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Staff Picks: Backing the Giants

Chris Liss

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

Erickson and I both went 3-1 last week to lead the playoff standings at 6-2. (It's hard to shake someone when he makes the exact same picks as you). This week, everyone likes the Pats except me, and all of us are on the Giants, even 49ers fan DDD.

Enjoy the games.

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Ravens +7.5 at Patriots Patriots Patriots Ravens Patriots Patriots
Giants +2.5 at 49ers Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants
Best Bet Patriots Patriots Ravens Patriots Giants
Last Week's Record 3-1 1-3 3-1 2-2 3-1
Playoff Record 6-2 4-4 6-2 4-4 5-3
Playoff Best Bet Record 2-0 1-1 1-1 1-1 1-1
2011 Record 121-128-7 134-115-7 124-125-7 123-126-7 127-122-7
Best Bet Record 7-9-1 8-8-1 10-7 10-7 7-9-1
Consensus Pick Record 30-24-2
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
2000 Playoff Record 6-5 7-4 6-5 N/A N/A
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

Consensus Picks

This week we have one consensus pick: the Giants. We went 1-1 last week on consensus picks, to put us at 2-2 for the playoffs. We were 30-24-1 during the regular season. We went 32-21-1 on consensus picks in 2010.


EricksonI just don't believe in the Ravens, and especially Joe Flacco, on the road. They played like champs in Week 17 against the Bengals, but the previous road game, against the Chargers, is the one that sticks out in my mind. Maybe it was a letdown, or maybe it was a matchup of personnel? If it's the latter, and I think it is, they are in trouble... I've gone back and forth on the Niners and Giants, but I'm persuaded that the Giants defense isn't the same unit as early in the season, and that's the controlling factor.
PianowskiThe Baltimore win at New England in Jan. 2010 means little today. The Patriots didn't have Wes Welker (knee) that day, and Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were still in college. Julian Edelman caught two touchdown passes in that game; today, he's a defensive back. I'll be very surprised if New England loses to the Ravens.
LissThe Ravens-Pats line is an overreaction to last week's results. The Ravens have been as good as the Pats all year and have not been more than seven point dogs at any time in the Harbaugh/Flacco era. Moreover, teams that score 38-plus in a playoff game have covered the next week only four times in 24 games since 1994 (Hat Tip: RJ Bell). In other words, people overreact to big offensive showings, particularly in the playoffs.
StopaThe Ravens leave me cold, especially on the road, where they were 4-4 and got shredded in December by Philip Rivers. Heck, they would have lost last week if they weren't facing rookie T.J. Yates. And what's with the Ray Rice disappearing act? If he's not the best player on the field when he's in the game, the Ravens have no chance whatsoever. Meanwhile, the Patriots defense has quietly started to come together, in no small part because Patrick Chung and Jerod Mayo are healthy. The Ravens defense, meanwhile, is overrated - Ed Reed and Ray Lewis have both lost a step. Pats 34-17... Everyone remembers the pass from Steve Young to Terrell Owens to beat the Packers in the playoffs several years ago, but does anyone remember that SF lost the following week? That's what Vernon Davis' catch feels like to me. That was the peak for SF, whereas the Giants are more balanced on both sides of the ball. Sure, Alex Smith looked good against NO, but can he do anything resembling that against NY? I think not. My only trepidation is if the Giants waste too many plays running the ball; we've seen enough of the SF defense, including against these Giants earlier in the year, to know that won't work. Giants 24-20.
Del Don I obviously hope I'm wrong about the Giants, but I have a strong New York feel this week, so I'm going with head over heart.

The players:

Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Value Meter. Covers and roots for the Bengals.

Scott Pianowski: Fantasy expert for Yahoo! Sports, and also contributes to 2009 and 2011 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 Surviving the Week in addition to Staff Picks. Covers and roots for the Giants.

Mark Stopa: Staff Writer, 2010 Staff Picks Champ, Writes Working the Wire. Roots for the Bills.

Dalton Del Don: RotoWire Senior Staff Writer. 2007 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Game Capsules and the Barometer. Covers the Eagles and roots for the 49ers.