65% for Arizona. The public pick rates are 55% for Atlanta and 7% for Arizona.

  • 49% of the time, both win, so it doesn’t matter who we picked.
  • 27% of the time, ATL wins while ARI loses. This eliminates 7% of the pool, which boosts our win odds by a factor of about 1/(1-0.07) = 1.08. That 1.08 factor multiplied by a 27% chance equals 0.29.
  • 16% of the time, ARI wins while ATL loses. This eliminates 55% of the pool, which boosts our win odds by a factor of about 1/(1-0.55) = 2.22. That 2.22 factor multiplied by a 16% chance equals 0.35.
  • 8% of the time, both lose, so it doesn’t matter who we picked.

As we said last week, that 0.29 versus 0.35 comparison is what matters here. What do those numbers mean? Well, they aren’t really on the correct scale, because we haven’t taken other games and outcomes into account, but they are essentially unitless estimates of the expected value of each pick. Arizona comes out ahead, and this is before you take into account future value (which the Falcons have more of).

The math works out similarly for any of the teams in our top tier, compared to Atlanta. Despite being riskier, they increase the expected average value of your Survivor entry.

Which to pick out of those four is an extremely close choice. Honestly, you might as well draw straws. They all have a decent chance of losing this weekend, they all have relatively little future value (well, Philly is probably a step behind here), and they all are relatively unpopular. We’ll go with the team that Vegas currently thinks is most likely to win — the Arizona Cardinals.

But remember, every situation is different, and this week it’s looking like the best pick could vary significantly from pool to pool. If Arizona’s pick rate in your pool is up at 10%, and the rest are similar Tampa Bay is probably a better choice. Any team with significantly higher pick rates probably drops down to the lower tier.

Recap Of “End Game” Strategy

Most you are probably in pools with only a few people left. It’s important to remember that in small pools, the correct strategy can change considerably. Here’s a refresher on the three points we made last week about Survivor end-game tactics:

  • It’s less likely that your opponents’ picks will closely mimic the national public picking averages.
  • Future value means less.
  • Resist the urge to play overly conservative just because you’re close to winning.

For an expanded discussion on these points, see the Week 4 NFL Survivor post.

As always, feel free to ask questions about your specific situation in the comments section. However, please note that a lot can change between now and Friday, when we publish our finalized pick. So if your picks aren’t due until the weekend, you may want to hold off on asking for advice until Friday.

  • John

    Thanks for your help, we have 4 entries in a pool with about 140 left out of 1,000. Toying with 2 on AZ and 2 on Atlanta. Thoughts?

  • John

    Thanks for your help, we have 4 entries in a pool with about 140 left out of 1,000. Toying with 2 on AZ and 2 on Atlanta. Thoughts?

  • Robert Berkey

    I’m assuming that in a 2 man race at this point where I have PIT available and my opponent does not PIT would be the pick to make. Last week he avoided taking the favorite NYG and took SF as I did so I would almost expect him to one of the moderate risk teams.

  • Robert Berkey

    I’m assuming that in a 2 man race at this point where I have PIT available and my opponent does not PIT would be the pick to make. Last week he avoided taking the favorite NYG and took SF as I did so I would almost expect him to one of the moderate risk teams.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Oh, in a 2-man race you should just be taking the team that maximizes your near-term win odds. That would be Atlanta. … Unless you guys have already used them.

    Basically, you increase your expected value in a head-to-head situation whenever you are on a team with higher win odds than your opponent. So just take the safe team, unless it totally screws up the next few weeks (which it doesn’t).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Oh, in a 2-man race you should just be taking the team that maximizes your near-term win odds. That would be Atlanta. … Unless you guys have already used them.

    Basically, you increase your expected value in a head-to-head situation whenever you are on a team with higher win odds than your opponent. So just take the safe team, unless it totally screws up the next few weeks (which it doesn’t).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think with multiple entries, it may be OK to hedge with Atlanta. That way you have a couple entries that benefit if they lose, and a couple that benefit if they win. … Though even then, do you really want to burn Atlanta? Seems like they have decent future value. I might go Pittsburgh instead.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think with multiple entries, it may be OK to hedge with Atlanta. That way you have a couple entries that benefit if they lose, and a couple that benefit if they win. … Though even then, do you really want to burn Atlanta? Seems like they have decent future value. I might go Pittsburgh instead.

  • Robert Berkey

    Yea neither of us have taken ATL yet, I’ll make that my official pick even though we both might be taking them at this point.

  • Robert Berkey

    Yea neither of us have taken ATL yet, I’ll make that my official pick even though we both might be taking them at this point.

  • David Schultz

    What about a pool with three people left? We’ve all used San Fran, and one person (not me) has used Philly, but we all have the other top choices available. Should I take Atlanta, since my pool is so small at this point?

  • David Schultz

    What about a pool with three people left? We’ve all used San Fran, and one person (not me) has used Philly, but we all have the other top choices available. Should I take Atlanta, since my pool is so small at this point?

  • Tommy (NY)

    I wayas waiting for your post all day, and I am still confused as to what I should do. I am an a pool once again that started with 5000 and is down to 630. I had 13 teams to start and lost my first two last week on Green Bay. (tough loss but I will take the loss with 120 people knocked out). Anyway, on a week like this where there are not as many great choices that jump out, how would you play my 11 picks? Are the Falcons and Steelers in play with this many picks or should I still avoid. You have been on the money all season and for the most part I have been listening, so any advise on my situation would be appreciated.

  • Tommy (NY)

    I wayas waiting for your post all day, and I am still confused as to what I should do. I am an a pool once again that started with 5000 and is down to 630. I had 13 teams to start and lost my first two last week on Green Bay. (tough loss but I will take the loss with 120 people knocked out). Anyway, on a week like this where there are not as many great choices that jump out, how would you play my 11 picks? Are the Falcons and Steelers in play with this many picks or should I still avoid. You have been on the money all season and for the most part I have been listening, so any advise on my situation would be appreciated.

  • Dennis Renno

    Hey David – 1st off, thanks for the great help…so for this week, we have six entries left in a pool that has over 1400 entries left. Assuming we are going to use 3 of those entries on the Cardinals and assuming we are not going to use the Falcons as they fall into the “avoid” category, can you rank the next teams you would use 1-5 for me (that way I can eliminate the teams we have already used on those entries)? Thanks so much!

  • Dennis Renno

    Hey David – 1st off, thanks for the great help…so for this week, we have six entries left in a pool that has over 1400 entries left. Assuming we are going to use 3 of those entries on the Cardinals and assuming we are not going to use the Falcons as they fall into the “avoid” category, can you rank the next teams you would use 1-5 for me (that way I can eliminate the teams we have already used on those entries)? Thanks so much!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.santinello.3 Tony Santinello

    East coast teams playing on the west coast (and vice versa) usually have trouble in those games; making the AZ pick like a good choice. But BUF flew to AZ after the SF game; spending the week in AZ. Does that play in as a factor?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tony.santinello.3 Tony Santinello

    East coast teams playing on the west coast (and vice versa) usually have trouble in those games; making the AZ pick like a good choice. But BUF flew to AZ after the SF game; spending the week in AZ. Does that play in as a factor?

