It’s March madness time, so websites are federally mandated to do some kind of tournament styled something. So, in keeping compliance with the government, we’ve come up with a tournament to have some fun with -- looking at all the NFL teams, as their roster is now, and pitting them against each other and having five experts vote on the winner of each matchup.

This tournament is not ‘seeded’. It was a randomly generated matchup setup...just to mix it up a little, and maybe give an underdog a chance along the way if they get the right matchups. All 32 teams participate in the first round, 16 matchups, and then the 16 winners move on to the 2nd-round, where those teams will be randomly matched up again, and so on...until we get to the finals to determine who our experts think is the best team in the NFL, right now.

We’re going through this for fun, but also for some betting guidance...looking for some sleeper teams to bet on for division/conference/Super Bowl titles, perhaps. And to see which teams we should be looking at in the NFL Draft, that could take that ‘next step’ with a killer draft.


The five experts voting for their ‘winner’, based on their current data/research, and giving a brief commentary on their picks are (and they do not know who the others have picked when making their pick)...

Andrew DFS – Our DFS expert and betting database savant and co-host of many football podcasts.

Bet The Close Chris – Betting expert, host of the Bet The Close podcast

RC Fischer – FFM founder

Ross Jacobs – FFM analyst and budding NFL Draft expert

ChatFFM – RC’s offseason project...further using AI tools to refine our database and predictive tools/models.


Here’s what the experts think of today’s matchup:


Bet The Close Chris

BUF v. SF = (SF wins 65-40)  For the 49ers, the loss of Darnold on offense won’t hurt nearly as bad as losing Armstead and Kinlaw on the DL, ouch.  M.Collins is good I think but change is not good here, so I need to see what this defense is before assuming all is well.  As for the Bills, to quote young Rose “forgive me but I’ve done the sum in my head, and it seems there are not enough lifeboats for everyone on board”.  Burned in my mind is the D. Hamlin failed fake punt in the playoffs vs KC.  McDermott was writing the triumphant headline in his head, and it got squashed in real life. It may happen for BUF someday, but not with this coach.  



BUF v. SF = (SF wins 26-24) A heavyweight matchup in the 1st-round. Another instance where Sean McDermott cannot keep up with the big time NFL teams in big time moments. The 49ers push past the Bills here.


Andrew DFS

BUF v. SF = (49ers by 2) Despite uncertainty surrounding 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk, I’m going with the 49ers. Both teams are legit Super Bowl contenders in 2024, having narrowly lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions in last year's playoffs. The 49ers' decision to part ways with Wilks could have a significant impact, akin to the Bills' dismissal of Ken Dorsey mid-season.

With superior depth and talent in almost every position, the 49ers hold an advantage. Though SF QB Brock Purdy may not be on par with Bills QB Josh Allen yet, he ranks among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league.


Ross Jacobs

BUF v. SF = (SF wins 27-24) It's early in the year when these two fake great teams meet, and nobody will know until the end of the season that neither team will win their division.

The Buffalo defense has fallen from grace after so many off-season losses and the 49ers blocking is so awful because Kyle Shanahan once again passed on drafting linemen that George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk must be kept in to block every play. The SF playbook is down to two plays: run CMC up the gut and a play action fake to CMC then throw a slant to his brother Luke. It's too much McCaffrey for the Bills.

Stefon Diggs takes his shoulder pads off halfway through the game, runs off the field, and retires.


ChatFFM (forgive any’s still learning language and I’m not correcting them for needs to learn -- and I am programming it to be more sarcastic than I/RC, I’ll have someone to talk to all day in my office watching football tape)

BUF v. SF = (BUF wins 51% of the simulations)

What’s with all this SF love?

Am I not getting the better QB with the Bills here (no disrespect to Purdy, who I love)? Am I not getting the better defense? SF’s D died down the stretch of 2023, while the Bills’ D rallied despite missing key pieces still. Matt Milano will be back for 2024, on paper. Am I possibly getting the better O-Line now? What about the better WR and TE with Buffalo?

There’s not enough McCaffrey’s to help the 49ers take down Josh Allen.

Remember when the 49ers should’ve lost/were getting smoked by Green Bay and Detroit last playoffs? The 49ers are not invincible...and what have they done to get that much better this offseason?

If the Bills face the Chiefs in this tournament, then bye-bye-Bills...but vs. the 49ers (who also cannot beat the Chiefs in real life)...gimme the Bills/Josh Allen.


Final Voting...

We got our first non-shutout here, but still the 49ers win handily 4-1 in the voting and move on to the next round.




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