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.
Marvin Jones at Cincinnati
Jones spent 2012-2015 in Cincy as the #2 option to A.J. Green, but never received the respect he deserved. Although he caught 134 passes and scored 15 TDs, Jones was not considered for a new contract from the Bengals following the 2015 season.
Instead, Jones signed with Detroit and has become Matt Stafford’s top target. In less than two full seasons he’s caught over 100 balls for 1,900 yards and 12 TDs. He’s proven this year he’s a guy who sees #1 WR targets, and he’s made some amazing highlight reel catches (see Thanksgiving Day vs Xavier Rhodes).
This sets up for the perfect revenge game – his old coach Marvin Lewis is a bum and headed out of town, the Bengals’ D is banged up, especially in the secondary, the Lions still have playoff aspirations, and Jones can enact the ultimate revenge in his former home city. This guy can really play, and he continues to be underrated around the league. He makes a strong DFS option, as I’m seeing a massive ceiling here. Throw him the damn ball!
Zeke Elliott vs Seattle
The beast is back! And what do the Cowboys do with him? FEED THE BEAST! The best part about Zeke this week is he’s underpriced across the industry due to questions about his fitness and workload expectancy against a desperate Seattle defense. But we know Dallas is desperate too, in a must-win situation against a team ahead of them in the playoff hunt. When the Boys are desperate, they love to feed the beast…
Seattle imploded last week at home against LA, and the media battle between studs Bobby Wagner and Earl Thomas prove this team is falling apart. The once-top-rated D surrendered 144 yards and three TDs in the first half last week to Todd Gurley. Zeke will eat these dudes up!
Where is the “leader” Russell Wilson in this one? Keeping his mouth shut as usual so he doesn’t look bad in the media. Problem is, his team needs leadership now more than ever! Leaders show up when times are rough, so where is the so-called MVP?
The only concern for Zeke and the Dallas offense is the health of LT Tyron Smith, who makes this offense roll. As of now, Smith “has a good shot” to play Sunday, but we must monitor this situation. Without Smith, Zeke doesn’t look quite so hot, but he’s still a strong play at a discount price.
New Orleans vs Atlanta
There is no more important game on this slate than down in the Bayou. Atlanta takes over 2nd place in the division with an upset win, and can still win the division with a victory at home over Carolina in Week 17. New Orleans seeks revenge for that weird Thursday night loss at Atlanta two weeks ago, where they seemed to control the entire game until the end.
I can’t see Drew Brees making another fatal mistake this time around, and I believe New Orleans will ride “Rhythm and Bruise” in the backfield and control this game. Michael Thomas has been balling out, and this secondary won’t slow him down. No chance the Saints are held under 20 this time around.
Atlanta pulled out that Thursday night win despite Matt Ryan’s three picks, and this offense still doesn’t look right. Tevin Coleman returns this week, so both squads RBs should be the focal point. Ryan must play better this time, which means feeding his WRs and allowing them to make plays. I have a feeling more points go on the board, and there are fantasy options galore here. Michael Thomas is my lock of the week, so now it’s in writing. Who dat?