  • Greg Saiki

    I don’t get why we aren’t picking Pittsburgh here. Looking at the survivor predictor tool it looks like there aren’t many good weeks to use them in the future. Yeah they have future value but look at the weeks they have good value and there are still better options to pick from. Just having trouble going with a risky pick like Arizona or Tampa Bay…

  • Greg Saiki

    I don’t get why we aren’t picking Pittsburgh here. Looking at the survivor predictor tool it looks like there aren’t many good weeks to use them in the future. Yeah they have future value but look at the weeks they have good value and there are still better options to pick from. Just having trouble going with a risky pick like Arizona or Tampa Bay…

  • Sunny

    8 left in my pool, and starting last week the picks are being emailed, not published until right before kickoffs, so I can’t judge what others will use, except for knowing who they have used. I understand laying off Atlanta, but I’m really struggling to NOT pick Pitt and go with any of the other 4/AZ. Maybe AZ, but again, I feel like if I go with them, I’m really sacrificing alot in safety. hmmmmm

  • Sunny

    8 left in my pool, and starting last week the picks are being emailed, not published until right before kickoffs, so I can’t judge what others will use, except for knowing who they have used. I understand laying off Atlanta, but I’m really struggling to NOT pick Pitt and go with any of the other 4/AZ. Maybe AZ, but again, I feel like if I go with them, I’m really sacrificing alot in safety. hmmmmm

  • Sunny

    Yep, I was typing the same thing (pretty much) at the same time. Struggling with not picking Pitt, too…

  • Anonymous

    All accounted for in the spread already.

  • Anonymous

    All accounted for in the spread already.

  • Shish

    Little different but hope you can help. In a Loser’s Pool with just 3 of the 55 remaining. I’ve used Bills already. I’m assuming I should go ahead with Oakland?

    Also only 12 left in the Survivor pool I am in. I will use your advice of not using ATL on that one.

  • Shish

    Little different but hope you can help. In a Loser’s Pool with just 3 of the 55 remaining. I’ve used Bills already. I’m assuming I should go ahead with Oakland?

    Also only 12 left in the Survivor pool I am in. I will use your advice of not using ATL on that one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Anyone know on average how many people aleady picked Atlanta? In our pool it is ~10% and I’m wondering how that could impact their pick percentage this week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Anyone know on average how many people aleady picked Atlanta? In our pool it is ~10% and I’m wondering how that could impact their pick percentage this week.

  • Garrett

    Im 1 of 4 left and 2 have already used Atlanta. Since my pool is only down to 4, Im thinking I should take ATL considering only one other person could pick them..

  • Garrett

    Im 1 of 4 left and 2 have already used Atlanta. Since my pool is only down to 4, Im thinking I should take ATL considering only one other person could pick them..

  • Rob RodenParker

    OK, last week my second entry got knocked out with Green Bay. We’re down to 25 entries and I have only one entry. I’ve used HOU, CIN, CHI, GB, SF. I was pretty much settled on TB, but now I’ve got Arizona to think about. Only 2 people have taken Atlanta. I’m guessing if the TB line gets better for TB, then that’s the team, right?

  • Rob RodenParker

    OK, last week my second entry got knocked out with Green Bay. We’re down to 25 entries and I have only one entry. I’ve used HOU, CIN, CHI, GB, SF. I was pretty much settled on TB, but now I’ve got Arizona to think about. Only 2 people have taken Atlanta. I’m guessing if the TB line gets better for TB, then that’s the team, right?

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.hayward.355 Scott Hayward

    Down to two in a small pool. ALready secured winning when the final 3 pulled out 4x the buy-in and continued with the balance for grdudge match trash talk. I’ve taken the recommended picks after you guys went 17 for 17 last year, and he’s taken,DET-CIN-CHI-BAL-NYG in order. I played the current percentages out through the end of the season and feel ok about eac week as it stands now, but should i play it safe with Falcons, or continue to follow the advice here and go Arizona? My gut says atlanta and try to win another week.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.hayward.355 Scott Hayward

    Down to two in a small pool. ALready secured winning when the final 3 pulled out 4x the buy-in and continued with the balance for grdudge match trash talk. I’ve taken the recommended picks after you guys went 17 for 17 last year, and he’s taken,DET-CIN-CHI-BAL-NYG in order. I played the current percentages out through the end of the season and feel ok about eac week as it stands now, but should i play it safe with Falcons, or continue to follow the advice here and go Arizona? My gut says atlanta and try to win another week.

  • AL

    David: In your TR rankings, you provide an overall ranking,
    then rankings by similar games, decision tree, and power rating. Have you ever
    done an analysis as to which of the 4 rankings provide a “better”
    co-relation on who would win?

  • AL

    David: In your TR rankings, you provide an overall ranking,
    then rankings by similar games, decision tree, and power rating. Have you ever
    done an analysis as to which of the 4 rankings provide a “better”
    co-relation on who would win?

  • Dave

    I’m thinking the exact same as you guys.
    After seeing Arizona’s O-line get destroyed by the Rams, I have a hard time picking them at all.
    And Tampa Bay is all over the map too. Who knows what the Chiefs backup will do, he might be better than Cassel.
    The Jets looked awful against the 49ers and okay vs the Texans. While the Colts upset the Packers, and are also playing inspired football with their coach in the hospital.
    I might trust the Eagles more than anyone of those 4 tier 1 selections, but again who knows what Detroit will do.
    Likely I’m going with Pittsburgh, I trust them to win over the lowly Titans – the Titans looked like they had never touched a football in their lives last week.

  • Dave

    I’m thinking the exact same as you guys.
    After seeing Arizona’s O-line get destroyed by the Rams, I have a hard time picking them at all.
    And Tampa Bay is all over the map too. Who knows what the Chiefs backup will do, he might be better than Cassel.
    The Jets looked awful against the 49ers and okay vs the Texans. While the Colts upset the Packers, and are also playing inspired football with their coach in the hospital.
    I might trust the Eagles more than anyone of those 4 tier 1 selections, but again who knows what Detroit will do.
    Likely I’m going with Pittsburgh, I trust them to win over the lowly Titans – the Titans looked like they had never touched a football in their lives last week.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, that is the right move. If he takes them, and you don’t, he gains an advantage.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, that is the right move. If he takes them, and you don’t, he gains an advantage.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hey everybody … since I posted this, Tampa Bay’s line & odds have gotten better, while Arizona’s had stayed the same. At this point, Tampa Bay looks like the best pick. Of course, I’ll update on Friday as usual.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hey everybody … since I posted this, Tampa Bay’s line & odds have gotten better, while Arizona’s had stayed the same. At this point, Tampa Bay looks like the best pick. Of course, I’ll update on Friday as usual.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I think so.

    I’d assume at least one of your opponent takes ATL. If the other one does also, then you choosing ATL means you’re all safe. But if the other guy chooses PIT, your best choice is ATL. If the other guy chooses some weaker team, your best choice is a tie between ATL & TB. You could get lucky and have a huge advantage if you choose PIT and the other two choose ATL, but if one of them opts for a different team, then ATL would be the right choice for you.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I think so.

    I’d assume at least one of your opponent takes ATL. If the other one does also, then you choosing ATL means you’re all safe. But if the other guy chooses PIT, your best choice is ATL. If the other guy chooses some weaker team, your best choice is a tie between ATL & TB. You could get lucky and have a huge advantage if you choose PIT and the other two choose ATL, but if one of them opts for a different team, then ATL would be the right choice for you.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think with a ton of entries, I would put a few on Atlanta to hedge my bets. Then, given the line changes, I’d put a few on TB. Actually, I think splitting between the safe pick and the risky pick seems OK. In the event ATL wins and TB loses, you will definitely take a hit, but you’ll still have a decent amount left. If TB wins and ATL loses, you are in fantastic position.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think with a ton of entries, I would put a few on Atlanta to hedge my bets. Then, given the line changes, I’d put a few on TB. Actually, I think splitting between the safe pick and the risky pick seems OK. In the event ATL wins and TB loses, you will definitely take a hit, but you’ll still have a decent amount left. If TB wins and ATL loses, you are in fantastic position.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, I think with multiple entries the Falcons make a lot more sense, as part of the point is to hedge your bets,so taking one “safe” team seems reasonable. That said (and taking into account recent line changes), my top now for MULTIPLE ENTRIES are probably:

    “Risky” entry:
    TB, ARI, NYJ

    “Safe” entry:
    SF, PIT, ATL

    Combined:
    SF, TB, ARI, PIT, NYJ, ATL

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, I think with multiple entries the Falcons make a lot more sense, as part of the point is to hedge your bets,so taking one “safe” team seems reasonable. That said (and taking into account recent line changes), my top now for MULTIPLE ENTRIES are probably:

    “Risky” entry:
    TB, ARI, NYJ

    “Safe” entry:
    SF, PIT, ATL

    Combined:
    SF, TB, ARI, PIT, NYJ, ATL

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I’m going to assume Vegas and the bettors took this into account.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I’m going to assume Vegas and the bettors took this into account.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, the Survivor predictor page only takes into account this season. It’s down on PIT a little, compared to our Projections page, which takes into account PIT’s higher preseason rating. But even if you assume 0 future value for PIT, given the recent line changesm I’d rank teams SF, TB, PIT, ARI, NYJ.

