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.
Carolina (vs. Tampa Bay) – All good things come to an end. A win against the Bucaneers will secure home field advantage for the Panthers throughout the playoffs, which is something they desperately need. The Panthers haven’t won in Arizona since 2009.
Houston (at Jacksonville) – The Texans, believe it or not, are one win away from clinching the AFC South and hosting a first round playoff game. As I mentioned last week, the Texans defense will be the difference maker again this Sunday.
Washington (at Dallas) – The Redskind are the superior team and Kirk Cousins looks like a top five quarterback. Unfortunately, they have nothing to play for this weekend.
Pittsburgh (at Cleveland) – The Steelers have a tendency to play down against inferior opponents and we witnessed that again last week. Johnny Manziel threw for 372 yards the last time these two teams met an this game will be much closer than most expect, despite the Steelers playoff hopes on the line.