Survival football is a complex game masquerading as a simple one. It asks you to merely pick one team each week that you think will win. Then, if your team does win that week you move on to pick the following week, but you cannot pick the same team more than once during the season. For example, if you pick Cleveland to win during week one and they do win, you can pick any other team to win week two, except for Cleveland. By the time the season ends, if you’re still in the game, you will have very few teams you can pick from. Hopefully, the league has gone bust by then and you’ve won, however. That’s our aim here at Fantasy Ace, to help you make the right choices to win.
However, if your survival league is like a lot of others, your 2013 season might already be over. More than 50% of survival leagues have a champion by the fourth week. This is usually due to one or a combination of:
- Poor choices
- Weekly upsets
- Saving teams
Many people in survival leagues make the mistake of choosing the wrong team from day one, and by wrong team I mean a squad that doesn’t have the biggest possibility of victory. And in survival football, everything factors in to the possibility of victory equation. Is the team playing at home? What was the team’s record last year? Did it make the playoffs? What about its opponent? And contrary to popular opinion, I also look at the team’s pre-season experience, at least for the time when the starters were on the field.
Therefore, the answer to the question of which team to pick for week one was Indianapolis. Don’t look ahead to week four when Indy was due to play what statistically should be the worse team of the year, Jacksonville, trying to save them for that matchup, because you may not get there if you can’t get past week one. Two teams fit the paradigm I outlined earlier, and those teams were Indianapolis and New England. You wouldn’t have gone wrong picking either one. And you would have survived until week two, unlike the hordes of people who were eliminated week one choosing Tampa Bay or Pittsburgh, two teams that didn’t fit.
My picks for weeks one through four were:
Week One – Indianapolis (Won)
Week Two – New England (Won)
Week Three – Seattle (Won)
Week Four – Kansas City (Won)
And you know, each one of those picks was easy because I followed the formula. Pick the team with the biggest possibility of winning. Some weeks that was more than one team, and other weeks it was only one team, but regardless, I stuck to the formula. Of course the formula shifts from week to week, depending on matchups, on who’s at home, and, honestly, about who’s playing Jacksonville. But, as many people in my league can tell you, don’t always look at those “worst teams” like Cleveland, the team that has eliminated more players than any other team the past two weeks.
By the way, I’m not feeling Cleveland this week, but I’m wary of them because I didn’t feel them the past two weeks either. So, how did I avoid being a casualty like so many others? Other teams fit the formula better the past two weeks than Cleveland’s opponents, that’s how I did it. And I’m very grateful it worked out that way. Seattle had the biggest possibility of victory week three, and I had no problem using them, an issue for so many others. They were saving Seattle for next week or the week after, and now they’re out. And then came Cincinnati, who was supposed to beat Cleveland easily, but I saw the matchup. Andy Dalton hadn’t been playing well, even though Cincinnati was at home, they had just come off of a huge victory against Green Bay, and they took Cleveland for granted. I didn’t. I chose Kansas City, who was playing a winless, punchless Giants team in Kansas City. It was a no-brainer. And I’m still alive.
So, what do I do this week? I’m going with the team against Jacksonville, which happens to be St. Louis. They’re rested (the last time they played was against San Francisco last Thursday night), Jacksonville is an absolute mess on both sides of the ball, and St. Louis is at home. If you’ve already used St. Louis in your league (I have no idea why you would have used them week one, but that’s the only week they’ve won so far this year), the other teams with high possibilities of winning are Denver, San Diego, and Kansas City. Don’t be fooled by Atlanta. They’re 1-3 for a reason, because they can’t close out games, even at home, and the Jets are coming off a huge loss. They will play tough. And whatever else you do, don’t go near Cleveland. They definitely could win three in a row, especially against the Bills coming off a big win against Baltimore.
This week, go with St. Louis. I am.