Survivor pools: Best picks for Week 12 NFL games


Who is the best Survivor pick in Week 12?

Week 12 is one of the weirdest weeks of the season from a Survivor standpoint. Some pools do incorporate Thanksgiving as its own week and that means three games and six teams to pick from. Most pools just use traditional rules, but the six teams that play on the holiday can be tough to use because of injury information. Some people also just simply won’t take a Thursday game out of principle.

If that’s the strategy this week, remaining contestants are missing out on two of the biggest favorites in Week 12 with the Bills -9 over the Lions and the Cowboys -9 over the Giants. Fortunately, there are some big favorites on Sunday, but there are also a lot of games hovering around a field goal. It all depends on which teams you have at your disposal at this point.


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Buffalo Bills (-9) over Detroit Lions

The surging Lions have won three in a row, but the Bills are not in the same category as the Packers, Bears and Giants. While New York would be a playoff team if the season ended today, the Giants are widely regarded as a team overperforming at 7-3. They have a +1 point differential and have been outgained on the season. With a +107 point differential that leads the league, the Bills should probably be better than they are at 7-3.

Josh Allen may not be fully healthy, but the Lions are the NFL’s worst defense in some respects. They’ve allowed 0.4 more yards per play than any other team and have allowed a league-high 282 points. The Bills are second in both yards per play and points scored. They are first in percentage of possessions ending with a score, while the Lions are the fourth-worst defense in the league in that metric. It’s a weird spot for Buffalo with the snow game in Detroit and now a short week, so those are cause for concern. If you have the Bills, however, they’re not a bad pick this week at all.

Dallas Cowboys (-9) over New York Giants

Sticking with that Thanksgiving theme, the Giants aren’t going to have many guys that can catch the ball this week. Wan’Dale Robinson joined teammate Sterling Shepard on IR with a torn ACL and Richie James is listed as questionable after not participating in practice on Monday. Kenny Golladay had his first two catches since September 11 last week in limited action. The long injury list for the Giants has caused this line to go up based on early betting activity.

The Cowboys also just pummeled the Vikings by 37 points. As fraudulent as many believe Minnesota to be, Dallas’s win was thoroughly impressive against an 8-1 team. The prevailing sentiment is that the Giants (much like the Vikings) are a regression candidate and a team whose record will start to even out. With the short week, multiple injuries and a Cowboys team that boasts a top-five defense, going against the Giants makes a lot of sense.

Kansas City Chiefs (-14.5) over Los Angeles Rams

With Matthew Stafford back behind center, the Rams looked a little bit better on offense, but the loss of Cooper Kupp still appears to be borderline insurmountable. Stafford’s return was short-lived, as he left in the third quarter against the Saints under suspicion of another concussion. Bryce Perkins finished the game and it didn’t go particularly well.

Stafford appears to be out this week, but the official announcement may drive this price up even more on the Chiefs. If you have Kansas City available at this point, it is almost a no-brainer to take them this week. Even if Stafford plays, his weapons are very limited. If he doesn’t, it may be Bryce Perkins making his first NFL start with John Wolford also banged up. We could also see somebody like Josh Johnson, since he always seems to make his way to teams in dire quarterback situations. Either way, the Chiefs were far and away better than the Rams to begin with and now may be the biggest favorite of the 2022 season depending on who starts at QB.


Miami Dolphins (-12.5) over Houston Texans

The Dolphins are 7-1 when Tua Tagovailoa gets the start and he’ll be the man behind center for Miami coming off of the bye against the Texans. The Dolphins have also found a strong running game after Mike McDaniel tapped into his San Francisco roots and got the band back together with Jeff Wilson alongside Raheem Mostert. Wilson has averaged better than six yards per carry and Mostert has ripped off 4.6 yards per pop.

Obviously the Dolphins have a potent offense with Tua’s 18/3 TD/INT ratio, but the defense has been showing signs of improvement. Since Week 5, the Dolphins are around league average in EPA/play and 12th in Rushing Success Rate against. The Texans have to run the rock to be effective behind Dameon Pierce and may not find many holes against an improved unit. Add in a borderline bottom-five pass defense for the Texans and this is an excellent matchup for the Dolphins