NFL Revenge Games 2020: Anticipating the Fantasy Football Spike - Roto Street Journal
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NFL Revenge Games 2020: Anticipating the Fantasy Football Spike

One thing the wolves on Wall Street keep their eye on are stock spikes. Stocks that spike rise and then fall back down in a very short period of time. The time to buy is just before the rise, and then try not to blink before missing the opportunity to sell.

In fantasy football, we do the same. Whether it’s looking at defensive matchups of our team’s players concerning start/sits or streaming, we’re trying to anticipate their spike in production.

However, a player’s matchups aren’t the only contributor to spike production. Sometimes players get to face the team they were just released from, traded from, or signed away in free agency. At times, it’s not on the best of terms. Combine familiarity with a past coach’s scheme and the players you used to practice against, with the message from your old franchise that you’re not good enough to keep around, and what do you get?

The revenge spike.

Are you a skeptic when it comes to whether revenge games matter? Ask Jarvis Landry, whose 36.8 points against the Dolphins last year was a 48 percent spike from his 2nd-highest week. Ask Cole Beasley, whose return to Dallas saw 23 points, a 17 percent spike from his 2nd-highest week. Ask Minkah Fitzpatrick, who grabbed two interceptions in his first time against his old Dolphins teammates. Or ask Malamei Correa, traded from the Ravens to the Titans during the 2018 preseason, if the sugar wasn’t extra sweet when sacking Lamar Jackson during Tennessee’s postseason upset over Baltimore last year. Their revenge made Khan’s wrath look more like a mild annoyance.

Every now and then, a player’s departure isn’t because the franchise felt the player wasn’t good enough to play for them. Yannick Ngakoue took a $5 million pay cut so that the Minnesota Vikings could afford his services, and so he could play for a team he felt comfortable with. But do you think he won’t have a chip on his shoulder when the Jaguars come to town?

The general rule with the database is that a player is no more than two years removed from their old team and that it’s their first season playing against them. However, we did make exceptions. For example, cornerback Marcus Peters already faced his old Chiefs team last season as a member of the Rams. Now with the Ravens, Peters gets a second crack at Kansas City. Both teams should be battling to be the top dawg in the AFC again this season, and Peters has good reason not to let KC get a win and show that they’re better off without him.

With so much player movement in the NFL, it’s possible that revenge narratives slip through the cracks and go unnoticed. Many people likely don’t know that K’Waun Williams‘ release from the Browns in 2016 wasn’t on friendly terms. Then, when he registered an interception and half a sack in his first game against them as part of the 49ers’ 31-3 walloping of Cleveland last season, it had to feel good. So, if you think we might be missing anyone off the list, feel free to comment, and help us attain our goal of making this Revenge Game Database paint as accurate of a picture as possible. At season’s end, we’ll take a look at how many players got their shot, how they fared, and what it means moving forward as we try to anticipate the spike.

List of 2020 Revenge Games

Higher profile matchups are italicized

Parentheses indicate the number of years removed from their old team, their (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc) season facing them

Notable Offensive Players

Buffalo Bills

WR John Brown, week 10 at ARI (2, 1st)

Miami Dolphins

RB Matt Breida, week 5 at SF (1, 1st)

QB Ryan Fitzmagic vs everyone (but for real though, he technically has Buffalo twice, the Jets twice, Cincinnati, and the Rams)

WR Albert Wilson, week 14 vs KC (opted out)

New England Patriots

none

New York Jets

WR Breshad Perriman, week 16 vs CLE (1, 1st)

RB Frank Gore vs everyone (SF, IND, MIA twice, BUF twice)

Baltimore Ravens

none

Cincinnati Bengals

none

Cleveland Browns

WR Odell Beckham Jr., week 15 at NYG (2, 1st)

Pittsburgh Steelers

TE Eric Ebron, week 16 vs IND (1, 1st)

Houston Texans

RB Duke Johnson, week 10 at CLE (2, 1st)

TE Darren Fells, week 10 at CLE (2, 1st), week 12 at DET (3, 1st)

Indianapolis Colts

TE Trey Burton, week 4 at CHI (1, 1st)

Jacksonville Jaguars

TE Tyler Eifert, week 4 at CIN (1, 1st)

Tennessee Titans

none

Denver Broncos

RB Melvin Gordon, week 11 vs LAC, week 16 at LAC (1, 1st)

TE Nick Vannett, week 2 @ PIT (1, 1st)

Kansas City Chiefs

WR Sammy Watkins, week 6 at BUF (4, 1st)

Las Vegas Raiders

WR Zay Jones, week 4 vs BUF (1, 1st)

Los Angeles Chargers

QB Tyrod Taylor, week 12 at BUF (3, 1st)

Dallas Cowboys

K Greg Zuerlein, week 1 at LAR (1, 1st)

New York Giants

none

Philadelphia Eagles

RB Boston Scott, week 14 vs NO (2, 2nd)

Washington

none

Chicago Bears

QB Nick Foles, week 16 @ JAX (1, 1st)

WR Allen Robinson, week 16 at JAX (3, 1st)

WR Ted Ginn Jr., week 8 vs NO (1, 1st)

TE Jimmy Graham, week 12 at GB, week 17 vs GB (1, 1st)

Detroit Lions

none

Green Bay Packers

WR Allen Lazard, week 6 at JAX (2, 1st)