    And, just because there are better options doesn’t mean they’ll still be better in the future, not will we necessarily have those teams available. So you have to look at more than whether they are the top pick. Still, my future value metric is definitely crude.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, the Survivor predictor page only takes into account this season. It’s down on PIT a little, compared to our Projections page, which takes into account PIT’s higher preseason rating. But even if you assume 0 future value for PIT, given the recent line changesm I’d rank teams SF, TB, PIT, ARI, NYJ.

    And, just because there are better options doesn’t mean they’ll still be better in the future, not will we necessarily have those teams available. So you have to look at more than whether they are the top pick. Still, my future value metric is definitely crude.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Umm … sorry you are struggling? PIT is more popular, with less future value, which I think counteracts the increased win odds.

    I’m not picking the safe teams here, I’m picking the teams that the math says increase your average expected value. In large pools, that means winning less often, but splitting the winnings fewer ways when you do. Which is why high public pick% is so important.
    PS At this point, given line changes, I’d lean TB rather than AZ.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Umm … sorry you are struggling? PIT is more popular, with less future value, which I think counteracts the increased win odds.

    I’m not picking the safe teams here, I’m picking the teams that the math says increase your average expected value. In large pools, that means winning less often, but splitting the winnings fewer ways when you do. Which is why high public pick% is so important.
    PS At this point, given line changes, I’d lean TB rather than AZ.

  • offshore rocks

    My entry has already used ATL/S.D./CHI/BAL/S.F. Pool of 280+ is now down to 25, only lost two this past week. I was looking @ ARI, NE, PIT & CIN this week. Browns and the Bills seem to be train wrecks right now. Browns head coach Schumer is chewing out newspaper and radio reporters out for criticizing him and his team! Bills head coach is publicly doubting his teams lack of toughness and desire. I wish the Bills had traveled back to Buffalo this week, but they are training in Arizona instead. With NE, PIT & Cin on the road, ARI looks to be the logical choice. Thanks for your help.

  • offshore rocks

    My entry has already used ATL/S.D./CHI/BAL/S.F. Pool of 280+ is now down to 25, only lost two this past week. I was looking @ ARI, NE, PIT & CIN this week. Browns and the Bills seem to be train wrecks right now. Browns head coach Schumer is chewing out newspaper and radio reporters out for criticizing him and his team! Bills head coach is publicly doubting his teams lack of toughness and desire. I wish the Bills had traveled back to Buffalo this week, but they are training in Arizona instead. With NE, PIT & Cin on the road, ARI looks to be the logical choice. Thanks for your help.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, interesting. I don’t have a spreadsheet set up for losers, but I would think that the pick % would differ by a ton… NYG may be an interesting pick, as they shouldn’t be this big of underdogs again. If you can figure out what the pick% will be, I might go with the least popular of NYG, OAK, TEN.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, interesting. I don’t have a spreadsheet set up for losers, but I would think that the pick % would differ by a ton… NYG may be an interesting pick, as they shouldn’t be this big of underdogs again. If you can figure out what the pick% will be, I might go with the least popular of NYG, OAK, TEN.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Tough to figure exactly, but looks like Yahoo is around 15%. So probably not a huge difference in your pool.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, in your case, their pick% should be lower. I think ATL is OK. The main alternative would be SF. If you think there is a good chance nobody will pick SF, and you have them left, I’d take SF. Otherwise, ATL is fine.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, in your case, their pick% should be lower. I think ATL is OK. The main alternative would be SF. If you think there is a good chance nobody will pick SF, and you have them left, I’d take SF. Otherwise, ATL is fine.

  • Shish

    Interesting. I’ve used TEN already so it would be between NYG and OAK. No clue of knowing who the other 2 are taking. On top of all that, my pick is due tonight.

  • Shish

    Interesting. I’ve used TEN already so it would be between NYG and OAK. No clue of knowing who the other 2 are taking. On top of all that, my pick is due tonight.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, the line has moved since I posted this. I think TB is probably the choice now. I agree with you.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If you are head-to-head at this point, then the strategy changes entirely. At that point, just take the safest pick that doesn’t completely screw up the next few weeks. That would be Atlanta this week.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If you are head-to-head at this point, then the strategy changes entirely. At that point, just take the safest pick that doesn’t completely screw up the next few weeks. That would be Atlanta this week.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yes, the TR Pick is based on such an evaluation. Every year we re-examine past data and figure out what the optimal combination of the individual models is.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yes, the TR Pick is based on such an evaluation. Every year we re-examine past data and figure out what the optimal combination of the individual models is.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    So what I’m saying is, I would ignore the individual models, as we already took them into account to come up with the TR Pick. We just show the models because our old regulars like to see them.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    So what I’m saying is, I would ignore the individual models, as we already took them into account to come up with the TR Pick. We just show the models because our old regulars like to see them.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    You’re welcome.

    I would not put much stock into coach-speak at press confernces when making my picks, but that’s just me.

    Given the line changes, I might take TB over ARI, but tough to really argue with ARI at this point.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    You’re welcome.

    I would not put much stock into coach-speak at press confernces when making my picks, but that’s just me.

    Given the line changes, I might take TB over ARI, but tough to really argue with ARI at this point.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Oh, I forgot you said 3 left. In that case, I’d take OAK, as one of them trying to play it cute could mean you are the only guy on the favored loser of the week.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Oh, I forgot you said 3 left. In that case, I’d take OAK, as one of them trying to play it cute could mean you are the only guy on the favored loser of the week.

  • Sunny

    LOL (re your first sentence.) I totally get your math/philosophy. Maybe it’s just something innate in me, but this is the first week of the 6 that I question the choice. I understand everything you say, but I just don’t think I can pull the TB or AZ trigger over picking Pitt. I have about 24 hours to decide. 😉 (thx.)

  • Sunny

    LOL (re your first sentence.) I totally get your math/philosophy. Maybe it’s just something innate in me, but this is the first week of the 6 that I question the choice. I understand everything you say, but I just don’t think I can pull the TB or AZ trigger over picking Pitt. I have about 24 hours to decide. 😉 (thx.)

  • StevenB

    I’ve been following you all season, but I pick on Thursday, so I’ve been going with your “early” picks, mostly. I’m in two pools. Pool1 (700 entries, down to 55): I’ve used HOU, NYG, CHI, GB, and SF. Pool2 (1000 entries, down to 140): I’ve used HOU, PIT, DAL, GB, and SF. Do I want to split and go ARI and TB? I think my pools will be about 60% on ATL, and 5% on ARI and TB.

