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 York Giants (vs. San Francisco) – I get it. It’s tough to bet on Eli Manning because you never know which Giants team will show up. That being said, the Giants have been competitive in every game this year. The 49ers, also known as the team with the least efficient offense AND defense, are making the long trip to New Jersey for this Sunday’s game. Choose Eli and feel good about it.
Kansas City ( vs. Chicago) – Unlike the 49ers, the Bears are only 31st in efficiency on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs have had a tough stretch, playing arguable three of the top five teams in the NFL. The Bears will need a lot more than Alshon Jeffery‘s return in order to pull out a win in Arrowhead.
Denver (@ Oakland) – A divisional road game against the pesky Raiders. This game will be close barring any significant turnovers.
Baltimore (vs. Cleveland) – Joe Flacco will certainly miss Steve Smith this week as the Ravens’ pass offense already ranks in the bottom third. Kamar Aiken and his 35 career receptions will lead the receiving corps that is backed by rookie tight ends. Avoid this divisional game at all costs.