The world we live in is a selfish one. Kyler Murray doesn't care about anybody but Kyler Murray, nobody wants to see Marshall no more, and the only people who are interested in NFL survivor pools are the ones who still have live entries. That latter group was whittled down even further in Week 12, as 8.67% of remaining entrants were knocked out.
Before we lose ourselves in Week 13's picks, let's take a look at how clean our sweater was in Week 12:
Week 12 picks
Best Bets: 2-0 (YTD: 13-10)
Leans: 1-0 (YTD: 13-3)
Traps to avoid: 1 elimination avoided (YTD: 14)
On to the Week 13 picks!
Seattle Seahawks (-7.5) at Los Angeles Rams
The hits keep coming for the Rams, as Aaron Donald and Allen Robinson join Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford on the shelf. They enter this contest on a five-game skid, and it wouldn't be shocking if the defending champs lose out with their bare bones roster. This offense was near the bottom of the league when Stafford was under center, and they've plumbed new depths without him. Backup QB Bryce Perkins hasn't shown anything beyond his ability to run the ball, making this a good matchup for a Seattle defense that's vulnerable through the air, but ranks fourth in rushing success rate.
Seahawks QB Geno Smith was asked to fill Russell Wilson's shoes this season, but those shoes were too small for the odds-on favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. Smith leads the league in completion percentage (74.7%), and it's not because he's the beneficiary of a dink-and-dunk offense. He's been slinging the ball on a weekly basis, dropping more dimes than Sammy the Bull. Los Angeles is second-worst at pressuring quarterbacks, so Smith will have plenty of time to work his magic against a Rams defense that ranks 27th in success rate per opponent dropback.
Seattle is the third-most popular team this week, at 14.5%. Their future value lies in a Week 18 home game versus the Rams, but they may find themselves in a position to rest players that final week, and Los Angeles could have some of their guys back.
Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) vs. Denver Broncos
Baltimore has held a double-digit lead in every game this season, except for last week, when they held a nine-point lead over the Jaguars in the fourth quarter. There isn't much danger of them blowing a big lead to Denver, who averages a league-worst 14.3 points per game and has topped 10 points just three times since Week 5. If the Broncos' offense was an actual horse, it would have been put down weeks ago. This is a brutal matchup for them on the road against a very solid defense.
Denver's outstanding secondary won't do them much good versus a Ravens team that wants to run opponents ragged on the ground. Baltimore ranks first in Run Block Win Rate and second in rushing success rate. They won't be bottled up by a dispirited Broncos defense ranked 19th in yards per carry (4.6). Two Ravens touchdowns should be enough to hand Denver their eighth loss in nine games.
Just under 7% of entries are on Baltimore, making them the fourth-most popular option this week. A Week 16 home game versus the Falcons is their best future value.
Dallas Cowboys (-11) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Endorsements will come rolling in for Colts QB Matt Ryan after this game. Specifically, Advil and Bengay. Indianapolis is allowing the most sacks per game (3.6), while the Dallas defense leads the league in that category (4.1). Ryan tops the NFL in fumbles (13), along with Justin Fields. That's a staggering number when you consider that Ryan has only played in 10 games this year and isn't a running quarterback. The Cowboys rank first in defensive DVOA and won't face much of a test from a struggling Indy offense that's scoring the second-fewest points per drive. This one could get ugly.
Dallas is the second-most popular pick in pools this week, at just over 25%. If less than 33% of entries in your pool are able to take the Cowboys, this is a great play. They have tremendous future value next week, when they host the Texans.
TRAPS TO AVOID
Cleveland Browns (-7) at Houston Texans
There's, ummm, a lot going on in this game. Deshaun Watson hasn't played in two years and didn't look that great in his limited preseason action with the Browns, so I'm not rushing to back him when nearly 45% of the survivor field is locked in on Cleveland.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. New York Jets
The Vikings are 9-2, which is 4.2 wins above expected. They're running hot, thanks to an explosive offense, but the Jets are good at limiting big plays and allow the fourth-fewest points per drive. QB Mike White is in line for another highly productive day versus an awful Minnesota secondary.
Minnesota is the fifth-most popular pick this week, at 4.68%.
Detroit Lions (+1) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Even though they're catching points, the Lions are the eighth-most popular survivor play, at 1.69%. Dan Campbell's team is an easy one to root for, but Jags QB Trevor Lawrence comes into this contest on an absolute heater. Over his last three games, he's completed 76.9% of his pass attempts and thrown six touchdowns to zero interceptions. If Lawrence can do that to the Ravens and Chiefs, he can certainly keep it going against a Detroit defense ranked 29th in EPA per play and 32nd in points per drive.
Stats provided by Pro Football Reference, teamrankings.com, Football Outsiders, StatMuse, ESPN, and rbsdm.com (garbage time removed).