  • StevenB

    I’ve been following you all season, but I pick on Thursday, so I’ve been going with your “early” picks, mostly. I’m in two pools. Pool1 (700 entries, down to 55): I’ve used HOU, NYG, CHI, GB, and SF. Pool2 (1000 entries, down to 140): I’ve used HOU, PIT, DAL, GB, and SF. Do I want to split and go ARI and TB? I think my pools will be about 60% on ATL, and 5% on ARI and TB.

  • John

    Thanks, how about 1 of 19 left. Small enough to justify Atlanta?

  • John

    Thanks, how about 1 of 19 left. Small enough to justify Atlanta?

  • Mark Hulett

    Great blog. I stumbled upon your site after week 4 – and at that point had taken – Det, Cin, Dal, GB, and then based on your advice went with SF (the “safe” pick). We are down to 9 (started at 85) and as of writing we have 2 Atl, 1 Pitt, and 1 TB – based on your recent replies I gather you are leaning towards TB – but if no one takes Ari, should i go with them – or take TB?

  • Mark Hulett

    Great blog. I stumbled upon your site after week 4 – and at that point had taken – Det, Cin, Dal, GB, and then based on your advice went with SF (the “safe” pick). We are down to 9 (started at 85) and as of writing we have 2 Atl, 1 Pitt, and 1 TB – based on your recent replies I gather you are leaning towards TB – but if no one takes Ari, should i go with them – or take TB?

  • Chris

    My pool is down to 10 people. It was 11 at the start of last week, but one of them was on GB.
    Of those 11, six took SF and only 2 took NYG.
    This shows to me that my pool does NOT like picking the popular pick. Although 6 of 11 took BAL in Week 4.

    I’d happily to take Ari but I think given my pool a number of others will be on Ari or non-Atl teams which I think really makes picking Atl the best pick.

    The funny thing is that everyone in my pool is game theorist, strategist, poker players so they are probably all thinking on this level. Just need to figure out what level they’re on.

    Right now I’m leaning towards sticking with Atl…

  • Chris

    My pool is down to 10 people. It was 11 at the start of last week, but one of them was on GB.
    Of those 11, six took SF and only 2 took NYG.
    This shows to me that my pool does NOT like picking the popular pick. Although 6 of 11 took BAL in Week 4.

    I’d happily to take Ari but I think given my pool a number of others will be on Ari or non-Atl teams which I think really makes picking Atl the best pick.

    The funny thing is that everyone in my pool is game theorist, strategist, poker players so they are probably all thinking on this level. Just need to figure out what level they’re on.

    Right now I’m leaning towards sticking with Atl…

  • Chris

    In addition, 1 in the 10 has used Atl, and 2 of them have used Ari. But as I said before I think information will factor into the others’ decisions and that may make them more likely to pick Ari since they’ll realize 2 of the 10 can’t pick them…and others likely won’t.

  • Chris

    In addition, 1 in the 10 has used Atl, and 2 of them have used Ari. But as I said before I think information will factor into the others’ decisions and that may make them more likely to pick Ari since they’ll realize 2 of the 10 can’t pick them…and others likely won’t.

  • Brian

    Any tips on predicting how opponents will pick other than the Yahoo percentages as a whole and who opponents have/have not used already?

  • Brian

    Any tips on predicting how opponents will pick other than the Yahoo percentages as a whole and who opponents have/have not used already?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I should have added that I do recommend trusting your gut at least a little bit. Part of the value you gain (in low-dollar pools, at least), is in being happy with yourself for picking the right winners. If you grudgingly follow our advice, you lose that value.

    Plus, PIT is not a terrible pick. Definitely better than ATL, given the public %

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I should have added that I do recommend trusting your gut at least a little bit. Part of the value you gain (in low-dollar pools, at least), is in being happy with yourself for picking the right winners. If you grudgingly follow our advice, you lose that value.

    Plus, PIT is not a terrible pick. Definitely better than ATL, given the public %

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    That seems reasonable. An alternative is TB/PIT if you want something slightly safer, though then you’d have PIT gone in both pools.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    That seems reasonable. An alternative is TB/PIT if you want something slightly safer, though then you’d have PIT gone in both pools.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The pool size has very little to do with using Atlanta. It;s their popularity that is the main negative.

    Given the line changes since I originally posted, I’d go 2 TB/2 PIT in your big pool, and TB in the small. Or, if you want some more variety, throw in ARI or ATL somewhere.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The pool size has very little to do with using Atlanta. It;s their popularity that is the main negative.

    Given the line changes since I originally posted, I’d go 2 TB/2 PIT in your big pool, and TB in the small. Or, if you want some more variety, throw in ARI or ATL somewhere.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yes, if you know more people are on TB than on ARI, then ARI becomes a better pick. Their safety is similar, so a big difference in pick% (and every pick is an 11% difference in a 9-person pool) would be the decider.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yes, if you know more people are on TB than on ARI, then ARI becomes a better pick. Their safety is similar, so a big difference in pick% (and every pick is an 11% difference in a 9-person pool) would be the decider.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    That’s pretty funny. Kind of a complicated situation, but here is a rough guide …

    If you would be the FOURTH person on ATL, it’s better to be the SECOND person on SF or PIT, or the FIRST person on TB/ARI/MIA. If you would be THIRD on SF/PIT or SECOND on TB/ARI/MIA, the math says go with ATL.

    If you would be the THIRD person on ATL, they are almost always the right choice.

    If you would be the FIFTH person on ATL they are almost always the wrong choice.

    Hope that made sense …

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    That’s pretty funny. Kind of a complicated situation, but here is a rough guide …

    If you would be the FOURTH person on ATL, it’s better to be the SECOND person on SF or PIT, or the FIRST person on TB/ARI/MIA. If you would be THIRD on SF/PIT or SECOND on TB/ARI/MIA, the math says go with ATL.

    If you would be the THIRD person on ATL, they are almost always the right choice.

    If you would be the FIFTH person on ATL they are almost always the wrong choice.

    Hope that made sense …

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Nope. Just look back at their history and figure out their reasoning for each pick, then try to apply it to the current week.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Nope. Just look back at their history and figure out their reasoning for each pick, then try to apply it to the current week.

  • Mike

    David,

    The pool I am in started with 10,083 and is now down to 1,427. In weeks 10 through 15 you must pick 2 teams and in weeks 16 and 17 you must pick 3 teams.

    Pick 1 – HOU / CIN / CHI / GB / SF

    Pick 2 – CHI / NYG / DAL / DEN / MIN

    I was thinking either ARI / TB or TB / ARI if you change your pick to TB due to the line change.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again for your help!

    Mike

  • Mike

    David,

    The pool I am in started with 10,083 and is now down to 1,427. In weeks 10 through 15 you must pick 2 teams and in weeks 16 and 17 you must pick 3 teams.

    Pick 1 – HOU / CIN / CHI / GB / SF

    Pick 2 – CHI / NYG / DAL / DEN / MIN

    I was thinking either ARI / TB or TB / ARI if you change your pick to TB due to the line change.

    What do you think?

    Thanks again for your help!

    Mike

  • Paul

    I’v survived on your “Preliminary” picks from 65 to four. Thanks. At this point am I still on Arizona? Need to post a pick by Thursday.

  • Paul

    I’v survived on your “Preliminary” picks from 65 to four. Thanks. At this point am I still on Arizona? Need to post a pick by Thursday.

  • Steve

    Hey David, thanks as always for the great blogs and replies. Reading the comments below, I am starting to gather your analysis above now only applies to pools that are still large as you are recommending that heads-up players pick ATL. I’m not quite there as I still have 5 competitors all of whom have rarely taken the most popular pick (which makes sense considering they are still in it after the bloodbath that was week 2 and 3) and so I would be very surprised if more than 1 or even 2 took ATL. Even if I knew with 100% certainty that 2/5 were taking ATL they would still not be a bad choice considering their higher win probability, correct?

