It has been a fun season of CFL football. I’ve managed to take down a $5,000 second place, and have top ten lineups in all week but Week 5. This week should be just as fun and there are a lot of angles to attack. I will be going through each team briefly and breakdown who, if anyone, I am looking at from the team.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Calgary defense, despite injuries, has been very, very good. They met their match in Hamilton last week, but this should be a bounce back. I am overall down on these Argonauts, who have looked better, but still not great.
And yet, here we are and I am getting ready to say that McLeod Bethel-Thompson might not be the worst punt option. While he is likely to throw some picks and eat some grass, I think he could still managed to go over 300 yards and likely a few scores the hard way. SJ Green appears to be a long gone after thought, and the focus seems to be on Derel Walker (finally), Armanti Edwards, and yes, Llevi Noel. I am not wild about any of those guys, and Walker could easily see the Tre Roberson treatment, and as good as he has been in 2019, I will reduce my ownership on Walker despite last week’s signs of life. I think I will take shots on Edwards and maybe some on Noel, who likely needs volume to pay off. RB James Wilder Jr. is going to have some chances here as well. I think at the price he is on the tournament radar for me. None of these guys can sniff cash game consideration. NOTE: After depth charts released, Noel is behind Rodney Smith, who is not in the DK pool. This is confusing as Noel has been up until last week the most reliable player, but will see a reduced opportunity apparently.
After a crushing loss to Hamilton, the Stampeders return home to McMahon where they have been historically better defensively. As the confusingly third highest priced defense this week, despite a still high tag, they are my preferred option, even in a week where the pricing gets tighter. QB Bo Levi Mitchell is still on the 6 game IR, so it will be another Nick Arbuckle game. He is likely overpriced for his apparent upside, but all it takes is a few goal line rushes for him to go from 20-30 points in the blink of an eye. I don’t hate it for tournaments.
The Calgary backfield looks miserable. After a great showing the week prior, the Ka’Deem Carey truck quickly plowed into a wall. Terry Williams saw more work after the first quarter, and I am officially nervous that this could be more of a time share. For now, until I hear different, Carey looks primed for a bounce back game at what could, but probably won’t be, lower ownership. I will still take some shares of Williams, just in case. Ultra-contrarian is to take them both, hope they Williams gets serious work in the return game and scores and Carey has a monster night on the ground. Juwan Brescasin looks poised to return, which muddies the water for guys like Ambles and Belegton. Eric Rogers is still a guy who I would use frequently in all formats.
The REDBLACKS have been extremely uneven in their performance this year, and this is potentially going to continue with Dominique Davis hitting the IR with an injury. Jonathan Jennings has been taking first-team reps in practice, so he will get the start and should be on the radar for nothing more than his dirt cheap price. This offense has the talent, but this Winnipeg defense might be the best in the CFL. The issue is that they are highly likely to give up junk time points which kind of keeps them off of my radar this week in cash, but are certainly viable in tournaments.
Further muddying the water is that RB John Crockett and WR Noel Thomas ran with the first team in practice as well. It would not shock me to see both get the start this week. Thomas I am not overly intrigued by, but Crockett at a $3.5k starting running back would be very tempting no matter how bad the matchup. If they commit to riding him, which could be a guessing game, He could end up 5-7x value. We should know on Thursday if he is getting the start and just by the price I would have to consider him in all formats. The receiving situation becomes a guessing game with a new QB, so Brad Sinopoli moves a few notches up for me in thinking they might try to incorporate him as we saw Toronto go after Derel Walker in last weeks game against Winnipeg. I still like RJ Harris too, and maybe Dominique Rhymes, but this is all probably better suited for the GPP conversation than cash.
The defense is hard to trust at this price, as they tend to bend but not break and it typically does not yield a bunch of defensive stats unless they play Toronto. We do start to see value appearing on this slate, so I do not think it is out of the realm of possibility that you can hammer them in. Matt Nicholas is the premier game manager in the league, which rarely translates into big fantasy performances. It doesn’t help that he does not get the short yardage and goalline work. I tend to not play Nicholas unless I think it is going to be a close game and that is not what I see this week.
