CFL Week 11 Breakdown

What is going on #FamVice!  This is going to be an exciting series of articles that I’ll be producing throughout the rest of the CFL season to get everyone up to speed for each week for the North of the Border football!  These articles and my accompanying podcast will be more in-depth than my previous Slack Chat thoughts now that I am on a more stable platform. Through these two media channels, I will be able to give a much clearer picture of guys that I like and don’t like in a given week and most importantly, why I like or dislike those players. For the articles, I will be utilizing a position by position format and for the podcasts I will utilize a game by game approach.  So without further ado, let’s get into the good stuff!

Quarterback

Rickey Ray – TOR vs HAM – $9,700

Back is our favorite defense in the league to target against, and the quarterback facing them has already shown that he can shred this defense to the tune of over 500 yards. This is exactly what he did week one of the season at home against this same Hamilton Ti-Cats team.  Of course, Hamilton has not gotten any better during their bye week oddly enough given all of the national press they have received throughout the previous week, although he is still allowing an average of 370 passing yards per game to opposing quarterbacks, which is still the most in the CFL.

Though it seemed as if a shoulder injury was going to put a setback in the solid season that Ray is having, it hasn’t affected him too much. In his first two games back from what most thought was going to be a long term injury, he racked up 377 and 220 passing yards against Montreal and Calgary respectively (for context, Toronto seemed to be dealing with a very strong defensive backfield against Calgary and himself looked solid in the outing).

I am not all that concerned personally with this game becoming a blowout all too much, though if it does, it should not hurt Toronto, as they pass on a large percentage of their plays even while in the lead.  Solid play all around in cash and GPP contests this week.

Trevor Harris – OTT vs MTL – $10,300

I love torture, I really do, which may be something that may be a constant theme in these articles. That is what Harris brings to the table every week, whether the matchup is positive or negative for him, he always seems to be someone that could be in contention for a top weekly fantasy performance.  And the situation has been set up very nicely this week in the matchup against Montreal.

I’ve discussed in the past here, and on the podcast that the Alouettes have produced the fewest quarterback pressures of any team in the CFL this season.  And this has shown through their lack of turnover production on the season, standing currently in last both sacks and interceptions generated.  This bodes well for any offense because lack of turnovers equate to more opportunities for those offensive players to accumulate fantasy points.

True, he has not been the perfect QB in the last two weeks, but one of those two matchups came against Calgary, who we’ve already established is one of the best, if not the best pass defense in this league.  However, Harris has showed that he can shine against poor defensive competition, and this is simply another spot for him where he could go off for potentially a top 2 QB fantasy performance this week.  Feel free to use him in cash or GPP contests.

Bo Levi Mitchell – CAL v EDM – $10,000

Bo will most likely be one of, if not the highest owned QB on the slate.  Though I believe this is going to be true for all of the wrong reasons.  When you look at the Vegas line right now for this game, it says that Calgary is 11 point favorites over Edmonton.  While I do believe that Calgary is the better team in this game, I am not going to sit there and call it an outright blowout wire to wire like Vegas is calling.  Is Edmonton short a few guys on defense? Sure. But they have still shown that they can be one of the better defenses in the CFL. That being said, they have shown their struggles in recent weeks in the past and Bo Levi Mitchell does still have a path to a big game here.

He was able to throw for a whopping 384 yards last week against Toronto, who have fared well against QBs all season leading up to that game.Though before then he had struggled to put up 300 yards in a game for the four games prior.

Personally, I am staying away from the play in GPPs because the ownership is going to be too high for my comfort.  Essentially requiring him to be the top QB on the slate to justify the play.  In cash though he is a fine play.  He is decently priced and can obtain value which is all you are looking for in a cash game.

Running Backs

Mossis Madu – OTT vs MTL – $6,500

At this point in the season, I really need to take my L on my previous takes on Madu and simply roster the guy. Every qualm that I have had about him has been resolved in this recent stint of his in replacing William Powell. I have said in the past that even when he does start, he is not getting the number of opportunities required to justify his price tag, and I was wrong on that.  In his last two games played, he has seen five and six targets respectively.  And has seen 17 rushing attempts in those two games, which does not sound like a lot, but is fine when looking into the pass vs run play distribution for CFL teams.  Another plus for him is that he should be in a positive game script against a Montreal team that has allowed 91 yards per game on the ground this season.  I am a fan of the play in all formats this week.

Jerome Messam – CAL v EDM – $7,600

In a week with several higher-priced running back options, Jerome Messam might be one of my favorite plays of the week.  He has proven time and time again that he will receive the opportunities on the field necessary for him to produce fantasy points. It only one game this season, he has seen less than 10 carries in a game. On top of the fact that he is going to see at least 10 carries per game, which is great to see in the CFL, we might also be witnessing an increase in targets for the running back. As last week against the Toronto Argonauts he saw six of them catching all six.  While that catch rate of course is not sustainable in any way shape or form, the fact that he is seeing this many targets could lead to even more fantasy opportunities per game for Messam.