  • Steve

    Hey David, thanks as always for the great blogs and replies. Reading the comments below, I am starting to gather your analysis above now only applies to pools that are still large as you are recommending that heads-up players pick ATL. I’m not quite there as I still have 5 competitors all of whom have rarely taken the most popular pick (which makes sense considering they are still in it after the bloodbath that was week 2 and 3) and so I would be very surprised if more than 1 or even 2 took ATL. Even if I knew with 100% certainty that 2/5 were taking ATL they would still not be a bad choice considering their higher win probability, correct?

  • http://www.facebook.com/russ.aragon Russ Aragon

    Great job once again, took 49ers orig 4200 lost another 100 last week
    down to 535 $420,000 prize, looks like not many have taken Atlanta so I
    would bet on 50% of our pool taking them…looking at pitt & ari
    thoughts… thanks russ

  • tampamike37

    I have more of an ethical question than strategy. I’m leaning toward Ari, atlanta and after reading your opinion maybe TB, but I run my pool with 8 people left and have everyone call their pick in to me by the deadline. in your all knowing opinion would it be unethical of me as the pool master to wait till the noon sunday deadline after seeing what everyone else picked before i make my pick or would it be the privlage of being pool master to do this? or should i make my pick known to everyone earlier? this is the first time running a pool.

  • tampamike37

    I have more of an ethical question than strategy. I’m leaning toward Ari, atlanta and after reading your opinion maybe TB, but I run my pool with 8 people left and have everyone call their pick in to me by the deadline. in your all knowing opinion would it be unethical of me as the pool master to wait till the noon sunday deadline after seeing what everyone else picked before i make my pick or would it be the privlage of being pool master to do this? or should i make my pick known to everyone earlier? this is the first time running a pool.

  • MC

    Hi, thanks for the knowledge, these are the weeks when you definitely give us an edge.

    Here is my situation: 2 pools

    37/305 (remaining/starting)
    Eagles Texans Bears Packers 49ners

    60/361 (remaining/starting)
    Bears Steelers Cowboys Packers 49ners

    My questions:
    I think this is the time to take on risk. With Atlanta and Pittsburgh being the majority of pools, I want to go with Tampa/Arizona. I don’t know how to calculate the chances of BOTH Tampa and Arizona being out. I have Pittsburgh available in one pool but as I stated I think this is the week to put risk on.

    1) What are chances of both Tampa/Arizona losing?
    2) If I were to go Tampa/Pittsburgh or Arizona/Pittsburgh, do you think Pittsburgh offers that much safety to get to next week?

    Obviously I don’t have much time to make the Pittsburgh pick so thanks for any thoughts you might have.

    Thanks

    M

  • MC

    Hi, thanks for the knowledge, these are the weeks when you definitely give us an edge.

    Here is my situation: 2 pools

    37/305 (remaining/starting)
    Eagles Texans Bears Packers 49ners

    60/361 (remaining/starting)
    Bears Steelers Cowboys Packers 49ners

    My questions:
    I think this is the time to take on risk. With Atlanta and Pittsburgh being the majority of pools, I want to go with Tampa/Arizona. I don’t know how to calculate the chances of BOTH Tampa and Arizona being out. I have Pittsburgh available in one pool but as I stated I think this is the week to put risk on.

    1) What are chances of both Tampa/Arizona losing?
    2) If I were to go Tampa/Pittsburgh or Arizona/Pittsburgh, do you think Pittsburgh offers that much safety to get to next week?

    Obviously I don’t have much time to make the Pittsburgh pick so thanks for any thoughts you might have.

    Thanks

    M

  • geddy1001

    Thanks as usual David!
    No movement in my two pools , so in one Im still going “head to head” of which I hav until Friday to get my picks in and in my other pool, with 4 of us left, I have to have my pick in before Thursday game.

    Is it still take the safest route with the Head to head pool, ie ATL? Neither of us have taken them.

    In my other pool, its seems that the other three folks wont usually take the most popular but usually at least 2nd-3rd most popular. (last week 2 took SF and one took NYG) Is this the pool where Id look at AZ or TB. Unfortunately I have to have this pick in by Thursday so I guess I have to guess if the lines are going to move or not. Thanks!

  • geddy1001

    Thanks as usual David!
    No movement in my two pools , so in one Im still going “head to head” of which I hav until Friday to get my picks in and in my other pool, with 4 of us left, I have to have my pick in before Thursday game.

    Is it still take the safest route with the Head to head pool, ie ATL? Neither of us have taken them.

    In my other pool, its seems that the other three folks wont usually take the most popular but usually at least 2nd-3rd most popular. (last week 2 took SF and one took NYG) Is this the pool where Id look at AZ or TB. Unfortunately I have to have this pick in by Thursday so I guess I have to guess if the lines are going to move or not. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tgoeden Travis Goeden

    If I am down to 14 people, can I pick Atlanta, or would you still suggest rolling the dice with Arizona

  • http://www.facebook.com/tgoeden Travis Goeden

    If I am down to 14 people, can I pick Atlanta, or would you still suggest rolling the dice with Arizona

  • TheTinDoor

    Thanks for the shout out – only Atl falls in the “dangerous” 7-9.5 bucket this week, and they’re at home.

    Only 33% of ESPN’s main pool is on the Falcons this week. 6% on Arizona, only 1% on Eagles. How low does the Atl pick % need to drop before they become the preferable pick?

  • TheTinDoor

    Thanks for the shout out – only Atl falls in the “dangerous” 7-9.5 bucket this week, and they’re at home.

    Only 33% of ESPN’s main pool is on the Falcons this week. 6% on Arizona, only 1% on Eagles. How low does the Atl pick % need to drop before they become the preferable pick?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1420534964 Connor Ryan Adamson

    Your work is good as ever. Looking for a bit of personal advice this week again.

    Foe 1: Texans, Bengals, Bears, Broncos, Giants

    Foe 2: Broncos, Bengals, Bears, Ravens, Giants

    Myself: Texans, Bengals, Cowboys, Packers, Niners

    I am worried that the Cardinals are simply too risky for such a small group. On the other hand, it seems that my foes have slightly better future value here. I’m not sure.

  • eric

    “Pick a loser” pool – down to 2 teams. we have the option to use
    Oakland, they don’t. Should be pick them? The other person will likely
    take Tennessee this week. Seems simple, but hard at the same time.
    Thanks!

  • eric

    “Pick a loser” pool – down to 2 teams. we have the option to use
    Oakland, they don’t. Should be pick them? The other person will likely
    take Tennessee this week. Seems simple, but hard at the same time.
    Thanks!

  • Chris

    yup makes a lot of sense. need to figure out what my opponents are thinking. 5 on ATL seems likely enough to want to segregate. thanks!

  • Chris

    yup makes a lot of sense. need to figure out what my opponents are thinking. 5 on ATL seems likely enough to want to segregate. thanks!

  • in it to win it

    “End Game” pointers needed.
    Down to two, he and I have had the exact same picks every week – HOU / NYG / CHI / BAL / SF – we are a Yahoo pool so the popular pick is currently ATL, and the popular pick is basically the way we’ve been picking each week. Do I assume he is doing that again and go with Arizona or maybe consider Tampa Bay considering what you’ve said in your write up?
    Appreciate your help and insight!!

  • in it to win it

    “End Game” pointers needed.
    Down to two, he and I have had the exact same picks every week – HOU / NYG / CHI / BAL / SF – we are a Yahoo pool so the popular pick is currently ATL, and the popular pick is basically the way we’ve been picking each week. Do I assume he is doing that again and go with Arizona or maybe consider Tampa Bay considering what you’ve said in your write up?
    Appreciate your help and insight!!

