Welcome to 2019 Eliminator Challenge. The rules are simple: Just pick a winner each week, and don't use the same team twice. If you win all 17 weeks (or outlast your group members), you win. You can find all the rules here.
This article will look at the top Eliminator options each week, using betting lines, ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI), trends, future schedules and anything else that will help determine the best picks. (For more on how FPI is calculated, click here and here.)
After the Chargers and Rams, the Houston Texans, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts are the biggest FPI favorites. The Patriots will be a bigger favorite in most weeks going forward, so saving them is prudent. The same is true with the Colts, who have a Week 10 home matchup against the lowly Dolphins. Houston is only a 4-point favorite, but despite that, they are the top contrarian pick on the board.
However, there is no reason to avoid the chalk just yet. The Chargers and Rams both have schedules down the stretch in which there is no reason to save either one, and both have significantly better chances to win this week than the other options down the board.
So as usually has been the case this season, the chalkiest options are the best options.