NFL Pick'em Pool Strategy, Confidence Rankings: Straight Up Picks Week 12

In 2021, we went 181-90-1 (66.8%) in this weekly pick’em article for confidence ranking formats and have carried that success into the early portion of the 2022 schedule – posting a 106-57-1 (65.0%) record through 11 weeks. Since Week 13 of last season, this article is 174-81-1 (68.2%) picking winners straight up!

In Week 1, we successfully navigated an abundance of chaos, finishing 10-5-1, with correct underdog selections on the Pittsburgh Steelers (+7.5), New York Giants (+6), and Minnesota Vikings (+2.5). In Week 2, our streak of seven consecutive weeks with 10-plus correct picks came to an end due to an abundance of chaos, including the Cleveland Browns blowing 13-point lead in the final two minutes, and the Las Vegas Raiders failing to hold onto a 23-point second-half cushion. In Week 3, we correctly selected six underdogs en route to a 13-3 showing. In Week 4, we hit each of our top four selections, in addition to correctly nailing five underdogs. In Week 5, favorites dominated, and we won on 11 of our selections. In Week 6, we managed another positive week, despite a number of unexpected results around the league. In Week 7, we finished only 7-7, but six of our top eight selections won, salvaging the slate for confidence pool participants. In Week 8, we had our second-best week of the year, which included hitting each of our top seven selections! Week 9 was our second consecutive week with double-digit victories, despite multiple teams being on a bye. In Week 10, we took a beating thanks to a couple of major upsets, but bounced-back, as promised, in Week 11 – hitting each of our top-seven plays, including 11-of-14 overall! In Week 12, we will look to continue our positive momentum.

2022 “NFL Pick’em

In preparation for the 2022 campaign, we evaluated each roster unit-by-unit, ensuring that there was not anyone more prepared to tackle the weekly slate this fall.

I will start by ranking each of my selections in order of confidence and provide reasoning on all of my top picks.

NFL Week 12 Pick’Em Pool Confidence Rankings

2022 Weekly Results

  • Week 1: 10-5-1
  • Week 2: 8-8
  • Week 3: 13-3
  • Week 4: 9-7
  • Week 5: 11-5
  • Week 6: 8-6
  • Week 7: 7-7
  • Week 8: 12-3
  • Week 9: 10-3
  • Week 10: 7-7
  • Week 11: 11-3

2021 Weekly Results

  • Week 1: 10-6
  • Week 2: 10-6
  • Week 3: 15-1
  • Week 4: 9-7
  • Week 5: 13-3
  • Week 6: 9-5
  • Week 7: 10-3
  • Week 8: 8-7
  • Week 9: 9-5
  • Week 10: 5-8-1
  • Week 11: 8-7
  • Week 12: 7-8
  • Week 13: 11-3
  • Week 14: 12-2
  • Week 15: 11-5
  • Week 16: 11-5
  • Week 17: 13-3
  • Week 18: 10-6

Week 12 Selections

1. Miami Dolphins
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. San Francisco 49ers
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. Buffalo Bills
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New England Patriots
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. Tennessee Titans
11. Las Vegas Raiders
12. Denver Broncos
13. Washington Commanders
14. New York Jets
15. Los Angeles Chargers
16. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL Pick’Em Pool Strategy Week 12

Dolphins (vs. Texans)

If bettors remove a Week 4 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, during which Tua Tagovailoa played only the first half before leaving with an injury – the Miami Dolphins are undefeated this season when Tagovailoa is under center. Through 11 weeks of the schedule, Tagovailoa leads all qualified signal callers, by a wide margin, in EPA/play, and ranks second to Josh Allen in success rate. Since Tagovailoa returned to the field in Week 7, the Dolphins lead the league in offensive EPA/play as a team. In that same time period, the Houston Texans rank 30th in offensive EPA/play. Even if the Texans’ defense manages to play reasonably well, it is highly doubtful that Davis Mills and company will be able to score enough points to make this game too competitive.

Chiefs (vs. Rams)

The Kansas City Chiefs continue to prove on a weekly basis that they are the best team in the NFL, which should give bettors confidence to put them high on their Week 12 confidence rankings. Entering play this weekend, the Chiefs have the league’s best offensive EPA/play as a team, led by Patrick Mahomes, who ranks 1st in passing yards, 1st in passing touchdowns, and 2nd in QBR among qualified quarterbacks. The return of Trent McDuffie to the secondary unit has helped to balance the performance of this roster on both sides of the ball, with Kansas City ranking a much-improved 12th in defensive Dropback EPA/play since McDuffie rejoined the team in Week 9. The Los Angeles Rams simply have very little going for them at the moment, having lost four consecutive contests to the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and New Orleans Saints. The Chiefs are trending towards the top of the NFL power rankings while the Rams are spiraling to the top of this summer’s draft, making this one of the easier games to pick on this week’s slate.

Eagles (vs. Packers)

The Philadelphia Eagles did not look great in their Week 11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, but they showed impressive fortitude only six days after their defense played 81 snaps and was on the field for over 40 minutes against the Washington Commanders on Monday Night Football. The primary weakness of the Eagles is their run defense, which ranks 24th in opponent yards-per-carry and 29th in Rush EPA/play this fall. However, this should not be a major concern against a Green Bay Packers offense that ranks only 14th in rush yards per game this season. If Philadelphia can get an early lead in this matchup, they should be able to force Green Bay into a pass-heavy game script, which will be enough for the Eagles to come away with a win.

49ers (vs. Saints)

The San Francisco 49ers have flown under the radar for much of 2022, perhaps due in part to the season-ending injury of Trey Lance early in the season. The 49ers enter play in Week 12 with only a 6-4 record, but the advanced metrics, especially in recent weeks, indicate that this team is far better than their current record implies. The primary concern in this spot for San Francisco is the fact that they will be playing on a short week after having faced the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football in Week 11. Still, the New Orleans Saints only barely came away with a victory over the hapless Los Angeles Rams this past weekend, and have far less talent on their roster compared the the 49ers. If San Francisco can play a clean game, they should be able to do enough to get to 7-4.

Cowboys (vs. Giants)

As of this writing, there is a healthy amount of uncertainty regarding the status of a number of key players on the defensive side of the ball for the Dallas Cowboys, including Micah Parsons, who is the top sack-threat for this unit. Assuming that Parsons plays after logging a limited participation in the final practice of the week, Dallas should emerge with a comfortable win in this spot. Though there are concerns for the Cowboys’ defense if they end up without a few key players, the offensive line is an even larger issue for the New York Giants. Jon Feliciano, Joshua Ezeudu, and Shane Lemieux have already been ruled out for this intra-division Thanksgiving affair, with Tyre Phillips and premier left tackle Andrew Thomas each listed as questionable. If Thomas does not suit-up, it is difficult to see New York’s offense having much, if any, success on Thursday. Further supporting a Dallas win in Week 12 is the fact that New York ranks 31st in opponent yards-per-carry this season, which is likely to be particularly problematic against a dangerous Cowboys’ backfield that features Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott. Expect Dallas to do enough to get a win here, assuming there are no last-minute surprises on the injury report.

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Nick Galaida (nickgalaida)

  • A failed high school pitcher, Nick discovered that he has a higher aptitude for analyzing and writing about sports than he does playing them. To his friends, he is better known as “The Commish.” When he’s not organizing a fantasy league, placing a bet, or writing an article, he’s probably nose-deep in a book—further illustrating the point that his niche in this world is as a nerd rather than an athlete.

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