Resources: Yahoo survival pool pick distribution • SurvivorGrid.com
Week 1’s biggest killer: Jacksonville over Houston (7.11 percent)
Week 1’s biggest success: Pittsburgh over Cleveland (32.07 percent)
Entries remaining in $100K contest: 202,057
My Week 1 pick: Buffalo (win)
Earlier this week, I asked every member of our survival football panel to submit their top 3 picks.
Jay Hart, one of our esteemed editors, wrote back almost immediately.
“Oakland, Oakland, Oakland,” he said.
Why just one team?
“There is no other week to take the Raiders and it’s an absolute slam dunk,” he said.
I couldn’t find fault with his reasoning, but didn’t want people to think we made a mistake on our graphic below. So I told him to come up with two more teams because I was sure the other five panelists with agree with Jay and would leave no room for doubt.
This is the Sunday you will take the Oakland Raiders and consider no other teams.
I always try not to feel too confident with my survival football picks because I’m a superstitious sort.
But I have to say that picking the Raiders to beat the New York Jets is the closest I’ll get to doing the Conor McGregor walk before the game is actually played. These sorts of gifts don’t come around often in the survival football game.
Not only are the Raiders two-touchdown favorites over the woeful Jets, they’re the rare playoff-contending team that doesn’t hold a lot of future value. Go ahead and look at their remaining schedule and tell me their expiration date isn’t this Sunday.
Not only do the Raiders play in the AFC West, they also have to play the NFC East this season. You could make a case for either being the toughest division in football.
That pretty much takes 10 games out of 14 off the board. Throw in a visit from the New England Patriots and now there are 11 games theoretically off the board. You’re left with three games: At home in week 5 against Baltimore and two trips out east to Buffalo and Miami.
Not convinced? I can’t do anything more than show you the math. Numberfire lists the Raiders as 83.1 percent favorites this weekend and doesn’t have them projected to break 60 percent in any other week.
Now both you and I know the Raiders will win plenty of football games this year. But they will enter every other victory with a much greater risk. There is no reason for you to take any of it on.
Other thoughts: In any other year, choosing between Oakland and Seattle might present a real challenge. The Seahawks play the 49ers and are also two touchdown favorites. The Seahawks, however, hold plenty of future value, starting with a Week 4 home game against the Colts … What about picking the Seahawks just in case there’s a Raiders massacre? I can see that argument, but if you’re doing it, you’re doing it with the knowledge that you’re taking one of the top 10 teams from your pool of possible picks the rest of the way … If you’re in a Week 3 buyback league, this is your last chance to take a risk on getting by with a team you might not pick otherwise. Two great candidates are the Ravens over the Browns or the Bengals over the Texans on Thursday night (but again, only do this if you have insurance) … It’s not often that I nail all three picks from my video, so I’ll take a bow for my Week 1 debut. Told y’all to stay away from those Texans! … Frank Schwab is the panelist who’s putting it all on the line for this week’s “Funishment” pick. If the Raiders somehow lose, he vows to do a silver-and-black version of the ice bucket challenge (and if that actually does happen, I may not survive to see it).