August 1, 2014

Fantasy Football: Week 15 Survivor Pool

I’m bummed. I’m out. The Bucs faltered and so I’m out of the pool. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t still care about you my dozens of readers. So, I’ll carry on with the baggage of having bombed out of all of my pools. I had a good run and there is always next year.

Bye week: None

Survivor Pool – Week 15 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of Thursday afternoon:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Picks

Rank

Team

Percent

1

Miami Dolphins

53.50%

1

Miami Dolphins

59.92%

2

Detroit Lions

21.00%

2

Detroit Lions

17.70%

3

Seattle Seahawks

5.00%

3

Seattle Seahawks

5.43%

4

Houston Texans

4.70%

4

New Orleans Saints

2.73%

5

New Orleans Saints

4.10%

5

Cincinnati Bengals

2.71%

6

Cincinnati Bengals

3.20%

6

Houston Texans

2.60%

7

Oakland Raiders

2.00%

7

Washington Redskins

2.15%

8

New England Patriots

1.90%

8

Oakland Raiders

1.32%

9

Washington Redskins

1.00%

9

New England Patriots

1.16%

10

San Diego Chargers

0.90%

10

San Diego Chargers

0.78%

We’ve got another clear leader in the clubhouse in Miami. That means we’ve got another week where value can be had if you go away from Miami (especially if you have one of the “surer” winners).

My early picks for this week are below (my final column will be up Sunday):

  1. Houston Texans – The Texans are coming off a humbling Monday night loss to the Patriots and need to get reset for their playoff run. Andrew Luck is great for a rookie, but he is still a rookie. Even though the Texans defense has been trending in the wrong direction over the last few weeks, they have enough offensive weapons to take care of the young Colts. I give the Texans a 79% chance of winning.
  2. Detroit Lions – The Cardinals are starting Ryan Lindley at QB. They have no offensive line. They have no running game. The Lions have an explosive offense and should be able to outscore the Cardinals. I give the Lions a 75% of winning.
  3. Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins haven’t been great at home this year, especially as a favorite. They are playing a Jags team that they should be able to turn into a one-dimensional passing team. I give the Dolphins a 68% chance of winning.
  4. Oakland Raiders – The Raiders are bad. The Chiefs are terrible. They had an emotional win over the Panthers two weeks ago and then turned back into a pumpkin last week. They’ve now lost their only professional-grade WR in Dwayne Bowe so they will be rolling with Jon Baldwin and Terrance Copper with Dexter McCluster in the slot. I give the Raiders a 65% chance of winning.
  5. Seattle Seahawks – 58-0, eh? Well, it is safe to say there will be some regression this week against Buffalo. The Seahawks do struggle a bit on the road, but Russell Wilson has matured quickly as a QB and should be able to lead the Seahawks over the Bills. I give the Seahawks a 63% chance of winning.
  6. Washington Redskins – This assumes that Robert Griffin III plays, but isn’t 100%. Washington is hot and so are the Browns oddly. Griffin gives them the chance to win any game and I think Mike Shanahan has them moving in the correct direction. I give Washington a 61% chance to win. With Griffin, out the Browns are the favorite and may now be a viable option.

Other teams I like early in the week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the New Orleans Saints at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs couldn’t handle the Eagles last week, but I believe they are due for a bounce back this week against a Saints team that looks like it could throw all over the field on the Bucs. I think the Bucs will be ready after being embarrassed against the Eagles

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Dallas Cowboys against the Steelers at home. Yes, the Cowboys have almost no home field advantage, but the Steelers are a broken team. Injuries have ravaged them on both sides of the ball. I think the Cowboys could take the win here after coming up with a big road win last week over the Bengals.

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.

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