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Survivor: Week 4 Edition

Chris Liss

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

Surviving Week 4

A few people took on unnecessary risks with the Vikings and 49ers, but for the most part it was an easy week as the big favorites - the Seahawks and Broncos - rolled from the start. Let's take a look at the options for Week 4:

Team Opponent %Taken Vegas ML** Vegas Odds
BRONCOS Eagles 33.70% 525 84.00
Colts JAGUARS 27.10% 350 77.78
SAINTS Dolphins 14.60% 265 72.60
Bengals BROWNS 8.50% 190 65.52
CHIEFS Giants 4.60% 195 66.10
49ers RAMS 3.60% 155 60.78
TITANS Jets 2.90% 175 63.64
Ravens BILLS 2.10% 155 60.78
Home team in CAPS
** Average of the two moneylines

Looking at the numbers, there are really only three choices: the Broncos, Colts or Saints. If we compare the Broncos and Colts, there's an 18 percent chance Denver wins while Indy loses (84% * 22%) and a 12 percent chance of the opposite (78% * 16%). That's a ratio of 3:2.

But assuming a 100-person $10 entry-fee pool, the former scenario leaves 73 people left (minus expected 13 expected losses from other teams), so it's 60. In the latter there would be 53. $1000/60 = $16.67, and $1000/53 = $18.87. Plainly the ratio of $18.87 to $16.67 does not come close to 3:2. Denver is therefore the better choice.

If we compare Denver to New Orleans, the difference is equally stark. A Broncos win/Saints loss happens (84% * 27%) 22.7 percent of the time. The opposite (73% * 16%) happens 11.7 percent of the time. That ratio is nearly 2:1.

But under the Broncos win/Saints lose scenario, there would be 70 people left. $1000/70 = $14.29. Under the Saints win/Broncos lose one, there would be 51 people left = $19.61. The ratio of $19.61 to $14.29 is not nearly 2:1.

In short, Denver is easily the best choice for this week.

My Picks

1. Denver Broncos

The Eagles defense has struggled even against pedestrian offenses like the Chargers and Chiefs, and it's hard to see how they'll match up on the road against the Broncos. The fast pace and talented skill players give Philly the volatility to be dangerous, but the Broncos are still the best choice on the board. I give the Broncos an 86 percent chance to win this game.

2. New Orleans Saints

The Saints defense has been good so far this year, and that makes them a complete team and a serious contender in the NFC. The Dolphins have also been good defensively, but Ryan Tannehill leads the NFL with 14 sacks taken already, and I don't see the Dolphins offense keeping up in the dome. I give the Saints a 77 percent chance to win this game.

3. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts look better this year, and the Jaguars are the league's worst doormat through three games. Moreover, Blaine Gabbert is getting his job back for some inexplicable reason. Still, it's a road game, the Colts can't stop the run, and the Jaguars despite getting blown out in Seattle didn't lie down. I give the Colts a 75 percent chance to win this game.

Notable Omissions

Cincinnati Bengals - Do you trust Andy Dalton on the road against a good defense?

Kansas City Chiefs - The Giants are capable of a total no show against anyone and also beating anyone outright. Don't mess with them.

San Francisco 49ers - The Rams were bad last year too, but they gave the 49ers a lot of trouble. And that 49ers team was much better than this version.

Tennessee Titans - Do you trust Jake Locker against the Jets defense?

Baltimore Ravens - You don't want to use a road team unless it's great (the Ravens haven't been so far) and the home team is awful (the Bills are merely below average).