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NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 12) - Targets and Avoids

jaylen waddle fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

Recency bias. The Eagles, who were the most dominant team in football through nine weeks, lost at home to a division rival and then squeaked by the Colts. Now all of a sudden, there are those wondering if the Eagles are for real. Another example is the Dallas Cowboys. After losing a game to the Packers, a game the Cowboys had no business dropping, they came back Sunday with a rout of the Vikings. Now, Dallas is back. But what about the Vikings? They've been one of the best all year, but now critics are doubting them. Football is a week-to-week game. When betting, try to remember how the team has played the last month, not just the last week.

Feast week is here and it's a sports bonanza with the NFL, college football, college basketball, NHL, NBA, and World Cup soccer. The NFL is king though and the Thanksgiving Day games feature the Bills at Lions, the Giants at Cowboys, and the Patriots at Vikings. As Bill Parcells used to say, now is when we find out which teams are for real.

You may be out of your survivor pool, or maybe you're in a second chance contest. Or maybe you're just looking for analysis, or just want my best bets. In this article, you'll find it all. 

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NFL Teams Favored by 7+ in Week 12

Lines are consensus via The Action Network: Chiefs -14.5 vs. Rams, Dolphins -13.5 vs. Texans, Cowboys -10 vs. Giants, Bills -9.5 at Lions, 49ers -9.5 vs. Saints, and Eagles -7 vs. Packers.

If you're reading this article on Thursday or later, know that these lines are from Wednesday. Check the current spreads and see how the lines moved.

Teams on bye this week: No byes! We have a full slate.

My best bets are at the bottom of the column.


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Target for Week 12

Dolphins -13,5 vs. Texans

Houston is the worst team in football, ranking 27th in yards per play, and a lot of that has come from garbage time, being 30th in scoring, and 27th in opponent yards per play. The move at quarterback to Kyle Allen may spark the offense but not enough to compete with the Dolphins. Miami has one of the most electric offenses in the league with arguably the best wide-receiving duo in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They've averaged 35 points per game in their last three. Tua Tagovailoa should come out firing after their bye.

Dolphins 38 - Texans 17

Chiefs -14.5 vs. Rams

Patrick Mahomes is the MVP frontrunner after he led another game-winning touchdown drive, this time on Sunday Night Football against the division-rival Chargers. It really looks like he hasn't missed a beat since Tyreek Hill left. They're averaging a league-best 30 points per game this season.

The Rams are reportedly expected to be without Matthew Stafford, who's in concussion protocol. We've seen John Wolford and Bryce Perkins play already and they are way below average. The Rams can't even use their running game to try and make it easier for the quarterback as they average 76 yards on the ground per game, 31st in the league. There’s no way the Rams will be able to move the ball at the level KC will.

Chiefs 38 - Rams 13

49ers -9.5 vs. Saints

San Francisco is rolling. Once they get a lead, they run the ball and their defense takes over. That's what happened Monday night against the Cardinals. It took two months but the Niners have finally figured it out.

The Saints struggled to beat the Rams on Sunday. Only when Matthew Stafford went out did New Orleans take control. But it still required two touchdown drives in the second half to do so. They are a mediocre team looking to beat one of the best.

49ers 30 - Saints 17

Bills -9.5 at Lions

Buffalo has been a team with such high expectations that failure to win by double-digits each week is not good enough for the talking heads. After losing toss-up games to the Jets and Vikings, they came back and took care of business against Cleveland. They started off slow but scored on their last seven possessions.

Detroit has won three in a row and always plays their hardest under Dan Campbell. You’d have thought their defense was playing better in recent weeks but in their last three games, they're giving up 6.1 yards per play, fourth-worst in that span.

I expect this game to be close for the first 1.5 quarters before Buffalo puts them away. Buffalo’s offense is made for a fast turf and gets to showcase it again Thursday.

Cowboys -10 vs. Giants

Originally, this was in the avoids section, but seeing the Giants will be without four offensive linemen changed my mind. Dallas has the most sacks in the league with 42. Defensive Player of the Year favorite Micah Parsons is expected to play.

The Giants will try and get Saquon Barkley going early, but it really depends on how this makeshift offensive line travels and plays on a short week.

Cowboys 27 - Giants 14

Eagles -7 vs. Packers

Green Bay appeared to get their season back on track two weeks ago coming from behind to beat the Cowboys. But the way Aaron Rodgers and the offense looked last Thursday night against Tennessee, it seems they’re done. Rodgers had 5.82 yards per attempt against the Titans. For comparison, seven or so yards per attempt is the standard. Looking at the stats, they are an average team at best.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are off a close win in Indy. It was a good rebound after losing their first game of the season to the Commanders. They have the best defense in the league in terms of yards per play, which should throttle Rodgers. Their offense can chip away enough to get points.

Eagles 26 - Packers 16


Top Survivor Pool Picks to Avoid for Week 12

Bucs -3.5 at Browns

Tampa is in a spot I love, a road favorite off a bye. But I don't see how you can trust them with how they've played through 10 games. The offense is 24th in yards per play. Tom Brady has not looked himself, but will that change after a week off? A lot of questions and the Bucs are a wait-and-see approach before backing them.

Bucs 21 - Browns 20

Broncos -2.5 at Panthers

If Denver scored 19 points per game, they'd be 9-1. Let that sink in. Their defense has been dominant; third in yards per play, fourth in third-down conversion percentage, and first in red zone defense. The problem is the incompetent offense. Russell Wilson and co. are averaging 14.7 points per game, the worst in the league.

In the past when you had such a dominant defense with a terrible offense, they sometimes lose it later in the season. The unit realizes how much they need to do to stay in the game, which creates super-high expectations, and the pressure gets to them. For example, over the last three games, Denver has given up the 19th-most yards per play. Derek Carr was 23-37 for 307 yards and two touchdowns and Josh Jacobs ran for 109 yards on 24 carries in Week 11.

Sam Darnold will be starting for Carolina, which has to be an upgrade from Baker Mayfield. How much worse could their offense look than they did this past Sunday? If the Panthers' defense does its part, they will likely win.

Panthers 16 - Broncos 10


NFL Best Bets for Week 12

  • Raiders +3.5 at Seahawks - Las Vegas finally won a close game. Will that propel a little winning streak? Seattle is off the bye. Both teams have very different records but have similar talent levels.
  • Jaguars +4.5 vs. Ravens - If Lamar Jackson is not himself, Baltimore is in big trouble. Jacksonville should come out with a good script out of their bye.
  • Chiefs -14.5 vs. Rams - I usually avoid big favorites like this, but how will the Rams be able to score with John Wolford or Bryce Perkins?


Running Totals

  • Last Week: 2-1
  • 2022 season: 19-12-2
  • 2021 season: 27-26-1
  • 2020 season: 24-27
  • 2019 season: 23-26-2

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