Ottawa has done fairly well against opponent running backs, but this is Andrew Harris. I think this game script wise should benefit Harris, who is bound to have an explosion week. He did well last week, but sooner or later, we are going to get a massive 40 point game. He is my premier spend this week in what could very well be his biggest game of the year. The problem is that I don’t see a ton of value with the receivers. Nichols has pretty much spread things out aside from one big week for Lucky Whitehead. I think he, Adams, Wolitarsky, and Demski are all decent tournament options. I will likely even drop in Kenny Lawler if he is on the depth chart this week. I played him a lot last week and Nicholas just missed him on a 40 yard touchdown. At his price, it literally only takes one play like that and he’s golden.
Edmonton gets a rolling Montreal team and I am not a huge fan of their defense when not playing Mike Reilly, so I am probably going to pass here. Trevor Harris is the top priced QB on the slate and is likely to be the top option in both cash games and tournaments this week, as Montreal has been torn apart through the air for a few years now.
This is a prime bounce back spot for CJ Gable, so I want to take some shares of him. There is so much talent at the receiver position for Edmonton that it makes it tough to suggest a specific player, but a few things stick out: Greg Ellingson is still Harris’ top option, he was going for Kenny Stafford deep a lot last week, Davaris Daniels got a lot of work, and Natey Adjei got lucky. I am playig 0% of him. The rest, I would probably rank: Ellingson in cash and GPP, then Daniels then Stafford. Ricky Collins is a mystery. He lead the league in targets coming into the last game and did virtually nothing. I suspected he and Stafford would suffer upon Daniels return, but I need another week before I completely write him off.
The Alouettes defense could be free and I would have no interest in playing them against this Eskimos offense. I don’t see much of a case to make for using them at all. The QB situation should not change, despite Antonio Pipkin returning to health. With how strong Vernon Adams has been over the past few weeks, I think he is the guy right now. His price shot up after a monster week 5 performance, and I like Harris more, but there is no disputing his GPP winning upside at what should still be lower ownership than it should be.
Though their struggles stopping the running game are not as noticable as last year, the Eskimos should still be a team you can use running backs against. Despite running for 100 yards, we have to look at last week as a disappointment for William Stanback. He was invisible in the passing game, which certainly takes away the upside. I expect that to be the exception and not the rule. I am fine with going right back to the well this week. As far as the receivers go, I really can onloy look to BJ Cunningham and Quan Bray. Both has 7/100/1 upside, though Cunningham might be a touch expensive. Bray is only going into his third game, so he might not be what we think he is either.
Through the first few weeks of the season, it is hard to not consider the BC Lions the biggest disappointment. A team that on paper looks like it should be an offensive powerhouse is completely immobile because it cannot keep Mike Reilly upright. His price is just way too high for someone with his stats and just hoping for the breakout to come. I do believe it will, but I’m not buying right now. The defense could be playable, though, as it is not uncommon for teams to struggle coming off the bye week.
John White fell on his face last week, which is what happens when the offense can’t get anything at all going. That price seems high, but he is coming off of two monster games prior to last week. I’ll buy some shares in tournaments but it won’t be many. Speaking of heart breaking, Lemar Durant came crashing down to earth with 1.5 fantasy points last week and they are now starting to price him correctly. I don’t mind some shares in tournaments, but I don’t think I’m going to buy much. You would think that both Bryan Burnham and Duron Carter are too talented to continue to bust, yet, they do. I will have a few shares of both because I do think it is possible for one of them to have a big game here.
I believe defenses against BC are averaging 15 sacks a game. Joking, of course, but sadly not far off. Needless to say, the Saskatchewan defense is playable. Cody Fajardo sucked against Calgary, even getting pulled, but this represents a nice way to get back on track. He still has monster upside if things go right.
William Powell has been a fantasy disappointment thus far, but this seems like a matchup he can get right in. I’d rather spend for Harris or Gable. I don’t mind some shots on Marcus Thigpen as he should be low owned. The receiving situation looks to get tougher with Manny Arceneaux likely to return, and at his price he is worth a look. Shaq Evans and Kyrian Moore are still in play for me as GPP targets.