Last week, almost everyone except the Jets and Packers got through, so there was a lot less carnage than I expected. Let's take a look at this week's numbers:
|Team ||Opponent ||% Picked ||Vegas ML* ||Vegas Odds
|Raiders ||Broncos ||32.5% ||265 ||72.6%
|Chargers ||49ers ||19.8% ||400 ||80%
|Cowboys ||Redskins ||15.0% ||240 ||70.6%
|Dolphins ||Bills ||10.1% ||200 ||66.7%
|Buccaneers ||Lions ||7.2% ||235 ||70.1%
|Patriots ||Packers ||6.7% ||512.5 ||83.7%
|Falcons ||Seahawks ||2.9% ||240 ||70.6%
|Bears ||Vikings ||1.8% ||140 ||58.3%
|Colts ||Jaguars ||0.8% ||210 ||67.7%
|Steelers ||Jets ||0.7% ||220 ||68.8%
|Other ||N/A ||2.5% ||N/A ||N/A
Keep in mind this late in the year, you want to check who's available to the remaining teams in your pool, as the above numbers are just averages across a large sample of pools. Moreover, as more owners get eliminated, the sample from which they're drawn shrinks, making it less reliable.
1. New England Patriots
Even if Aaron Rodgers
were miraculously to play despite a second concussion the Pats would be one of the bigger favorites on the board. If Rodgers doesn't go (which is the likely scenario), the Pats jump up to double digits, and it's pretty hard to see them losing at home to Matt Flynn
. I give New England an 84 percent chance to win this game.
2. San Diego Chargers
The Niners are desperate, and San Diego's laid an egg before (just two weeks ago, the Raiders beat them up at home). But without Frank Gore
, it's hard to see San Francisco succeeding with a punishing running attack. Unless Alex Smith
plays the best game of his career, the Chargers should pull away. I give San Diego a 79 percent chance to win this game.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Jets are a dangerous opponent, but their offense has lost its confidence of late, with poor blocking from the line, bad decisions by Mark Sanchez
and untimely drops by the receivers. I'd be awfully surprised if they right the ship in Pittsburgh. I give the Steelers a 72 percent chance to win this game.
4. Oakland Raiders
Denver just got blown out in Arizona, so you'd think it would only get worse in Oakland, especially after the Raiders dominated them in Denver several weeks ago. Just keep in mind these AFC West rivalry games are highly unpredictable, and Denver has plenty of firepower on offense. I give the Raiders a 72 percent chance to win this game.
5. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys have been playing solid if unspectacular football since Jason Garrett
took over, while the Redskins have been mistake prone and inconsistent. I give the Cowboys a 71 percent chance to win this division game at home.
6. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons keep rolling despite modest production by statistical measures, while the Seahawks occasionally put up a fight at home. Atlanta should win barring a few untimely turnovers, but Seattle could have some of its receivers back. I give the Falcons a 68 percent chance to win this game.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs keep pulling out wins, but I don't trust them much, and Detroit is not a doormat, despite their record. Still, Drew Stanton
's at the helm, and the game is in Tampa, so the Bucs should pull it out. I give Tampa a 67 percent chance to win this game.
8. Indianapolis Colts
The Jaguars always seem to play the Colts tough, and that's even when the Colts are an elite team and Jacksonville's a doormat. This year, the teams are rough equals, so it's even riskier than usual. But the Colts need it more, and it's in Indy, so they get the edge. I give the Colts a 66 percent chance to win this game.
9. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have played well at times, winning at Green Bay, blowing out the Raiders in Oakland and nearly beating the Steelers. But they've also lost at home to Cleveland and were shut out at home by the Bears. The Bills can hang with just about anybody, so this game should be close, but the Dolphins are the better team and playing at home. I give them a 66 percent chance to win this game.
Anyone not mentioned