Comparison with the best performing lists that I can find.
In prior weeks, if a defense was selected by 3 or fewer blogs, it tended to have less than a 20% chance of an above average week. But if selected by 4 or more systems, it has over 70% chance of having an above average week and captured most of the break out weeks for that week. No system alone, btw, performed better than 70% above average through 5 weeks of the defense analyzer (about 0 and 35 for doing better than 70% accuracy).
CHI, HOU, NE and PIT were selected by all 7 systems
NYG, SEA and SF were selected by 6. KFFL did not choose SEA or SF and the NFL projections did not pick the NYG
MIA was selected by 5 systems. The Analyzer and Michaels' blog did not pick MIA vs. TEN but it was in my riskier picks and looks good from the overall selection picks.
DEN was selected by 4 systems.
DET, BAL AND DAL all received 3 picks. The analyzer did not include DET or BAL in the top 10. This is the cutpoint where the odds of a breakout seem to drop off dramatically.
My pick of TB vs SD did not fare well with KFFL being the only other system to rank TB in the top 10. Please approach with caution!
IND, NYJ, ATL and MIN were each selected by only 1 of the systems. Thus far, none of the singleton picks have had an above average game in the past 5 weeks.
I have to admit, I'm feeling much more nervous about the TB vs. SD pick now. But, I can't think of a logical rationale not to keep TB in the top 10.
DAL was picked by only 3 systems (yahoo composite of four analysts, KFFL and Analyzer). DEN was picked by four (Analyzer, NFL projections, KFFL and Yahoo). For some reason, neither of those two were selected by Michaels, FFtooblox and FFix only chose DEN. Not sure what the latter 3 are seeing but it may be worth noting that DAL doesn't rank higher than 8th on anyone's list and DEN doesn't rate higher than 9th on anyone's list. I'd say it looks like a wash between those two.
Just to drill down those two for bigd,
DEN has 8 picks and DAL has only 3 picks in those games. DEN has also registered 24 sacks to DAL 16 in 8 games. DEN also has had 3 fumble recoveries to DAL 2. FAVOR DEN.
CAR has given up 8 picks and 17 sacks while PHI has given up 9 picks and a monstrous 27 sacks (favor DAL!). CAR has given up 5 fumbles and PHI has given up 10. FAVOR DAL
CAR has averaged 18.6 ppg, PHI has averaged 16.6 ppg. That's a wash.
DEN visits CAR, Dal visits PHI. Both are outdoor stadiums. Weather should be 60s and sunny while in CAR should be 70s and sunny. Both are conducive to big offenses and passing over rushing. Both CAR and PHI have a path of least resistance that favors the rush and PHI does have a good rushing game to fall back on. DAL and DEN should both favor the pass. Looks like a wash on those points.
DEN has averaged 5.5 more points per game on average as a defense than DAL has. PHI has averaged 4 more points per game as an opponent than CAR has. Tips to DEN.
PHI has given 3 of their last 4 outings as above average with one break out. DAL has only had one break out or above average week all year.
CAR has given 2 of their last four games as breakouts but have also given out a zero and a six. DEN has had two of their last four games as breakout/above average games. Looks like this tips to DEN.
So no wonder they are tough to choose between. Do you trust the better defense or the more desirable matchup? I think this one tips very slightly to DEN as a pick but they're awfully close. If you have a gut feeling that you'd be happier with, that's about as good as I have left.