Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
Blog Entry

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Posted on: December 25, 2011 4:47 pm
 
Well...we finally made it through another tiebreaker season.  It's been interesting, especially in the AFC West and with all the potential ties at 9-7 in both the AFC and NFC.  I'm putting out Week 17 scenarios a little early since all AFC games are done for week 16 and the NFC is pretty cut and dry now.

Also...you should know that the scenarios below were simplified as two potential scenarios that would come down to Strength of Victory (SOV) tiebreaker are already locked up.  If BAL wins and NE loses, the battle for the #1 seed comes down to SOV as they would be tied in conf record and common opponents.  BAL has already secured the better record among teams they have defeated (SOV) over NE, otherwise we might have had some games with playoff impact that are not directly related to BAL-NE.  The other scenario where SOV may come into play is a 4-team tie at 9-7 between CIN-NYJ-TEN-OAK (needs CIN loss, NYJ win, TEN win, OAK win and DEN win).  CIN would drop out on conf record and NYJ-TEN-OAK don't have enough common opponents so it goes to SOV.  OAK has already secured better Win-Loss-Tied percentage among defeated opponents (assuming scenario above) over TEN and NYJ.

Also....TEN is probably the most interesting scenario to figure out.   If you look at TEN scenarios below, basically they need another team to match up with them and CIN at 9-7 to avoid losing H2H to CIN.  If Jets win...they win that 3-way with NYJ-CIN-TEN on common opponents over NYJ after CIN drops out on conf record.  BUT...they can't have OAK as Wild Card potential at 9-7 as well because in that case CIN drops out and not enough common opponents for NYJ-TEN-OAK and OAK wins that tiebreaker on Strength of Victory.    BUT....if OAK is there as potential WC at 9-7 (both DEN and OAK win), TEN can advance if NYJ loses as then it would be TEN-CIN-OAK and CIN would drop out on conf record and TEN beats OAK on common opponents.  So TEN gets in if they Win and CIN loses and either NYJ wins or OAK wins (and doesn't win division)...BUT NOT BOTH.  Weird.

So, we're left with below:

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF PICTURE (also includes remaining 2 Week 16 games):

NFC

  CLINCHED:    Green Bay Packers -- North Division and first-round bye.
San Francisco 49ers -- West Division.
New Orleans Saints -- wild card spot.
Detroit Lions -- wild card spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Arizona, Carolina, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington.

 GREEN BAY PACKERS
  Green Bay clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:
   1) one GB win or tie
   2) SF loss or tie

 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
  San Francisco clinches a first-round bye:
   1) SF win
   2) SF tie + one NO loss or tie
   3) one NO loss
  San Francisco clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:  
   1) SF win + two GB losses

 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
  New Orleans clinches NFC South Division:
   1) one NO win or tie
   2) one ATL loss or tie
  New Orleans clinches a first-round bye:
   1) two NO wins + SF loss or tie
   2) one NO win + one NO tie + SF loss

 NEW YORK Giants
  NY Giants clinch NFC East Division:
   1) NYG win or tie

 DALLAS Cowboys
  Dallas clinches NFC East Division:
   1) DAL win

 ATLANTA Falcons
  Atlanta clinches NFC South Division:
   1) two ATL wins + two NO losses
  Atlanta clinches a wild card spot:
   1) one ATL win or tie
   2) one CHI loss or tie

 CHICAGO Bears
  Chicago clinches a wild card spot:
   1) two CHI wins + two ATL losses

 AFC

  CLINCHED:    New England Patriots -- East Division and a first-round bye.
Houston Texans -- South Division.
Baltimore Ravens -- wild card spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- wild card spot.
  ELIMINATED:  Buffalo, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Miami, Jacksonville, San Diego

 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
  New England clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) NE win or tie
   2) BAL loss or tie + PIT loss or tie

 BALTIMORE RAVENS
  Baltimore clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
   1) BAL win
   2) BAL tie + PIT loss or tie
   3) PIT loss
  Baltimore clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) BAL win + NE loss

 PITTSBURGH STEELERS
  Pittsburgh clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
   1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie
   2) PIT tie + BAL loss
  Pittsburgh clinches homefield advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
   1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie + NE loss

 DENVER Broncos
  Denver clinches AFC West Division:
   1) DEN win
   2) DEN tie + OAK loss or tie
   3) OAK loss

