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Staying alive

September 24, 2008 - Buck Frank

I just want to give a quick follow-up to Neil Rudel's ill-fated NFL suicide blog. (Note: I prefer the term "eliminator' instead of "suicide' because when you're ousted you usually don't see it coming).

Although I don't want to jinx my chances as Neil did, I wanted to offer a few bits of guidelines to follow, especially early in the season when you have more options.

--Stay away from road teams, even if they are heavy favorites.

--Don't pick against desperate teams. That's one of the reasons I switched off the Giants (vs. Bengals) last week.

--Try to stay away from divisional games. The teams know each other too well, which make them too risky.

--Be patient. It would be surprising if you're still battling with someone else on Week 17. So don't take the attitude you're going to need 17 different teams at some point. Just stay alive.

--When an unknown factor surfaces (such as Willie Parker injury, Joey Porter guarantee, Rams switching quarterbacks), get away from that game.

The Broncos (3-0) playing the Chiefs (0-3) this week would seem like a lock. But it breaks the first three rules (road team, vs. desperate team, divisional game). I'd stay away from it.

Some weeks you'll have to break a rule (this week there are many divisional games), but if you have to break two or three of these, it may not be a good pick.

Again, these are just some guidelines to keep in mind. Have fun, and stay alive.

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