Very often, success in DFS is dependent on correctly predicting the game script. A good place to start is the Las Vegas over/under and point spread. However, sometimes players and teams have extra motivation. Sometimes this motivation will exceed the game script. Predicting these outliers can lead your team to success. In this article, we’ll identify some items that go beyond the numbers. Those little bits of extra motivation that can lead to big DFS success. A place we call Narrative Street.
San Francisco 49ers at buffalo bills
Ok, this one is kind of a no brainer right? All the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick since the start of the season has put a giant spotlight on him. Now he’s restructured his deal to make him a UFA at the end of the season and Chip Kelly has handed him the keys to drive the boat. Kaep has a massive incentive to play lights-out the rest of the season in the hopes of landing a big FA contract somewhere else. He starts his rebuilding campaign in Buffalo, where the 49ers take (yet another) west coast to east coast trip and start in the early Sunday games. They didn’t do so well against Carolina a couple weeks ago and they aren’t expected to do much better this week. Jeremy Kerley has been the go-to guy for the passing offense, but with the QB change, the smart money is to fade him this week. On the other side of the ball, LeSean McCoy faces off against his former coach Chip Kelly. Kelly’s offense wasn’t a fit for McCoy when they were both in Philadelphia, and it was a big part of why McCoy wears a Buffalo uniform now. They faced each other last year while Kelly was still in Philly and although McCoy had over 100 yards from scrimmage in that game, the Eagles won 23-20. This year it’s a different story, and the San Francisco defense can’t stop the run. McCoy should have a great game this week against his former coach and lead the Bills to an easy victory.
Dallas Cowboys at Green bay Packers
Who can forget the 2014 Divisional playoff game where the Cowboys were up 21-13 in the third quarter, only to have Green Bay score twice and go up 26-21. On the Cowboys final drive of the game, Dez Bryant appeared to make a critical 4th down catch that was overturned by replay, sealing the comeback for Green Bay. They faced off again last season in Green Bay and the Packers thumped the Cowboys 28-7, holding Bryant to just 1 catch for 9 yards. This week the Cowboys return and while the ‘revenge’ factor isn’t in full force, is does sort of underline the rest of the narrative. Dez Bryant is still hurt, but vows that he will play in this game. I’m not sure I’m buying it and if he does, I’d expect him to be limited or play the decoy role more. This puts Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams back in play. Jason Witten was called out by Martellus Bennett this week, providing him with a little extra motivation as well. Then there’s Dak Prescott – the potential future of the Dallas franchise. Tony Romo is getting better and with the Cowboys coming up on a bye, they need to make a decision on if Dak is their guy for the rest of the season, or does Romo get his job back. This will be a good test for Prescott against a team that has owned the Cowboys for the last couple years. Prescott has been getting a lot of praise, but he’s not lighting the world on fire either. If he wants to keep the start job, he’s going to have to win the tough games too. For the Packers, their running game is not looking good with both Eddie Lacy and James Starks missing practice due to injuries. Both should be ready to go Sunday, but neither will be at 100%. That means more Aaron Rodgers and a heavy dose of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. The Packers are projected to score almost 26 points in this game, which means that there’s a good chance Rodgers has 2 TD passes or more.
Brandon Lafell at New England Patriots. Lafell spent the last two season, catching passes from Tom Brady. His first year with New England (2014) was the best year of his career and he posted 74 receptions for 953 yards and 7 receiving TDS, but he completely underperformed in his second season and moved on to Cinci over the summer. He’s been pretty quiet so far this season, but came alive last week with eight receptions for 68 yards and 2 TDs. He’s facing his old team mates this week in a game that the Patriots are expected to win by a lot, but Lafell could see some decent numbers, especially in garbage time if the defense focuses on taking A.J. Green out of the picture.
Zach Miller vs. Jacksonville Jaguars. Miller was drafted by the Jaguars in 2009 and played his last game with them back in 2011. Although he won’t be IN Jacksonville for this game, Miller will probably have a little sense of pride and motivation working against his former team.
Antonio Brown at Miami Dolphins. Brown was born and raised in the Miami area, and probably have a lot of friends and family at the game, pulling for him even though he’s in a Steelers uniform. Brown’s already projected to be the top receiver this week, but this will provide a little more motivation for him.
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans. Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton was the defensive coordinator in Tennessee last season. The Browns are not expected to put up much of a fight this week, but Horton will do his best to have them ready anyway. If anything, this might actually motivate Tennessee to work a little harder.