December 18, 2014

Fantasy Football: Playoffs Week 1 Survivor Pool

I’ve got a short column for any of you Survivor players still left. Many pools are still around through 17 weeks due to the performance of favorites this year (which has also hurt Vegas a great deal). So, many pools have extended into the playoffs with the choices reset. My largest pool will run the first two weeks of the playoffs and you can choose any team you want even if you chose them in the first 17 weeks. So, without further ado, let’s look at the first week of the playoffs and see if there is value to be had.

Survivor Pool – Playoff Week 1 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! late Friday night:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Team

Picks

Rank

Team

Percent

1

Green Bay Packers

40.90%

1

Green Bay Packers

57.10%

2

Baltimore Ravens

25.20%

2

Houston Texans

20.79%

3

Houston Texans

13.80%

3

Baltimore Ravens

9.20%

4

Washington Redskins

10.30%

4

Seattle Seahawks

6.61%

5

Seattle Seahawks

4.00%

5

Washington Redskins

2.77%

6

Indianapolis Colts

2.40%

6

Indianapolis Colts

1.75%

7

Cincinnati Bengals

1.90%

7

Cincinnati Bengals

1.20%

8

Minnesota Vikings

1.50%

8

Minnesota Vikings

0.57%

The Packers are the biggest favorite in Vegas and it makes sense that they are the number one choice for all players. Let’s look at the board, shall we?

  1. Green Bay Packers – I agree with the masses on this one. Green Bay is the clear number one choice and should be yours as well. The Pack will want to make up for the Week 17 loss at the hands of the Vikings. They are at home and it looks like Christian Ponder is less than 100%. Even at 100% he’s no match for a Lambeau playoff crowd. Expect big offensive games for the Packer players. I give Green Bay a 79% chance of winning.
  2. Baltimore Ravens – The talent drops off quickly after the Packers. I like the Ravens at home against a rookie QB who hasn’t been consistent on the road. The key to this game is the Ravens offense providing a balanced attack. They have to get Ray Rice (and Bernard Pierce) involved early to keep the Colts defense on the field. This is Andrew Luck’s first playoff rodeo and while he’s been great this year, it’s a different ballgame in the playoffs. Oh, and I believe the Colts left Baltimore at some point. Baltimore doesn’t like the Colts. It should be a pretty hostile environment to boot. I give the Ravens a 69% chance of winning.

And that’s it. I’d stay away from every other team on the board. If you can’t use the Packers or the Ravens, I’d rank the remaining teams this way – Seahawks, Washington, Texans, Bengals, Colts, and finally the Vikings. However, I wouldn’t want to have to ride into battle with any of these teams.

Other teams I like early in the week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Houston Texans at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Texans are relatively big favorites, but they have played poorly going into the playoffs. The Bengals may not have enough weapons on offense to overcome a solid Texans defense, but I wouldn’t want to risk my pool life on the Texans this week.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d consider Washington at home against a Seattle team that is not the same on the road. Washington doesn’t have much of a home field advantage at their antiseptic home field. However, the Seahawks don’t travel well even in non-hostile environments. IT’s an intriguing matchup of rookie QBs in Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III, but I think Washington has a solid chance to knock the Seahawks off.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

About Chris Garosi

Chris Garosi is a Contributor to District Sports Page. Chris is a diehard Maryland Terrapins fan in all sports and a fan of things New England sports-related (except for football). Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He also writes for The Fantasy Fix. You can follow Chris on Twitter at @chrisgarosi.

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