TE Marcedes Lewis, week 6 at JAX (3, 1st)

Minnesota Vikings

none

Atlanta Falcons

none

Carolina Panthers

QB Teddy Bridgewater, week 7 at NO, week 17 vs NO (1, 1st)

New Orleans Saints

RB Latavius Murray, week 16 vs MIN (2, 2nd)

WR Emmanuel Sanders, week 10 vs SF (1, 1st), week 12 at DEN (1, 1st)

TE Jared Cook, week 2 at LV (2, 1st)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RB LeSean McCoy, week 12 vs KC (1, 1st)

Arizona Cardinals

RB Kenyan Drake, week 9 vs MIA (1, 1st)

Los Angeles Rams

WR Robert Woods, week 3 at BUF (4, 1st)

San Francisco 49ers

QB Jimmy Garopollo, week 7 at NE (4, 1st)

Seattle Seahawks

none

Notable Defensive Players

Buffalo Bills

DT Quinton Jefferson, week 9 vs SEA (1, 1st)

Miami Dolphins

DE Shaq Lawson, week 2 vs BUF, week 17 at BUF (1, 1st)

DE Emmanuel Ogbah, week 14 vs KC (1, 1st)

LB Elandon Roberts and LB Kyle Van Noy, week 1 at NE, week 15 vs NE (1, 1st)

New England Patriots

LB Brandon Copeland, week 9 at NYJ, week 17 vs NYJ (1, 1st)

New York Jets

CB Pierre Desir, week 3 at IND (1, 1st)

S Brad McDougald, week 14 at SEA (1, 1st)

Baltimore Ravens

DE Calais Campbell, week 15 vs JAX (1, 1st)

EDGE Pernell McPhee, week 4 at WAS (2, 1st)

CB Marcus Peters, week 3 vs KC (3, 2nd)

Cincinnati Bengals

DT DJ Reader, week 16 at HOU (1, 1st)

Cleveland Browns

DE Olivier Vernon, week 15 at NYG (2, 1st)

S Karl Joseph, week 8 vs LV (1, 1st)

DT Andrew Billings, week 2 vs CIN, week 7 at CIN (opted out)

Pittsburgh Steelers

DT Chris Wormley, week 7 at BAL, week 12 vs BAL (1, 1st)

Houston Texans

CB Eric Murray, week at KC (2, 1st), week 10 at CLE (1, 1st)

Indianapolis Colts

CB Xavier Rhodes, week 2 vs MIN (1, 1st)

CB TJ Carrie, week 5 at CLE (1, 1st)

Jacksonville Jaguars

LB Joe Schobert, week 12 vs CLE (1, 1st)

CB Rashaan Melvin, week 6 vs DET (opted out)

DE Al Woods, week 1 at IND, week 17 vs IND (opted out)

Tennessee Titans

LB Reggie Gilbert, week 16 @ GB (injured reserve)

LB Kamalei Correa, week 11 @ BAL (3, 3rd)

CB Johnathan Joseph, week 6 vs HOU, week 17 @ HOU (1, 1st)

Denver Broncos

DT Jurrell Casey, week 1 vs TEN (1, 1st)

Kansas City Chiefs

DE/OLB Alex Okafor, week 15 at NO (2, 1st)

S Tyrann Mathieu, week 1 vs HOU (2, 2nd)

Las Vegas Raiders

DE Carl Nassib, week 7 vs TB (1, 1st)

SS Damarious Randall, week 8 @ CLE (1, 1st)

Los Angeles Chargers

LB Nick Vigil, week 1 at CIN (1, 1st)

CB Chris Harris Jr., week 11 at DEN, week 16 vs DEN (1, 1st)

Dallas Cowboys

none

New York Giants

S Jabrill Peppers, week 15 vs CLE (1, 1st)

Philadelphia Eagles

DT Javon Hargrave, week 5 at PIT (1, 1st)

Washington

CB Ronald Darby, week 1 at WAS, week 17 vs WAS (1, 1st)

S Sean Davis, week 5 at PIT (1, 1st)

Detroit Lions

DT Nicholas Williams, week 1 vs CHI, week 13 at CHI (1, 1st)

CB Desmond Trufant, week 7 at ATL (1, 1st)

Green Bay Packers

none

Minnesota Vikings

DE Yannick Ngakoue, week 13 vs JAX (1, 1st)

Atlanta Falcons

none

Carolina Panthers

DE Stephen Weatherly, week 12 at MIN (1, 1st)

LB Tahir Whitehead, week 1 vs LV (1, 1st)

CB Eli Apple, week 7 at NO, week 17 vs NO (1, 1st)

New Orleans Saints

S Malcolm Jenkins, week 14 at PHI (1, 1st)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

LB Shaquil Barrett, week 3 at DEN (2, 1st)

Arizona Cardinals

DT Jordan Phillips, week 10 vs BUF (1, 1st)

LB Devon Kennard, week 3 vs DET (1, 1st)

LB Chandler Jones, week 12 at NE (4, 1st)

LB Jordan Hicks, week 15 vs PHI (2, 1st)

Los Angeles Rams

LB Leonard Floyd, week 7 vs CHI (1, 1st)

San Francisco 49ers

LB Joe Walker, week 1 vs ARI, week 16 at ARI (1, 1st)

Seattle Seahawks

S Jamal Adams, week 14 vs NYJ (1, 1st)

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