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Staff Picks: 4 Giants, 1 Patriot

Chris Liss

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

I went 2-0 last week to go 8-2 and pull a game ahead of Erickson. Because both he and I picked the Giants, I've won the highly insignificant playoff portion of the staff picks this year. Interestingly, four of five writers picked the Giants, (Pianow is the only Pats backer), and three of us (Erickson, me and DDD) all have the Pats scoring exactly 24 points.

Enjoy the game.

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Giants +3 vs. Patriots Giants Patriots Giants Giants Giants
Score 30-24 31-27 41-24 24-20 31-24
Last Week's Record 1-1 1-1 2-0 1-1 1-1
Playoff Record 7-3 5-5 8-2 5-5 6-4
Playoff Best Bet Record 2-1 1-2 2-1 1-2 2-1
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 no consensus picks. We went 1-0 last week on consensus picks, to put us at 3-2 for the playoffs. We were 30-24-1 during the regular season. We went 32-21-1 on consensus picks in 2010.


EricksonAt first I was surprised that the opening line hadn't moved, given how the Giants' line has moved each of the last two games. But the Pats are a public team too, and three is a hard number off of which to move. Anyhow, I think this game should be a pick 'em. I also tend to agree with those that argue the more recent games should be weighted more than the entirety of the season.
PianowskiGenerally I hate the two weeks between Championship Sunday and the Super Bowl. This time around, it's critical for New England. The line value is definitely with the Giants, and honestly, I think there's an excellent chance we see a three-point game. But we're here to make picks, not call pre-game pushes.
LissThe Pats just don't have the horses to hang with a faster, more athletic team. The Giants should win and possibly blow them out.
StopaMy instinct on Giants/Pats is probably not unlike yours. I see two elite QBs, but one team has an above-average defense (Giants) and the other, well, doesn't (Pats). Yes, Belichick gives the Pats a coaching advantage, especially with an extra week to prepare, but the Rob Gronkowski injury offsets that, plus the Giants are getting three points. Add it all up, and isn't New York the obvious choice? I think so, but with an extra week to ponder my choice, I started to second-guess myself, wondering if New England was the sharp play. Vegas isn't giving it away, and the line hasn't gone below three, so what are we missing? Then I read an article somewhere explaining how the public bets so much on the Super Bowl that even the sharps can't affect the line. Hence, I'm persuaded there really isn't a "sharp" play in the Super Bowl, and I should just go with my instinct. Giants 24-20. I chose 44 total points for a reason - I think 55 points is significantly too high for the over/under, especially with Gronkowski hurt. With Brady throwing only to Welker and Hernandez against a good defense, it's hard for me to see this game played in the 30s. If anything, unless I'm wrong about the extent of Gronk's injury, the Giants might be better-equipped to score in the 30s than the Patriots.
Del DonMy first instinct was the Giants are going to win in a blowout. Then it later became clear most people were backing New York, which while ultimately shouldn't really matter (remember when the Steelers were backed by seemingly everyone when they beat the Seahawks in the worst officiated Super Bowl game ever?), it does give me pause. Tom Brady rarely if ever has two bad games in a row, but the Giants' pass rush looks like a perfect match against this Pats' team, especially with an obviously hobbled Rob Gronkowski. But the Patriots will have revenge on their minds after the G-Men prevented them from a perfect season during Super Bowl XLII. New England had a much easier path to the Super Bowl, but this is a team that finished 13-3 in the regular season versus one that squeaked into the playoffs at 9-7. There are so many narratives, it's a joke to follow any specific one. So while I absolutely hate going against Brady and Belichick, I'm sticking with the Giants.

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.