  • JoeP

    I would love to know what the pot is for this.

  • JoeP

    I would love to know what the pot is for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Down to two you pick Atlanta. Wish I was in that position.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    Down to two you pick Atlanta. Wish I was in that position.

  • Lions20

    My pool of 234 is down to 26 people.
    I have used Houston, Chicago, GB, NYG, SF. Who would you take?

  • Lions20

    My pool of 234 is down to 26 people.
    I have used Houston, Chicago, GB, NYG, SF. Who would you take?

  • Tommy

    Pool is down to 3 left. I used Det, Cinn, Dallas, Houston, and Minn. struggling with this weeks pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, there have been a couple more line shifts. Both NYJ and TB money lines are up a little, which I think gives them the edge (right now) over ARI.

    I might go NYJ/TB … or NYJ/SF for something a bit less risky.

    This is assuming your pool’s pick rates are similar to the ones we have posted, which may not be true, given your differing pool rules.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, there have been a couple more line shifts. Both NYJ and TB money lines are up a little, which I think gives them the edge (right now) over ARI.

    I might go NYJ/TB … or NYJ/SF for something a bit less risky.

    This is assuming your pool’s pick rates are similar to the ones we have posted, which may not be true, given your differing pool rules.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, with 4 people, you’ll want to worry less about public pick%, and more about exactly who your three opponents may pick. You should do some scouting to try to figure it out. It may be smart to take ATL or PIT in your case, you think there’s a chance you’ll be the only on taking them. Basically, take the safest team that you think nobody else will pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Hmm, with 4 people, you’ll want to worry less about public pick%, and more about exactly who your three opponents may pick. You should do some scouting to try to figure it out. It may be smart to take ATL or PIT in your case, you think there’s a chance you’ll be the only on taking them. Basically, take the safest team that you think nobody else will pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    No, they would be pretty bad if you knew 2 other people were already taking them. Heads up is completely different than any other scenario. In that case, you don’t really need to worry about your opponent.

    If you think 0 people will pick one of ATL/SF/PIT, that team is probably the right choice. Failing that, if only 1 other guy is picking ATL, they are a decent choice. If 2 others are, they are not a great choice.

    I guess an OK rule of thumb is basically to take the least popular out of ATL/SF/PIT, with tiebreaker going to the safer team … UNLESS you think ALL your opponents will be on those three teams. In that case, ARI looks good.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    No, they would be pretty bad if you knew 2 other people were already taking them. Heads up is completely different than any other scenario. In that case, you don’t really need to worry about your opponent.

    If you think 0 people will pick one of ATL/SF/PIT, that team is probably the right choice. Failing that, if only 1 other guy is picking ATL, they are a decent choice. If 2 others are, they are not a great choice.

    I guess an OK rule of thumb is basically to take the least popular out of ATL/SF/PIT, with tiebreaker going to the safer team … UNLESS you think ALL your opponents will be on those three teams. In that case, ARI looks good.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Depends on pick rates, as always .. with the ones I have posted above, and the current lines, I think NYJ/TB are the best choices in a big pool. However, if PIT is going to be around 15%, then they aren’t a bad choice.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Depends on pick rates, as always .. with the ones I have posted above, and the current lines, I think NYJ/TB are the best choices in a big pool. However, if PIT is going to be around 15%, then they aren’t a bad choice.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If other people can’t see the picks ahead of time, then you shouldn’t be able to either. You should get no strategic advantage from running the pool.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    1) Given current lines & odds, the chances of both TB & ARI losing are about 12%.
    2) To answer this question, you can compare to the odds of both TB & PIT losing — about 10%. … I have PIT at around 70% win odds, ARI at around 65%. So it’s a medium bump.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yep, just keep going with the safest pick in the head-to-head pool, unless you really need that team for one of the following couple weeks.

    In the second pool, that’s an interesting situation. According to some quick scenario analysis, it looks like my advice is:

    If you think 0 or 1 opp’s will pick ATL, then pick ATL.
    If you think 2 or 3 opp’s will pick ATL, pick whichever you think will be less popular out of PIT/TB/ARI (tie goes to safest team).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yep, just keep going with the safest pick in the head-to-head pool, unless you really need that team for one of the following couple weeks.

    In the second pool, that’s an interesting situation. According to some quick scenario analysis, it looks like my advice is:

    If you think 0 or 1 opp’s will pick ATL, then pick ATL.
    If you think 2 or 3 opp’s will pick ATL, pick whichever you think will be less popular out of PIT/TB/ARI (tie goes to safest team).

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    What do you think your opponents’ picks will look like?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    What do you think your opponents’ picks will look like?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Wow, nice situation. Yes, it does make ATL a great pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I thought the idea from the research last week was that the 7-9.5 bin was dangerous only for road teams… (if we’re trusting that, not saying I am)

    Not sure ESPN’s pick numbers are not trustworthy because they let people pick future weeks ahead of time. But even then, looks like the break even point is somewhere in the 25% range. Tough to say exactly, since I have to guess where the other picks are going.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    With only two opponents left, you need to get more conservative. Actually, I’d go with ATL or PIT.

    ATL is a pretty safe pick, the worst case if you pick them is if your opponents pick ATL & SF. Then you’d be one of 2 on ATL, while the SF guy has an advantage. But the thing is, if your opponents pick ATL & SF, you’re kind of in a bind anyway … if you pick either of those teams, the guy on the OTHER one has the advantage. But if you pick a different team, you’re on the riskiest team this week.

    Basically, if you think both opponents will be on ATL, I’d go PIT or TB/NYJ. Otherwise, I’d go ATL.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Ooooh, nice insight. Yes, if you are pretty sure you’ll be the only one choosing PIT, I’d go with them.

    Great sleuthing!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yep, when you’re head-to-head just go with the safest pick, unless that totally screws up your plan for the next few weeks.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    What Daniel said. Head-to-head always go with the safest option, unless that totally screws up your options in one of the next few weeks.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    With the current lines, I’d probably go TB/NYJ or TB/SF. Though TB/ARI/NYJ are close to interchangeable at this point.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    No, you’re thinking smartly here. If you think at least 2 will be on ATL, then I’d try to take the safest team that you think nobody else will pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    What are your opponents going to pick? If it’s not different from what I have posted above, I’d go with NYJ/TB/ARI.

  • TheTinDoor

    That’s right – road teams appeared more likely to struggle (by win % and by MOV) than home teams, but only in the 7-9.5 bucket. So no teams fit the bill this week.

    This is far from a proven tenant; the MOV data would basically mean that Vegas under-weights home-field advantage, but only for teams in a pretty narrow band. That seems unlikely.
    I think the Win % data is slightly more likely to be real, in the “Black Swan” sense I described last week (truly unexpected outcomes that aren’t accounted for in the base statistics may be more likely on the road than at home). But I’ll concede that seeing a correlation only in the 7-9.5 spread band is not strong support for my theory.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Looks kinda like you’ll have 2 on ATL and 1 on a wildcard. In that case, PIT seems like a good choice. If the wildcard takes PIT, it’s not the end of the world — still better than being the third guy on ATL.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess
  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Sounds like we’re on the same page.

  • TheTinDoor

    Thanks for looking at the ESPN numbers. I’m leaning towards Philly this week.

    Can you explain how letting people pick future weeks ahead of time would make the ESPN data not trustworthy? or more specifically, why would that make this week’s data less valuable? From what I can tell, the Pick % list from ESPN is “real time”; as of today, Atlanta is picked in 34.5% of pools. What about that number is less trustworthy than the Y! pick %?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I believe if you miss a game your picks are still counted. So somebody can fill out the whole season in Week 1, get their first game wrong, yet then still have their pick counted in the public pick% going forward.

