V for Vendetta – NFL Week 14 – by Slim Gaede
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.
Eli Manning vs Dallas
Eli Manning revenge on the NFL starts this week! After 210 consecutive starts he was benched for Geno Smith? Head Coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese got exactly what they deserved – the axe! The G-Men never scored 30 points in a game under McAdoo, and he compounded his complete ineptitude in every facet of coaching by benching Eli for no apparent reason. Good riddance you slick-haired tool!
Dallas struggled scoring for three weeks (under 10 points in each) but finally exploded Thursday against Washington. The Cowboys are still clinging to playoff hopes, riding a nice high from last week, and the Giants have nothing to play for. Couple this with Eli’s revenge factor, the G-Men finally scrapping McAdoo’s sorry ass, and a defense coming on strong the last three weeks – we have a recipe for a serious upset!
I wouldn’t be surprised if NY drops 30+ in this contest and smokes the cocky Cowboys. I’m not betting on it, but I know these types of coaching moves in-season often re-energize a team. And a Hall of Fame QB with something to prove only sweetens the deal.
Oakland at Kansas City
What’s not to love about this game? KC has lost 6 of 7, Alex Smith had one of the best games of his career last week and people still want him benched, Oakland has looked like complete garbage and is still tied with KC and LA for first place, and don’t forget that wild Raider win on Thursday night back in October. KC’s downfall truly began that night when Oakland stunned them 31-30, and that outcome means everything now in this three-way tie.
It’s amazing how 6-6 looks so different for these squads. KC looks to be the most disappointing team in the NFL after the 5-0 start (and being regarded as Super Bowl favorites). Oakland counts its lucky stars every week to grind out wins, while never looking impressive in any aspect of the game. They’re incredibly fortunate to be in this position.
I’m also encouraged by this being a rivalry game at Arrowhead, and I expect a closely fought contest. Without Amari Cooper, the rested Michael Crabtree should create a lethal combo with QB Derek Carr. I expect KC to grab an early lead and Oakland to play catchup. Hopefully I’m wrong, but it’s hard to envision the Raiders winning this one, especially if KC blows up offensively like they did last week.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Does anyone believe Baltimore is 7-5 and square in the AFC Playoff picture? Joe Flacco looks half-dead most of the time, the defense is inconsistent, but the Ravens find ways to win. Going into Pittsburgh Sunday night, their would be no sweeter victory than against their biggest rival, who is battling New England for the AFC’s top spot.
The Steelers aren’t exactly sitting pretty here. Sure they’re 10-2, but it took an impressive comeback from 17-0 down Monday night to beat Cincy, and PIT hasn’t exactly dominated anyone this season. Now, they’re on a short week, facing their bitter rival, and possibly overlooking this game (with New England coming to town next week).
This looks like an easy win for PIT, but I don’t see that happening. This one has all the makings of a trap game, especially with Baltimore needing this win more. From a DFS perspective, I would definitely play Le’Veon Bell in your Thur-Mon slates. With as much money as I’ve lost during the last two PIT games by not rostering Bell and/or Antonio Brown, I’m advising everyone – you don’t want to feel my pain!