Welcome to Week 12! The NFL is fast approaching the home stretch of the regular season, and the playoff race is picking up serious steam. The Patriots and 49ers remain atop their respective conferences, but they face some stiff challenges this week against the Cowboys and Packers, respectively. Both playoff races could see changes up and down the standings this weekend.
As we head into Week 12, we’re back to offer you advice for your NFL Survivor pools. If you’re actually still alive in your pool this week, you either have won it or are pretty close to winning it. Week 11 had favorites worrying, but most of the notable ones came through in the end. The Cardinals, Bengals, and Broncos gave the 49ers, Raiders, and Vikings plenty to worry about, but the favorites all held on.
If you’ve never taken part in a Survivor pool, it involves picking one team each week that you think will win. If your team wins in Week 1, you can make a pick in Week 2. If your team wins in Week 2, you can make a pick in Week 3, and so on. The catch is that you cannot pick the same team twice. You could use a heavy favorite in Week 1, but you would not have access to them later in the year if you’re alive in the closing weeks.
Whether you are in a single-elimination or double-elimination contest, there is plenty of strategy in determining which team you will take each week. DKNation is here to help with a look at safe choices, value choices, and potential traps.
On to Week 12 picks!
Thursday Night Football pick
Injuries are making this game an interesting one. Colts RB Marlon Mack is out with a broken hand, Texans WR Will Fuller is a game-time decision with a hamstring injury, Colts WR T.Y. Hilton might get back, and Texans QB DeShaun Watson will play but is dealing with a balky ankle. I’m not a big fan of betting on this game, but I think we see the Texans get the key home win. Not enough confidence to use a Survivor pick, but that’s the straight up pick.
The Dolphins might have two wins under their belt, but they’re still a bad football team. Cleveland is a tough one to figure out, but they’re definitely better than the Dolphins.
I’m not usually a fan of divisional games, but the Kyle Allen experiment is unraveling in a hurry in Charlotte. The Saints defense has been up and down, but I think they make Allen’s life miserable in the Superdome.
Best value picks
Cleveland Browns over Miami Dolphins
The only reason not to use Cleveland this week is if you want to use the Saints for some reason and save the Browns for Week 14 at home against the Bengals. I’d say just use the Browns this week and be done with it.
Pittsburgh Steelers over Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are winless, but the Steelers have a lot of problems. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster are question marks for the game, and Mason Rudolph is woefully inconsistent. I think the Steelers probably win this game, but I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.