 OAKLAND Raiders
  Oakland clinches AFC West Division:
   1) OAK win + DEN loss or tie
   2) OAK tie + DEN loss
  Oakland clinches a wild card spot:
   1) OAK win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie
   2) OAK win + CIN loss + NYJ win
 
 CINCINNATI Bengals
  Cincinnati clinches a wild card spot:
   1) CIN win or tie
   2) NYJ loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
   3) NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
 
 NEW YORK JETS
  NY Jets clinch a wild card spot:
   1) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
   2) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + DEN loss or tie

 TENNESSEE Titans
  Tennessee clinches a wild card spot:
   1) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + OAK loss or tie
   2) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + DEN loss or tie
   3) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ loss or tie + OAK win + DEN win

Comments

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:52 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

But that's apparently for after the season! Wink


Pillbox, I think once the week 17 sceanrios are published, and there are no SoV, SoS to be determined, the season is over for this blog.

Let the POVs begin!



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:49 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

I think we are throwing around the word arbitrary in this discussion too freely. 
That was my point earlier Vito.

Its only arbitrary in the sense that it makes an absolute out of something that is not absolute, ie. two 10-6 teams are tied. the Tie-breakers attempt to make it otherwise.

But the process is not "capricious" "discretionary" "unrestricted". Opinions are arbitrary. Polls are arbitrary. Power rankings are arbitrary. The NFL tie-breakers are not.


Conference games are given secondary importance
That is a problem, given that, if you do not win your division, conference games take on supreme importance. In other words, be sure to win your conference games, unless you are in a division struggle , in which case be sure to win your non-conference games.

I guess then, what this discussion has revealed is that the 4 games one plays against the other intra-confernce division are really, really important, as they always count in the two conf ti-breakers and the divison common game tie-breaker.

Is it 'better' to put conf before common? Probably not. I tend to think it is better to remove it altogether -- as Pillbox suggests




Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:20 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

So in 4 way the 2-1 2-1 1-2 1-2 scenario comes into play. What's your take Brett, since you created it?
Not speaking for Brett, but I think most of us are in agreement -- including Joe -- that H2H should be applicable when all involved teams have played each other, and that a sweep should not be required. Some re-wording would be required.

Again. most of us thought that this one was already the practice though not spelled out in the procedure.

2. Head-to-head (apply only if one has defeated each of the others, one club has lost to each of the others, or -- if all teams have played each other -- best won-lost-tied percentage in games among the clubs.)

This would take care of the 1-0-1 1-1-0 0-1-1 scenario as well.

Thus, The two 2-1 teams would revert to the 2-team tie-breaker based on H2H.






Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2011 9:10 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Remember: the two, non-common games are the only two based on previous year's standings. So, in theory, a last-place team should play easier opponents than higher-finishing teams from the year before.


Actually, all teams have exactly the same schedule, if you only count the standings rank from the previous year.  A last place team does not play itself, so it's divisional opponents are 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, and 3.  Then they play two 4th place teams, as mentioned.  It obviously works the same for any given ranking.

I think we are throwing around the word arbitrary in this discussion too freely.  Arbitrary: Based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.  I believe there was a system and reason for choosing the tiebreakers the way they are chosen.  H2H and divisional games are given utmost importance.  From the divisional perspective, common games are a strong criteria as it compares games from at least 8 different opponents (non-divisional) that all tied teams have played.  Conference games are given secondary importance - of the 12 games, really only 6 are in comparison (if division rec was tied), and 4 are common, two are "uncommon".

From the wild card perspective, H2H is still most important, followed by conf games, as the pool of common games is potentially 5 from 4 opponents, which could be uneven based on which divisional team is counted twice (MIN-STL common games basically involves a direct comparison of MIN v GB and STL v ARZ).  I would have to analyze the various combinations of conf games in more detail to determine how many of these games are common, uncommon, or potentially common.






Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:39 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Brett, not a bad idea, and iiprobably fits given the current set of tiebreakers. However, two quick points. First, if we are optimizing tiebreakers and sticking to each of our own logic from before, there is the same problem with teams not controlling their destiny of the tiebreak (your argument vs SoV etc). Team c has no control of team a's common sweep of b. My other point is that you probably want to clarify/clean up the language on it. It would be valid after 3 or 4 way common games, and only if no h2h results OR a complete split set of results. Now is where the tough question is though. Do we treat it like h2h sweep where h2h record is not used (though many say it should be)? Or do we use "common games record", where each 2way result counts like a h2h game. So in 4 way the 2-1 2-1 1-2 1-2 scenario comes into play. What's your take Brett, since you created it?



Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:43 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Pillbox, good points. It shows there is a solid argument against every tiebreaker.

Jerry,

Let me try to explain my "head-to-head/common games sweep" so that you can find all of its flaws :)

- It would be only for teams from different divisions, and would come after "common games" but before Strength of Victory.

The theory is: If it's a 3-way tie where common games cannot be applied, that 2-way common games between each pair of teams could be applied. If A has a better 2-way common games record than both B and C, A would own a "common games sweep". However, we wouldn't want to legitimize a "sweep" of this nature if C has a head-to-head win over A. So, in the "head-to-head/common games sweep", 2-way common games are counted only if there is no h2h result. If there is a h2h result, then it is counted instead of the 2-way common games. Teams can sweep or be swept at this tiebreaking step.

Example:

A beat B.
A did not play C
B did not play C.
--> 2-way common games are tabulated between A and C, and between B and C.
In 2-way common games between A and C, A has a 4-1 record while C had a 3-2 record.
--> A is declared the winner by "head-to-head/common games sweep".
(2-way common games record between B and C is irrelevant since A has swept.)
If team C had a better 2-way common games record against both team A and team B, then team C would win the tiebreaker.






Since: Dec 20, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:33 pm
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Brett, when I first posted here several years ago (and I am pretty sure it was under another user name but I honestly don't remember what), an early question I asked was why the common opponents tiebreaker within the division was listed before the conference record.

My argument was that it was looking at a small subset (6 games), then the biggest subset (14 games), then a smaller subset (12 games).
Joe did graciously respond to me, with the rationale that the division games (since they already would be tied) are not considered part of the common games subset. I believe (and apologies if I am not exactly correct in recollection) that he then stated it was:
6 games/8 games/12 games. Again I may not have recalled it exactly right -- but I think that was it. And it *still* does not make sense to me. It seems -- arbitrary! (hah!)
But even if it subset rationale *is* sound, and it may be, my bigger problem with it is this:

Remember: the two, non-common games are the only two based on previous year's standings. So, in theory, a last-place team should play easier opponents than higher-finishing teams from the year before.
Granted, that got turned on its head this year in the AFC, with the Colts and Chiefs both likely to go from first-to-worst.
But my point is this: The Broncos hold the 8-8 tiebreaker over the Chargers and Raiders due to common opponents. Why? Because they had a *worse* record in those two, non-common games. So --- you are rewarding them at the start of the season with a weaker schedule -- but then rewarding them *again* for failing to negotiate that weaker schedule!
I am sorry, that's just wrong to me. If I had my druthers, common opponents would just be eliminated as a way to break divisional ties altogether, as long as the current schedule format is in place. But I like it as a way to break Wild Card ties -- it seems to fit perfectly there.

It's interesting to see the different opinions on all this. I am not that theoretical and except for the above, don't have big problems with the tiebreaking system. Well the only other thing is the H2H elimination involving 3 or more teams that all haven't played each other. But that's apparently for after the season! Wink




Since: Dec 18, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2011 11:21 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

Of course with all the arguments for and against tiebreakers and the order of the tiebreaking steps, they are somewhat arbitrary. However, I guarantee the framers put a fair amount of thought into it and can give good reasons why they made each step what it is. Also, there was a clear thought into puting "common games" ahead of "conference record" (for divisional tiebreakers) whether or not everyone agrees with it.


Man, the MLB tiebreakers are wacky and inconsistent! Comparing division records between/among teams in different divisions! Come on! And how come sometimes it's "2nd half intraleague games", sometimes its "all intraleague games" and sometimes it's both tiebreaking steps.

Also see several errors in setting up the headers. Like the header is "when teams do not have the same head-to-head records", then the first step is for when they do have the same head-to-head records.


Lastly, definitely see traces of when there were only two divisions per league (East and West). Some of the examples assume only two divisions per league, while others have been updated to reflect three divisions per league.

At least they use a "drawing" system for multiple teams instead of flipping a 2-sided coin like the NFL does. ha.




Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:51 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

an arbitrarily decided upon arbitrary process

Well put, nyg



Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:29 am
 

WEEK 17 PLAYOFF SCENARIOS

The 4 way tie of SD-CIN-NYJ-TEN can't happen because the worst the Bengals can finish is 9-7.
Ha! My brain freeze created a third wild-card team in the AFC. Sheesh. The 4-way tie can happen, just not for anything meaningful.

Thanks jeff!   


   


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com