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Staff Picks: Split Decision

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

For the podcast version of this column, click here.

I was the only writer to go 2-0 last week, and as DDD went 0-2 and Erickson 1-1, Erickson and I are tied for first place in the playoffs at 6-4. We introduced an over/under bet as a tiebreaker, but that won't help us as we're both on the Falcons and the over. DDD has a chance to win, though, as he's on the Patriots and the under.

EricksonPianowskiLissStopaDel Don
Falcons +3 vs. Patriots Falcons Patriots Falcons Patriots Patriots
Score 33-30 34-30 37-27 39-18 31-27
O/U 58.5 Over Over Over Under Under
Last week's Record 1-1 1-1 2-0 1-1 0-2
Best Bet Record 14-6 12-8 11-9 8-12 12-8
2016 Playoff Record 6-4 4-6 6-4 3-7 5-5
2016 Unanimous Pick Record 27-22-2
2016 Majority Pick Record 137-124-5
2015 Playoff Record 5-6 2-9 3-8 2-9 1-10
2014 Playoff Record 10-1 5-6 9-2 4-7 9-2
2013 Playoff Record 5-4-2 3-6-2 4-5-2 4-5-2 4-5-2
2012 Playoff Record 4-6-1 5-5-1 6-4-1 4-6-1 8-2-1
2011 Playoff Record 8-3 5-6 9-2 6-5 7-4
2010 Playoff Record 6-5 5-6 5-6 7-4 8-3
2009 Playoff Record 5-6 4-7 1-10 6-5 5-6
2008 Playoff Record 6-5 5-6 5-6 8-3 4-7
2007 Playoff Record 8-3 3-8 6-5 N/A 2-9
2006 Playoff Record 7-4 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2005 Playoff Record 5-6 N/A 3-8 N/A N/A
2004 Playoff Record 6-5 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2003 Playoff Record 6-5 N/A 4-7 N/A N/A
2002 Playoff Record 6-5 7-4 5-6 N/A N/A
2001 Playoff Record 6-4-1 7-3-1 4-6-1 N/A N/A
2016 Record 140-111-5 130-121-5 123-128-5 115-136-5 132-119-5
2015 Record 134-114-8 120-128-8 114-134-8 127-121-8 121-127-8
2014 Record 123-128-5 140-111-5 135-116-5 124-127-5 128-123-5
2013 Record 132-114-10 118-128-10 123-123-10 111-135-10 128-118-10
2012 Record 110-140-6 125-125-6 121-129-6 143-107-6 123-127-6
2011 Record 121-128-7 134-115-7 124-125-7 123-126-7 127-122-7
2010 Record 129-122-5 134-117-5 126-125-5 136-115-5 134-117-5
2009 Record 123-130-3 132-121-3 131-122-3 130-123-3 126-127-3
2008 Record 132-114-10 128-118-10 124-122-10 125-121-10 130-116-10
2007 Record 127-120 118-129 127-120 N/A 130-117
2006 Record 118-129 N/A 139-108 N/A N/A
2005 Record 121-126 N/A 127-120 N/A N/A
2004 Record 124-124 N/A 130-118 N/A N/A
2003 Record 121-126 118-129 124-123 N/A N/A
2002 Record 113-136 123-126 141-108 N/A N/A
2001 Record 124-113 117-120 118-119 N/A N/A
2000 Record 123-117 134-106 141-99 N/A N/A

Unanimous/Majority Picks

This week we have no unanimous picks. We had none last week, so our season record stands at 27-22-2. We went 1-1 on majority (three or more writers) picks to bring our season record to 137-124-5.

Comments:

Writer Comment
Erickson Although they're off the fast track of their home turf, I still don't see the Falcons' offense getting shut down by the Pats. The Falcons have moved the ball against virtually everyone and everywhere this year, including at Denver early in the season when the Broncos' defense was still considered elite. The Pats will score a lot too, so I see this ending in a late game-winning score.
Pianowski New England probably has a little bit better defense, and the two weeks to prepare certainly helps the New England staff.
Liss I think the defenses are more or less equal right now, but the Falcons have a decisive edge on offense. Atlanta scored the seventh most points in NFL history while playing the league's toughest defensive schedule per Football Outsider's DVOA metric. And Atlanta hasn't missed a beat during the postseason. Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL coach I've ever watched, but that mystique (and a very easy schedule) are why this unexceptional (without Rob Gronkowski) Patriots team is here. I'm taking the points, the moneyline and the Falcons -7.5 at +335.
Stopa I'm surprised this line is only three. Yes, Atlanta's offense has been great. But New England's offense isn't far off, whereas the Pats have significant advantages on defense and coaching. I'll be floored if Tom Brady isn't the MVP - a truly deflating feeling (pun intended) for all the haters, including myself, but perhaps none moreso than Roger Goodell. I've come to accept the inevitable Pats win, which is why I'm betting on New England. My favorite bet, though, is Atlanta scoring exactly 18 points at 125:1 odds... a hit that would make up for years of bad beats. Don't go looking for that line now, though - it's down to 60:1 after my bets.
Del Don This line seems exactly right to me, and I expect this to be a good game. I get not to blindly take New England based solely on "mystique," but it's also tough going against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick with two weeks to prepare. I do expect a shootout, but this total seems a little inflated (as most Super Bowls are), so I'll take the under here. The Falcons are legit, but give me the Pats.

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The players:

Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008, 2013, 2015, 2016 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Weekly Rankings. Covers and roots for the Bengals.

Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to Rotowire.com. 2009, 2011 and 2014 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the Patriots.

Chris Liss: RotoWire Managing Editor, 2000, 2002, 2006 Staff Picks Champ, 2003, 2004 co-champ. Writes East Coast Offense, Beating the Book and the Survivor column in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants.

Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, 2010, 2012 Staff Picks Champ, Writes Run 'N' Shoot. Roots for the Bills.

Dalton Del Don: Fantasy Expert for Yahoo! Sports, 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Roots for the 49ers.