    But that’s off memory, I didn’t check just now to see if that’s correct.

  • Dave

    well, good news in my pool, only 2 people picked Pittsburgh in my pool out of 30 or so players (I’m one of them), so that means that most people will likely be on Atlanta or another team who is riskier than Pittsburgh. (Phil, AZ, NYJ, TB)

  • TheTinDoor

    I just looked and can’t find an ESPN definition for their Pick %. Not only can you pick future weeks, you can continue to pick games even after your team is “dead”, just for kicks. If that data includes all entries, period, it’s completely flawed and I think the wise move would be to rely on the data you post as a proxy for ESPN pool.

    That would explain some very strange Pick % I’ve seen over the past few weeks – several selections were nowhere near the public % you’ve been posting (SF last week, for example, at only 10% picked @ ESPN vs. 23% you posted).

  • Dave

    down from 70

  • Dave

    Just started reading your site and I have a question about your picks. I understand that based on the picks you have made that ARI and TB are your favorites but what about people that have taken different teams? If every team was available to you this week would you still recommend these two teams? I ask this because I’ve taken DET, SD, DAL, ATL and CHI and am leaning heavily on PIT. I think they are the safest with the least FV because I still have SF and HOU. Am I looking at this wrong or does it make sense? It also doesn’t help that I feel like this is going to be a weekend of upsets that has me worried about the 60% teams you are recommending

  • geddy1001

    Thanks! In the head to head pool, if I really think my opponent is going to pick ATL, should I go with Pitt?

  • Bob Sanders

    Hi David;
    So, if I’m not mistaken, your reasoning (from the math) is based on your win probability percentages. I did some math (using what I think is the same process you used), and I wanted to see if I was correct.
    I wanted to work out what Win probability for Atlanta would result in the “unitless estimates of expected value ” being equal for ARZ and ATL (with everything else remaining constant).
    I worked it out to be 79.3%. So, would it be right to assume that if I think ATL has a better probability of winning than that, I should take ATL?
    Math:
    x = win probability of ATL
    0.35x = ATL win, ARZ lose
    0.65(1-x) = ARZ win, ATL lose
    Win factors (1.08 and 2.22) remain constant.
    So, 0.35*1.08*x >= 0.65*2.22*(1-x)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8352523 Ray Porter

    David, I have five teams left in my pool, and I’m almost certain all of them are on ATL this week. Does taking this big of a gamble really make sense? Thanks,

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, that’s why we don’t include ESPN in our averages.

    Do you not get info about the specific pool you are in? If you do, that could be helpful to look at.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, it sounds like you are not considering public pick percentage. Your goal is to outlast your opponents, which entails them losing while you pick a different team. So picking PIT means you have no shot to defeat 20% of your opponents this week. Check out the math in the pick discussion section of the post for an example of this concept in action with ARI and ATL. Atlanta is safer, but picking Arizona actually improves your chances of winning the pool, because the benefits of an upset of Atlanta are huge. … The concept is the same for PIT, but to a lesser extent. According to the math, TB is a better pick than PIT because they are so much less popular … and that is *before* you take into account future value, which TB has less of.

    Remember, you are trying to maximize your pool win odds, not just survive the week. That means you want other people to have a chance to get knocked out, without it hurting you.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    PS I would probably take SF over PIT this week, due to the public pick %.

    Of course, this all assumes your pool pick rates are similar to the national averages, which may not be the case.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The “can’t pick against twice” part means that your pool’s pick percentages are going to be very different from the ones I listed above. So, pretty tough to analyze unless you have info from past weeks. Ignoring pick rates, PIT, SF, TB, NYJ, ARI seem like your best options. Though SF does have a lot of future value…

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, TB seems good there, for the reason you specified. Though others may have the same thought … I think that’s OK, though. They’d have to get pretty popular in order to be a *bad* pick.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    No.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Your math is right … however, this is only the calculation for immediate expected value for this week’s games. It totally ignores future value. Given that ATL has more future value, ARI would still be the pick in your example. (There’s no real equation for weighting future value vs, immediate value — it’s more of an art than a science.)

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Oh, and I should add that due to line changes, I now think TB looks like the best pick, not ARI. But like I said in the post, it’s a pretty close call.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    If all of them are on Atlanta, take the safest other team you can.

    Think about it:

    If you take Atlanta, you all win or lose together. So your odds of winning the pool are 1 in 6 (17%).

    If you take, say, PIT, then the scenarios are:
    –55% both win, your odds are still 17%
    –6% both lose, your split the pot (i.e. win 17% of the pool)
    –21% ATL wins, PIT loses, you are out (0% win odds)
    –18% ATL loses, PIT wins, you win the pool (100% win odds)

    So your odds to win the pool are:
    55%*17% + 6%*17% + 21%*0% + 18%*100% = 29%.

    Yes, PIT is a gamble. So is ATL though. If you take ATL you are gambling that you will win in later weeks — you are basically accepting a 1 in 6 shot, rather than pushing your advantage now and trying to win.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    How many have used both of them? It would be pretty bad if the 3 guys who have used ATL all have PIT left, and then 2 or 3 of them take them, and you get stuck on PIT when half the pool has them.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Are those the actual picks that have been submitted this week? That’s crazy that you can see that.

    Anyway, if those are the picks, then yes, TB seems like the way to go. Or NYJ or ARI. They’re all about 65%-67% to win, with no future value. That is averaging our models with the Vegas odds. If you trust Vegas over us (not going to blame you for that), then I’d avoid NYJ, as their odds are a notch lower.

  • Andy

    Sorry I meant to say 5 have picked San Fran, not Pitt. Of those five two have picked San Fran and Atlanta. Any thoughts now on my best pick? Only 2 have picked Pitt.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    So you have SF left? If so I might take them, as it’s tough to imagine that BOTH of the people with them left will actually choose them. TB also seems like a decent pick, because I’m thinking it’s unlikely anybody else in your pool will take them.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I don’t see anything that sets your pool apart from the Yahoo/OFP numbers above, so I’ll stick with what I’ve been saying — TB/NYJ/ARI look like the best options.

  • James

    I’m in a big pool and we can take teams twice during the season including playoffs. Should I take Atlanta under those considerations. Pittsburgh and Arizona both make me nervous.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    How have your pool pick percentages been comparing to the public numbers for ordinary pools? (Or, can you see directly who has been picked this week?) If Atlants is super popular in your pool, too (which I assume they are), then they are not a great pick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8352523 Ray Porter

    thanks!

  • Paul

    Turns out the other three all took ATL. I stuck with the Cards. Go Raiders.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Go Raiders is right!

  • Michael

    I have 2 of 16 picks.
    Picked cin/dal/hou/sf and hou/chgo/atl/NYg so far.
    6 opponents picked atl already. 7 picked sf. Very few of the other top choices for the week have been picked yet.
    If we pick ari for one pick, what should the 2nd pick be? Atl? Or tb?

  • Michael

    Hi there, I have 2 entries of 16 left.
    I’ve picked cin-dal-hou-sf and hous-chgo-atl-NYg.
    6 opponents have picked atl and 6 have picked sf so far.
    Almost none of this weeks other front runners have been picked.
    I am thinking arizona for one pick. Who should I pick for the 2nd…Atlanta or Tampa bay?

  • dawgma

    David!

    Once again your prognostification rivals that of the great Nostradamus his bad self!

    I fought all urges tonight to even consider the rusting Steeler curtain and you have again been proven worthy! My league has shrunk from over 500 down to 22…with me (and your guidance) comprising one of those survivor spots. From what I understand, only one other person and myself have not chosen Atlanta this year. Would I have cause for rolling with the Falcons this week over your normal advice?

