I have a few rules, or guidelines really, that I take into account each week when making selections. I am not afraid to select a road team. Road teams win 40 percent of the time – that is about 100 wins per season that you are leaving on the table. Eliminating them as a selection puts you at a disadvantage from the start. I do, however, avoid divisional games at all costs. Now I know what you are thinking – “a team wins a divisional matchup 50 percent of the time. Eliminating them as a selection puts you at a disadvantage from the start.” I disagree. Divisional games are far too unpredictable. Lastly, I am not in the business of saving the strong teams for later in the season. You won’t have a chance to use them if you gamble with a loser early on.
New England (vs. Philadelphia) – Now is the time to use New England if still in the bank, regardless of the recent injuries to Rob Gronkowski and company. Above all else, the coaching gap between these two teams is monstrous.
Washington (vs. Dallas) – Nine games this week are divisional matchups. It is clear that Dallas cannot compete without Tony Romo. All of Washington’s wins have come at home this year and another win this weekend will help solidify the team’s hold on top of the division.
Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis) – Ben Roethlisberger’s status for Sunday is still not set in stone, but he is heading in the right direction as he was cleared to practice on Wednesday. Pittsburgh is a 10-point favorite but I expect this game to be much closer.
Houston (at Buffalo) – It’s true that Houston is an underdog. It is also true that the Houston defense has only given up one touchdown in the past four games – three of the opposing offenses rank in the Top 15, and Cincinnati is No. 1!
Chicago (vs. San Francisco) – Just half of all survivor picks are with Chicago and Jay Cutler this week. San Francisco is really bad, but Chicago is mediocre at best. Do you want to put your fate in the hands of Jay Cutler?