Welcome back to DSP’s NFL Survivor Pool picks column for Week 12. I’m later again this week than planned, but hopefully that allowed you to miss out on the Kansas City debacle last night. This is our last week of byes, so you’ll have a full complement of teams next week. But, we have to get through this week first.
It was quite the bloodbath last week so congrats for still being alive in your pool.
Bye Week: Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Survivor Pool – Week 12 selections
Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as late Friday afternoon:
I think I may skip the Thursday night game for the rest of the year. There is just too much volatility as we get later in the year with injuries piling up and fatigue setting in for many of the players. The top choice this week the top choice is facing a team coming off a bye. Should we roll with them or look elsewhere.
As always, a friendly reminder, I never (almost never) save a team for later in the season. There is too much volatility (especially when it comes to injuries) in the NFL and the best information you have is for the upcoming week. Trying to predict performance in future weeks is nearly impossible.
Here are my choices for Week 12 in order of preference:
- San Francisco 49ers – Washington is terrible and is imploding. They seem to hate each other, their owner continues to meddle and their head coach flip flops on every issue every day. The 49ers are not great and the volatility of Colin Kaepernick always concerns me. However, the Jim Haslett-coached Washington defense is horrendous and the Niners should be able to take advantage of the D both on the ground and in the air. I give the 49ers an 86% chance of winning.
- Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles got a scare when Mark Sanchez missed some time with an injury during last week’s game. He seems to be healthy and their offensive line continues to get healthier. The Eagles are home to a Titans team with a rookie QB, rookie RB and questions mark all over most of their WR corps. The Titans defense is middling and the Eagles should be able to gash them deep with Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews. I give the Eagles an 84% chance of winning.
- Indianapolis Colts – The Colts are the safest play this week as the head home to face a poor Jags team that is coming off a bye. The Jags get Marcedes Lewis back in the lineup, but I don’t think they have the offense to keep up with Andrew Luck and the passing game. Luck will feel the loss of Ahmad Bradshaw and my only concern is that the Colts offense is now one-dimensional as Trent Richardson cannot play RB and my guess is the Colts will give him every chance to succeed. I give the Colts an 81% chance of winning.
And now, an interlude. Take one of these three teams if you have them. Don’t look any further. Look away. Open a new tab in your browser, select one of these three teams and submit. Then, go out and shovel snow (or walk on the beach or do whatever it is you do with your free time).
If you don’t have one of those three teams available, read on:
- Green Bay Packers – Yes, the Pack is on the road, but their defense is clicking on all cylinders and their offense almost always does so. They should have enough to confuse Teddy Bridgewater (who will be down to Jerick McKinnon and the recently claimed Ben Tate) in the backfield. Expect a big game from Aaron Rodgers and the offense. I give the Packers a 74% chance of winning.
- Denver Broncos – I’m a bit reticent to take the Broncos here as they are banged up on offense (though it looks like Emanuel Sanders will play Sunday). However, the Dolphins look like they will be without TE Charles Clay so both teams are a bit banged up on offense. I’ll take the Broncos with some home field advantage over the Fins this week. I give the Broncos a 70% chance of winning.
- New England Patriots – Jonas Gray will not rush for 200 yards this week. In fact, I’d be surprised if he scores as many fantasy points for the remainder of the season as he did last week. That said, the Pats have the variety of weapons to attack almost any defense. The Lions have a great defense, but oddly their offense has been quite pedestrian. I can see the Pats taking to the air to attack the Lions. I give the Patriots a 67% chance of winning.
- Chicago Bears – Yuck. And double yuck yet again. The Bears have every single offensive weapon a team could ever want. A dual-threat RB, two tall, athletic WRs and a freak of a TE. However, they can’t ever seem to get all of them moving in the same direction. They face a terrible Bucs team that blasted an even worse Washington squad last week. The Bears should be able to overcome a one-dimensional Bucs’ offense. I give the Bears a 64% chance of winning.
Other teams I like this week: None
As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Buffalo Bills at home (on the road) against the New York Jets. It has been quite a week in Buffalo and I want no part of a team that has had its normal routine interrupted as extensively as Buffalo has.
If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about the Cleveland Browns against the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, Falcons are at home, but it’s Josh Gordon week for Cleveland. I could see the Browns airing it out early and then salting the game away on the ground. A risky pick, but this last in the season you need to take risks.
If you ever want to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @chrisgarosi