Eliminator Challenge is one of the simplest and fun games during the NFL season. Pick one team to win each week. If that team wins, you advance to the next week. Lose once, and you're out. The only caveat is you cannot pick the same team twice.
While it sounds simple, getting a perfect season is always more difficult than it looks. The key is to find a good balance of picking winners while also keeping quality options open for future weeks.
Last week, five teams closed as at least eight-point favorites, with those teams going 5-0. However, both Ohio teams lost as big favorites as the Cincinnati Bengals (-7) and Cleveland Browns (-6) combined to eliminate 24% of remaining entries.
Overall, teams favored between 4-7 points are a dismal 5-7-1 outright and 2-11 ATS. No team is bigger than a touchdown favorite this week, meaning this could be another Eliminator Challenge pick full of landmines.
According to FPI, only three teams have at least a 61% chance to win this week, fewest in any week all season. The biggest favorite has a 78% chance of winning, which is the lowest in any remaining week until Week 17. And both big favorites have heavy question marks, with the Bengals starting 0-2, and Chargers QB Justin Herbert dealing with a rib injury.
Not surprisingly, those are the two chalkiest teams, combining for 50% of Eliminator Challenge entries just far. One of them is my top pick for a brutal Week 3.