RotoWire Partners

Staff Picks: Backing the Packers

Chris Liss

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

Congrats to Jeff Erickson who won the Staff Picks for the third time with a 132-114 mark. DDD came in second at 128-118. This week, we all like the Packers, and four of us like the Bengals and Eagles. The only game with a 3-2 split is the Chiefs-Colts, and Stopa and I are on opposite sides of it with our best bets. Both Pianow and DDD like the Eagles as theirs.

Erickson Pianowski Liss Stopa Del Don
Chiefs +2.5 at Colts Colts Colts Colts Chiefs Chiefs
Saints +2.5 at Eagles Eagles Eagles Eagles Saints Eagles
Chargers +7 at Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Chargers
49ers -3 at Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers
Best Bet Bengals Eagles Colts Chiefs Eagles
Last Week's Record 7-9 9-7 8-8 8-8 8-8
Best Bet Record 9-7-1 5-12 9-8 9-8 6-11
Consensus Pick Record 23-29-3
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
2000 Playoff Record 6-5 7-4 6-5 N/A N/A
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

Consensus Picks

This week we have one consensus pick: the Packers. Last week we went 3-1 to put us at 23-29-3 on the season.


EricksonShouldn't I be really nervous about laying chalk on the biggest line, with my favorite team no less? Especially when I'm typically pretty nervous about them? And yet... I really like the matchup this week. The Chargers' defense is pretty porous, and the Bengals' offense at home has been fantastic. But Bad Andy Dalton could show up, as he did last week, and the Chargers offense is competent enough to take advantage of that. Still... this was the matchup I was hoping for last week, and I still feel this is the best set-up possible for them... I could see any result happening in GB-SF, that's my least confident pick.
Pianowski don't trust the Saints defense anywhere, and obviously their offense isn't the same on the road.
LissThe sharps don't seem to like the Colts, but they hated the Giants both years they won the Super Bowl and the Ravens last year, too. The problem is sharps usually look at season-long samples and sometimes miss late-season turning points. What works 55 or 60 percent of the time is great as a general rule, but it can be wrong in any instance. I think the conservative Colts offense suffered after losing their chain-mover Reggie Wayne, but after opening things up in garbage time during a blowout loss to Cincinnati, it got back on track. At the very least, I expect them to handle the Chiefs, a team that's gone 2-5 since their fast start, beating only the Raiders and Redskins after November 3. And what team did they beat on November 3? The Jeff Tuel-led Bills who gave up two defensive TDs, but otherwise dominated them.
StopaIndy has been overrated for two years now. Since losing Reggie Wayne this year, they've been blown out three times, including to the Rams at home, and their only wins were over the Texans twice, Titans twice, Jaguars and a KC team that had nothing to play for. Essentially, they're an 8-8 team masquerading as a playoff squad because they played in the NFL's worst division. Massey-Peabody agrees, putting them barely above 0 (the mark of an average team). The Chiefs don't have the strongest resume, either, but their eight Pro Bowlers shows they have far more talent than Indy. Take the KC money line (+125 some places) and thank me later. FWIW, this is my "best bet" in many weeks. Chiefs 35-17... The Bengals were 8-0 at home, winning every game handily except the Packers and Patriots. If Green Bay (with Rodgers) and New England couldn't do it, San Diego sure won't. Bengals 31-20, and I'll be astounded if the Chargers win outright... Nick Foles has had a great 2014, but I didn't like his demeanor last week. Against an awful Dallas defense, he looked tight ... unsure ... like the moment was too big for him. Before that game, he was quoted as saying the biggest game of his career was a high school state championship. Yikes. We'll see Foles again, but he needs a year of playoff seasoning. Saints 27-20... SF/GB is my toughest call. San Fran is far more talented, particularly on defense, and even as a No. 5 seed, I like them as a Super Bowl contender. Colin Kaepernick has been playing better since Michael Crabtree came back, too. But Aaron Rodgers getting a field goal at home? I can't pass that up. 49ers 28-27.
Del Don KC/Indy seems like a true 50/50 proposition to me, but I wouldn't point to the Chiefs' loss at home against the Colts in Week 16 as any important indicator of what will happen Saturday... The thing about the Saints being so much worse on the road this season is the Eagles have had the worst home-field advantage over the past couple of years. Still, New Orleans is a dome team who will be playing in freezing conditions in a night game, and Nick Foles just finished a season in which he got 9.1 YPA with a 27:2 TD:INT ratio... I actually switched off the Bengals at the last second. I expect them to win, but San Diego is feisty enough to keep it close... The Niners' 12-win season was rewarded with them having to play in Lambeau Field in not exactly Bay Area conditions against a Packers team with a suddenly healthy Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb (despite the latter winning eight games this season). But I'm not bitter or anything.

The players:

Jeff Erickson: RotoWire Senior editor, 2001, 2008, 2013 Staff Picks Champ. Writes the Weekly Rankings. 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 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.