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.
Seattle (vs. Chicago) – Seattle gets to ease into a Jimmy Clausen–led matchup for its first home game of the season. This is one of the safest picks of the year with the season theoretically on the line in Seattle.
Atlanta (at Dallas) – The Dallas Cowboys lost two of their most valuable players in Dez Bryant and Tony Romo over the first two weeks of the season. Brandon Weeden looked serviceable when he took over on Sunday but we have seen this show before … when he had MORE weapons. Dallas will not be able to keep pace with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Denver (at Detroit) – Oh, Peyton Manning. He certainly isn’t a top-tier quarterback any more, but he still showed that he can lead a drive down the field in a key moment. Don’t sleep on Peyton Manning in prime time, especially against floundering Detroit.
Pittsburgh (at St. Louis) – DeAngelo Williams filled in admirably while Le’Veon Bell was suspended, but Pittsburgh is glad Bell is back and the offense can kick it up another notch. The spread (-1) is tight and it could potentially be a trap game.
New York Giants (vs. Washington) – The Giants have been collapsing at the end of games thus far and the Washington defense is still not getting enough credit. Avoid the intra-division games and live to fight another day – especially within the NFC East.