    I do see that they still have great future value, and I sure hope a lot of folks picked Pitt tonight. My choices this year have been:

    Houston
    NY Giants
    Chicago
    Green Bay
    San Fran

    Your advice has always been sound and I will bow to your expertise.

    p.s. I get giddy reading your mathematical justifications of each pick and how one team was chosen over another and for what reasons. I guess I’m also a sports nerd too. Peace and continued wisdom to you from the planet Zarktov!

  • http://www.facebook.com/vincent.ditrano Vincent Ditrano

    i am alive with 2 others in 1340$ pool.1 person took atl.should i take ariz or atl.leaning to ariz.

  • Mikey F

    Small pool 7 guys left. I have taken the Bears, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, and the 49ers as your suggestions. Should I go with Falcons or Cardinals? Love the site and thanks for keeping it free and full information.

  • Mikey F

    Small pool 7 guys left. I have taken with help from your site the Bears, Bengals, Cowboys, Texans, and 49ers. Who would you suggest Falcons or Cardinals? Thanks for keeping the site free and chock full of information!

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.silberfarb Daniel Silberfarb

    With Tennessee upsetting Pittsburgh, the benefit of picking ARI/TB/NYJ/PHI just jumped up quite a bit! Atlanta is now effectively picked by 2/3rds of my pool!

    This may have been the toughest Survivor decision in memory. TB still has me nervous, but I think it was the right choice. Looks like the line climbed from -4 to -4.5.

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.w.morris Russell Morris

    I’m in two pools–one with 24/248 remaining and one with 9/50 remaining. I’ve got 1 pick in each pool remaining. So far have taken HOU/CIN/CHI/GB/SAN and HOU/NYG/CHI/GB/SAN respectively. Larger pool, some have been taking risks, but most are picking the favorites. Pool 2, everyone is taking the safe route.

    Question–would you recommend taking the same pick for both pools, or pick differently to better my chances of staying alive?

  • in it to win it

    Thanks Daniel/David! Too funny, we both of course picked ATL this week, what are the odds we’ve been in tandem for six weeks!?! So lets go Falcons!
    Appreciate you taking the time to respond … till next week!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I laid out my reasoning in the post — my trust in the Vegas and TR odds, game theory, and math. I’m not going to try to convince anyone by talking about line play or team qualities. That’s what the Vegas and TR numbers are for.

    Though, I will say that ARI may not be the best play now, due to line changes. Final pick will be posted this afternoon, as usual.

  • TXCaveman

    Love the site & the way you think… I have somehow survived with all 3 of my picks so far. Pool started with 288 & is down to 32 (after sweeping out 6 more on Pit last night).

    My preferences is to always stay away from the uber-popular picks. I also hate stacking more than one pick on any team (last week I put 2 on SF for the first time – – thanks greatly to you). I never pick a Thursday game & try hard to avoid Monday games.
    Picks I’ve used so far:1) PHI, CIN, DAL, NE, SF2) HOU, NYG, BUF, GB, CHI3) MIN, BUF, CHI, DEN, SF
    This week I want no part of Atlanta (based on popularity) & no part of SF (based on I think NYG will beat them – and I’m a Cowboy fan, so I don’t think that is biased – I can’t believe the way the numbers look on that game!!!).
    I’m thinking about getting crazy and go with AZ, TB, Mia … Hope for some major upsets and 2 of my 3 to survive. … I’ve even kicked around doubling up on AZ, even though I hate doing that. Not because I think AZ is as great as everyone else thinks, but because I think Buf is worse than most people think. Any thoughts? Please talk me out of using Miami. Thanks!

  • Dave

    Unfortunately Pittsburgh played awful and had a bunch of key injuries to go along with it. Good luck to the rest of you picking this week. I’m still alive since my pool is double elimination, but I didn’t expect the Titans to pull the upset after how awful they looked last week. I got what I wanted in terms of pick % from the rest of the pool, but my team just didn’t win.

  • http://twitter.com/turptaylor lara

    when will your friday final survivor pick be posted?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Actually, in a pool that size, with so many people having already picked ATL, I might go TB/ATL … though would be a shame to lose ATL in both entries.

    FYI new post: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Ha, I’m not doing any prognostication. I leave that to Vegas and our models, then I just apply some game theory and math. We’ve gotten really lucky over the past year and a half to scrape by without a single loss.

    Wow, if it’s true that only one other person can pick ATL, then they definitely are the right pick for you. You lose their future value, but you should lose a LOT of your pool this week if everybody else is picking non-ATL teams.

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Depends on who you think the other will take, and who you have left. You can reply with answers in the new post: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess
  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I agree with your assessment. This season has been absolutely ridiculous. We are lucky to still be playing. I also agree TB looks like the choice as of now: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I’d pick differently. It’s basically a hedge — you’ll be less likely to win *both* pools, but more likely to win *at least one*.

    New post: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, main difference is probably that pick% will be different, due to people having different teams available. It’s pretty tough to adjust for that without knowing actual numbers.

    FYI new post: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Well, at this point the odds of picking the same team are pretty high, if you both use optimal strategy. :) But yeah, previous weeks is interesting. Perhaps he reads this blog as well…

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I think those three are fine. If you want an alternate to MIA, maybe the Jets? Or doubling up on TB or another team is OK. Check out the update: http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, that was unfortunate. I’m glad you’re rational about the loss, and how you seemed to be in a good spot. Sometimes luck doesn’t go our way…

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess
  • in it to win it

    That would be my luck that he reads this too! Can’t blame him.

  • Jay

    Thx. There are 42/47 left after last wk. Most usually go with popular picks, (hence half the original pool going town in wk w/NE). For next wk what “actual numbers” would be helpful?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    I meant actual pick% for your pool.

  • Jay

    Picks from last wk, the first wk of 2nd chance pool. NYG(13), SF(10), HOU(5), BAL(5), PIT(4), GB(3), CIN(2), one each for CHI, DEN, MIA, MIN, and NE. Total 47

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.w.morris Russell Morris

    any advice on which to take in the larger pool vs the smaller pool? Tampa in the larger perhaps?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, Tampa in the large. The pick in the smaller depends n who you think opponents will pick. “the safe route” I guess means ATL for most. So I’d go with whichever of MIA/ARI/NYJ seems likely to be unpicked.

  • JP

    So is my pick still Atlanta given the fact that your pick is TB and that Atlanta is in the avoid column?…I’m confused please help

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    The main advice is for large pools. Please read the discussion at the bottom of the update post where we talk about other pool sizes.
    http://www.teamrankings.com/blog/nfl/week-6-nfl-survivor-final-update-top-tier-teams-play-musical-chairs

  • geddy1001

    my opponent in the head to head pool picked PIT…wooohooo! Rootin for the ATL now…Thanks again!…..In my other pool I was only one picking AZ while one other picked TB and 2 picked ATL…So you arent now saying that AZ is a bad pick, just TB has gotten better and “jumped” over AZ for top pick of the week?

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, basically. TB, MIA, ARI, and NYJ are all pretty similar this week.

  • geddy1001

    Well, in Head to Head, opponent pick PIT and I picked ATL..Yeah! a win…then AZ came up a bit short…doh! Oh well, I guess thats why we diversify! Thanks again for all of your help during the year. See you next year!

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.w.morris Russell Morris

    Thanks for the advice…if ATL had fallen, it would’ve eliminated almost everyone in both pools!

  • http://www.teamrankings.com/ David Hess

    Yeah, I definitely threw some expletives Carson Palmer’s way when he threw that pick six in the fourth. I can’t believe the Raiders STILL almost pulled off the win after that.