A perfect (so far) season in Eliminator
The 2008 Best Picture class at the Oscars is generally considered one of the worst group of nominees in recent memory. Slumdog Millionaire beat out Benjamin Button, Milk, The Reader and Frost/Nixon for the crown in a subpar year.
But they still slap “Best Picture” on the Slumdog DVD boxes.
Along the same vein, this year in Eliminator has been easier than most. Picking on the Browns — and, to a lesser extent, the 49ers or Jaguars — has made it less difficult to pick at least one winner in a given week than it has been in fantasy circles in years.
But being easier than normal does not mean it has been easy. Just to pick one game, there were nearly half a million entrants in ESPN’s Eliminator Challenge, and of those, only 10,389 remain perfect. That’s about 2 percent. And included in that 2 percent of successes is PFF’s Tyler Loechner.
What makes Tyler’s season picks slightly more impressive is he isn’t making them in a void, only to brag when he emerges victorious. No, Tyler’s been public about his picks all season, first publishing them in weekly advice pieces on the site, then moving them to Twitter in Week 4. Using PFF’s forecasts and projections, Tyler’s gone 15 weeks into a 17-week game flawlessly, and stands only two more correct picks away from a perfect season.
Has he taken the theoretically easy way out and picked on the Browns most of the season? Sure. But if it were really that easy, there would be more than 2 percent perfect still, especially among the public selections.
So yeah, we’re gonna brag on our guy a little here. (At least until this piece jinxes him and he’s wrong in Week 16.) He used our tools and our projections, made his own picks (see them below) and beat some 98 percent of the players. He avoided a couple of theoretically “obvious” picks that doomed many others (twice the most popular play on ESPN failed). @LoechnerNFL for the win.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 22, 2016
.@LoechnerNFL agrees with 57% of you and is picking ATL > SF. We have ATL projected to win by over 10 pts, for the biggest win of the week.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 17, 2016
The result: Atlanta 41, San Francisco 13
Most popular on ESPN: Atlanta, 32%
.@LoechnerNFL is picking DEN to topple JAX. He’s been saving the Broncos, and the Jaguars are *not* the “best 2-win team ever.” Sorry, Rex.
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 1, 2016
The result: Detroit 20, Chicago 17 Most popular on ESPN: Detroit, 39%
The result: Denver 20, Jacksonville 10
Most popular on ESPN: Denver, 32%
The result: NY Giants 27, Cleveland 13 Most popular on ESPN: Giants, 32%
The result: Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 9
Most popular on ESPN: Giants, 29% (Giants beat Bears 22-16)
The result: Arizona 23, San Francisco 20 Most popular on ESPN: Baltimore, 36% (Ravens beat Browns, 28-7)
The result: Dallas 35, Cleveland 10
Most popular on ESPN: Dallas, 44%
The result: NY Jets 31, Cleveland 28 Most popular on ESPN: Minnesota, 40% (Vikings lost to the Bears, 20-10)
The result: Cincinnati 31, Cleveland 17
Most popular on ESPN: Cincinnati, 37%
The result: Buffalo 45, San Francisco 16 Most popular on ESPN: Pittsburgh, 26% (Steelers lost to the Dolphins, 30-15)
The result: New England 33, Cleveland 13
Most popular on ESPN: New England, 49%
The result: Washington 31, Cleveland 20
Most popular on ESPN: Washington, 24%
The result: Miami 30, Cleveland 24
Most popular on ESPN: Miami, 33%
The result: Baltimore 25, Cleveland 20
Most popular on ESPN: Carolina, 32% (Panthers beat 49ers, 46-27)
The result: Seattle 12, Miami 10
Most popular on ESPN: Seattle, 26%