The revenge factor in pro sports is commonly overlooked – athletes love nothing more than sticking it to their old teams. Revenge cannot be measured by statistical analysis, but one thing experienced DFS players know – revenge is real! Football and basketball provide the perfect setting for one player to make the ultimate difference in any given game.
Each week this article will explore certain players, coaches, and teams with something extra to play for. I am not necessarily advising everyone to play these guys, but the extra motivation will be there, so these plays are something to consider.
V for Vendetta – Week 3
Bill O’Brien (HOU HC) at New England
O’Brien was a hot head coaching prospect after five seasons on the offensive staff in New England. He’s been credited with much of Tom Brady’s brilliance in this timeframe, and it helped him land the Penn State coaching gig. Under his tutelage, Christian Hackenberg appeared poised to become a future #1 overall draft pick (seriously wow).
O’Brien has gone 28-22 since being hired by Houston, and he’s 0-3 against his old squad. The QB Whisperer has yet to procure an average NFL QB, and it cost his team a massive upset win in New England during the divisional round last season. Houston’s defense was Super Bowl worthy last year, and caused all kinds of trouble for Brady in that contest, but Brock Osweiler literally threw away the game with three picks. His performance ranks as one of the worst playoff performances in recent memory.
New England embarrassed Houston without Brady earlier in the season 27-0, and who can forget Letterman Night in Houston in 2015? When the Texans arrived for the game wearing letter jackets, then Brady beat them down by three TDs.
BO sits squarely on the hot seat – his defense hasn’t been awesome yet, and it appears he’s about to get butchered again in this matchup. All the hopes and dreams of Houston’s future now relies on rookie QB Deshaun Watson – a major gamble for a hot seat head coach. Just for reference, check out the list of O’Brien’s NFL QBs below – what the hell was he thinking?
Philip Rivers (SD) vs Kansas City
Year after year, regardless of coaching staff, the Chargers continue being the unluckiest team in the NFL. They’ve blown more 4th quarter leads, lost on more kicks, and flat out blown more games in the strangest ways than any franchise on the planet.
Make no mistake – this SD squad can play, and they’ll be in every game this season. They should have upset Denver on the opening Monday night, and they were in position to win on a last second FG Sunday against Miami, but rookie kicker Younghoe Koo shanked the game-tying and game-winning kicks at the gun in each game, respectively (which further proves you can never trust a Young Hoe).
Philip Rivers will forever be known as the most talented QB of his generation who accomplished next to nothing, unless he’s able to turn this around and make a final playoff run before he completes his career. Basically, at this point, nothing short of a Super Bowl appearance moves him into Hall of Fame consideration, despite his amazing career numbers. This dude will surpass 50,000 passing yards this year, but he’s staring at another 0-3 start unless he enacts some revenge on his nemesis division rival Kansas City.
The Chiefs have won six straight vs SD, including the 2016 season opener in which Rivers’ boys blew a 24-3 lead at Arrowhead. Rivers’ back is firmly against the wall in this matchup – he must overcome his own personal demons against KC in order to rescue his team’s season…and it’s only Week 3.
Ted Ginn (NO) at Carolina
Drew Brees’ new offensive weapon returns home to Carolina this week where he starred the last two seasons (98 receptions and 14 TDs) and helped the Panthers reach the Super Bowl in 2015. “Offensive weapon” might be stretching it, but regardless, he was pegged as the number two WR coming into the season.
The problem is Mr. #2 has only produced seven catches and no scores, and he doesn’t appear comfortable in the offense and has no report with Brees. Ginn struggles with consistency in catching passes, which is why he’s bounced around so much, but he’s always been that dude who can take the top off the defense. We have not seen this explosiveness yet, but he’ll definitely be ready to make a huge play in his old house.
I expect Sean Payton to draw up some chances for 2-3 deep shots for Ginn – coaches play into these narratives as well! Plus, you can roster him super cheap on both sites, which makes for an excellent tournament play…if you believe in narratives.
Terrelle Pryor (WAS) vs Oakland
Pryor’s talent and athleticism remain his strongest qualities, and he’s certainly an impressive athlete. So impressive, the Raiders drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2011 Supplemental Draft – as a QB. To be kind, Pryor’s time as a signal caller was pathetic – they guy can’t throw the ball with any accuracy whatsoever. After completing just 56% of his passes with nine TDs and 12 picks, Oakland finally gave up on its experiment.
When you’re 6-6, 240 lbs and run like a gazelle, there will always be second chances, and when the Browns converted him to WR fulltime in 2015, his NFL value finally came to fruition. Last season he caught 77 passes for over 1,000 yards for the worst team in football. So what do the Browns do? Let him walk away of course!
Thus far, Pryor has only caught eight balls in two games, but watching the games, Kurt Cousins works very diligently to involve him in the offensive attack. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks loose, and what better timing than against the team who drafted him on Sunday Night Football? Pryor is one of my favorite tournament plays this weekend in what should be a high-scoring shootout in the nation’s capitol. Ownership will be heavy on the other side of the ball, which makes me like Washington even more. This offense is more than capable, and the Skins will keep this close.