Oh man, what a week! Value picks stormed back after a putrid Week 16. Have to pat ourselves on the back for hitting the trifecta in Week 17 (TEN, CHI, NYJ) for the low, medium, and high risk strategies.
There was one Fitzmagic sized whopper of an upset as the Dolphins toppled the Pats and knocked them off of a bye week. Aside from that, DET-GBP and SEA-SFO gave us some thrilling games, but the favorites won in the end.
[If your season is over, check out our Playoff Best Ball article here]
Here’s a review of last week’s picks:
Green Picks (1-0) –
In the much anticipated showdown of Sam Darnold vs. Matt Barkley, NYJ prevailed 13-6. The NFL should be ecstatic about fantasy sports and confidence pools as few people outside of those leagues were paying attention to this game. This game was full of turnovers and negative plays. The difference maker was a 9 play, 75 yard drive at the end of the third capped by a 1 yard TD pass to Crowder.
Yellow Picks (1-1) –
If you like to see a game with pretty much all running and not much else, the PIT-Baltimore game was for you. With the season on the line, Devlin “Duck” Hodges put up a goose: 9 for 25 and 95 yards. 95 PASSING yards. The Ravens were very successful in running the ball (6.2 yds/carry on 29 carries between Edwards and RGIII) and really nothing stopped that except for a fumble by Edwards. The Ravens sealed the deal after a mishandled snap by the PIT punter led to a special teams TD.
The CHI-Vikings was all “bend don’t break” defense as expected in the first half (11-6 off of FGs and one safety). Trubisky had a slightly more efficient outing than his counterpart Mannion. Trubisky ultimately led the Bears down the field with a 15 play drive ending with a game-winning FG and killing a significant part of the clock.
Blue Picks (2-0) –
TEN had been looking great any time Henry and Tannehill have been on the field together. They easily took care of the Texans who were resting many of their key starters. A.J. Brown had his fourth straight game with a TD and yet another play in this game where he looked like a tight end running around with WR speed. It was a simple crossing route where he shook off the defender, turned upfield, and trotted 40 yards down the sideline for a 51-yard TD.
We were scared picking SFO over Seattle and rightfully so. This was a back and forth battle featuring all the stars. Deebo and Kittle looked unstoppable in the first half. Russell Wilson started getting some time to throw in the second half and worked his magic to get the Seahawks back in it. Marshawn Lynch leaped into the end zone for a 1-yard TD. This game came down to mishandling of timeouts and some confusion for Seattle at the end of the game resulting in a costly delay of game penalty. That turned a 2nd and goal at the 1 into a 2nd and goal at the 6. With the offense looking out of sorts at that point, Seattle lost after turning it over on downs.
Regular Season Recap:
Value Picks Season Record
Green Picks (10-21)
Yellow Picks (13-19)
Blue Picks (15-14)
Over the season, the value picks are hitting just about how Vegas is predicting their percentages. That tells us that the value picks are actually good values (higher win% to pick% compared to average). Your odds of picking an upset (or favorite) are going to be the same as a non-value pick, but if you hit on a value pick, much fewer people would have picked that team.
Week 17 Base Picks: 101 points
Season Total Base Picks: 1439 points
Time to look yourself in the mirror. How would Base Picks (1439 pts) have performed in your league? – – Near the top? You probably don’t need to take that much risk next year and you can have a pretty good season.
– No where near cashing? You may be in a very large league or in a league where people are smarter than the average Joe. You’ll have to take on more risk (stray further from the Base Picks strategy) and broaden your range of outcomes. With more risk, your floor will be lower than this year, but the ceiling will be higher.
Here are the picks for the Wild Card Round:
Base Picks (what are base picks?): Updated Wednesday 1:06 PM Pacific
Money Picks (What are money picks?):
Green Picks (lowest pick rate):
Wednesday Update: None
Yellow Picks (low pick rate):
Wednesday Update: PHI (46% win; 20% pick)
This game is a rematch of Week 12 where Seattle went to PHI and ground out a 17-9 win. This game should have a familiar look and will most likely come down to the success of Seattle’s rushing offense against Philly’s stout run D. The difference is the Seahawks will be coming to town with Homer and Lynch instead of Penny and Carson.
Blue Picks (medium pick rate):
Wednesday Update: HOU (58% win; 59% pick)
HOU hosts Buffalo in the lowest over/under game of the Wild Card Weekend at 43. That’s still an implied point total of 22.75 – 20.25, so points will be scored. It remains to be seen how efficient the teams are with their drives. Watson has been able to pick apart defenses if given the time to throw. Josh Allen has been an inconsistent passer and faces a bottom third Texans defense that should get a big boost with the return of J.J. Watt.
Strategy for Playoffs (1-11 points)
Thank you Bob for the user submission. Here’s an initial thought on how I would rank these games:
11 – BAL divisional game
10 – KC divisional game
9 – min @ NOS wild card (-7.5)
8 – Super Bowl (favorite if you’re up, underdog if you need to make up points)
7 – ten @ NEP wild card (-5.0)
6 – SFO divisional game (should be around -3 against sea, better against phi or min)
5 – AFC conference championship
4 – buf @ HOU wild card (-2.5)
3 – GBP divisional game (if they play nos, our guess is the line will be around here.
2 – SEA @ phi wild card (-1.5)
1 – NFC conference championship (if there is a large spread, this can be swapped with 8 or 5).