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Bills teammates celebrate a preseason touchdown against the Colts on Aug. 8 (Adrian Kraus)
Bills teammates celebrate a preseason touchdown against the Colts on Aug. 8 (Adrian Kraus)|Associated Press
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Try these fantasy football and suicide pool ideas to shake up your league

Bob Vetrone

Bob Vetrone

It was not long after my second daughter was born 23 years ago that I realized I simply could not raise a family and devote enough homework to be a viable contender in Fantasy Football (or Baseball or Pro Basketball). Something had to give.

So it was goodbye Brett Favre and Michael Jordan . . . Hello Katie and Annie.

In addition to the time-consuming element, I had also begun to have bad sports purist feelings about how individualistic cheering had become rampant due to Fantasy play. It had gotten to the point that it wasn’t so much that the Jazz won, but about how many asists did John Stockton finish with.

I always thought a better way would be through Team Fantasy, where you can root for actual real-life, win/loss success on the field and on your legal pad. (This was the 1990s. The Internet? Hell, most of us were still trying to figure out what Netscape was?)

So, with all that in mind − and in case you didn’t do your Fantasy homework or you just couldn’t sign up in time for a league – we present two team-based NFL Pools (which you could also apply to college football action) to help you get through the winter months if simply rooting for your favorite team is not enough.

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THE ONCE-AROUND-THE-LEAGUE

MARGIN OF VICTORY POOL

This is a season-long tally among all players who are divided into two “divisions”. Entry fee is solely at your discretion.

Each week a player has to pick one NFC Team and one AFC Team. Their score for the that week is the combined Margin of Victory for both teams (assuming either or both win). A loss yields a zero for that team.

So, if you have the Eagles (who win by 7) and the Chiefs (who lose by 20, you would get a 7 for that week. Had the Chiefs won by 20, you get 27. If they both lose, you get zilch.

Here’s the big catch: You can not repeat a team at all over the first 16 Weeks of the Season. So, at some point, you will take all 32 teams. The important aspect is when.

Whomever has the highest cumulative Margin of Victory in each division after Week 16 advances to the Week 17 Championship Round. (In case of ties, whomever had the highest Week 16 score advances. Still tied, Week 15, etc. . . . Or you can use Totals Wins of the 32 selections through the season.)

For the Championship Round, each player with have to draft one team from each of the eight NFL Divisions. The team with the higher score through 16 weeks picks first of any team of any Division and that team becomes off-limits to the other Player. The other Player picks and of the other 31 teams available. Player 1 then has to pick a team available from a Division he has not selected. And so on (feel free to reverse draft – 1-2-2-1-1-2-2-1 – if you’d like) until each has eight teams, one from each Division.

Total combined Margin of Victory for Week 17 alone wins. Ties go the the higher seed or you can use one of the Regular Season tie-breakers to even just extend it into the postseason.

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THE 18-MAN TOTAL YARDAGE

SUICIDE POOL

Take 17 of your closest friends and yourself. No one puts money up to start, but you eliminate one Player a week and that Player antes up as he exits, the amount depending on when he is eliminated.

Each Player selects four teams each Week. The four have to be:> Two NFC teams and two AFC teams;> One team each from a East Division (NFC or AFC), a North Division, a South Division, a West Division.

(Or, you can just one from each division and go with eight if you don’t mind the extra math.)

Your score each week is the total number of Net Yards From Scrimmage accumulated by your teams.

Here’s the big catch: You cannot choose any team in consecutive weeks. You cannot take the same teams in Weeks 1 and 2, but you can in Weeks 1 and 3, and so on.

The Player among the 18 with the fewest Yards after Week 1 is eliminated and antes up $17. The bottom-dweller after Week 2 yards are added in (or you can total each Week individually) is gone and drops $16 in the bucket. And so on.

(In weeks there are ties at the bottom, both Players advance but the bottom two Players the next week hit the bricks and leave the cash.)

That leaves two Players for Week 17. The Loser loses $1. The Winner wins the Pot − $153 if no ties during the year. (Or you could break up the Pot and have a first- and second-place prize, say $127/$25.)

There are many variables in either Pool you can adjust to meet your own interests.

Have fun . . . Go Team!

WANNA BET?

In New Jersey: PointsBet.com, Promo code: BETTORS (You can get two risk-free bets up to $1,000 if you qualify.) William Hill NJ (Deposit $50, get $50 cash) SugarHouse NJ* (First deposit match up to $250)

In Pennsylvania: SugarHouse PA* (First deposit match up to $250); Rivers Casino Pittsburgh* (First deposit match up to $250). Only 1x Wager Applies, Playable in PA Only

In most of Europe: William Hill UK; Pinnacle (No UK or Portugal); Asian Odds (No UK or Portugal)

In Asia: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

In parts of South America: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

In parts of Africa: Pinnacle/Asian Odds

*Note: First Deposit Bonus may only be claimed once per person across all Rivers and SugarHouse websites

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