Like I said earlier, well I disagree with how much of a favorite the Vegas lines make Calgary out to be, I still believe that the Calgary Stampeders are the favorite team in this game. This has a lot to do with the lack of defensive personnel for the Edmonton Eskimos.  Speaking of Edmonton, they have seen their defense crumble in past weeks, especially against the rush. Having gone from one of the best teams in the CFL against opposing running backs to one of the worst, they’re now allowing 92 yards per game on the ground. Third most in the league.  This seems like an opportune week to use Jerome Messam, as he should be in for a solid game this week at home.

Andrew Harris – WPG v SSK – $7,900

Did you really think that I was going to ignore the best fantasy running back in the league, oh no no.  This is another great spot for him this week against a Saskatchewan team that could see a lot more ownership than is justified.  Of course I have changed my stance on the Saskatchewan Roughriders defense throughout the season. If you have by reading my articles and listening to my podcasts,  then you would know that for a decent portion of the season early on, I was extremely anti Saskatchewan. Thinking that they were the most overrated defense in the entire CFL.  While looking into the numbers certainly changed my mind on this opinion, I still have a firm belief that they are one of the worst rush defense teams in football.  This can be proven by the fact that they are allowing 93 yards per game against opposing offenses.  Which is considered to be the second worst of all defenses.

Of course, he is still one of the highest target share receivers in this Winnipeg offense without even being a wide receiver.  Are we enough, he saw a higher percentage of receiving targets when Weston Dressler was in the lineup versus when he was out of the lineup. Fortunately for Harris, Weston Dressler is back in the Winnipeg line up this week.  If this game is going to be the highest scoring game of the week like the Vegas lines say it is, then Andrew Harris certainly has to be involved heavily in the Winnipeg offense for such a thing to happen. Or else it might become a blowout on Labour Day weekend in Saskatchewan.  As I always say, Andrew Harris is in play in all formats due to the sheer opportunity that he receives week in and week out in this Winnipeg offense.

Wide Receivers

Duron Carter – SSK v WPG – $8,200

For the record, I am more than okay with both Duron Carter and name Naaman Roosevelt this week. However, due to the lower price and lower ownership, I do prefer Carter over Roosevelt in the situation.  The volatility of Duron Carter is what makes him such a great tournament play every week. One week he might see as low as four or five targets, and other weeks he might see as many is 10 to 11 targets in a game.  I love this kind of week-to-week uncertainty in tournaments because it forces people to make decisions that might not always be best. In this week scenario, it will force people to roster Roosevelt at a much higher percentage than Carter.  Which I don’t think is too Justified this week given that both receivers are in great matchups against a seemingly poor past offense in Winnipeg.

While not as bad as some other teams in this league, Winnipeg does have the third worst pass defense in the CFL allowing 327 yd per game through the air.  One of these receivers certainly has to take advantage of this scenario, and I am banking on Duron Carter to do so at both of cheaper price and lower ownership than Roosevelt.  While a great tournament play, I’m not so sure about Carter as a cash game play.

Nik Lewis –  MTL v OTT – $6,500

Lewis is not the guy you think of as a huge upside receiver for daily fantasy purposes. Though by saying that, you would be wrong.  Even though his increase in targets and dust receptions could be because of the receptions record that Lewis was attempting to chase, it seems as if these quantity of opportunity could be permanent in the Montreal Alouettes game plan.  In three of his last four games played, Lewis saw at least seven targets, including 11 last week that helped him reach solid value.  If his targets are anywhere near this on a weekly basis, then he always has to be in play on a point-per-reception site such as DraftKings every week.

It also doesn’t hurt Lewis that he is going up against a weak Ottawa Redblacks pass defense.  Ottawa’s pass defense has been second-worst in all of football allowing 333 yards per game through the air.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Montreal Alouettes kept targeting Lewis throughout this game to get short receptions inching their way up the field on the path to scoring.  Look for Lewis to be both a cash and tournament play for me this week.

Jake Harty – OTT v MTL – $3,600

I can already tell you now that Harty is going to be in an uncomfortably large percentage of my tournament lineups this week.  He has been placed in the Ottawa Redblacks starting lineup replacing Kenny Shaw, who is most likely out for the season due to injury.  A magical thing happened for Jake when Kenny Shaw came out of the game last week against BC, and that was more targets. Even though he had not played the entire game, Harty still saw six targets catching all six of them for 68 yards.  Outside of his price tag, the best reason to roster Hardy is to give a solid stacking option for Trevor Harris in your lineups this week. While most people will rush to use both Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli, I will be attempting to mix in the three receivers in my gpp lineups this week.  There’s no way in hell though that you can make me do this in a cash game. The risk definitely outweighs the reward in that scenario. However feel free to use him in as many tournament lineups as you feel comfortable with. That is certainly how I’m going to approach gpps this week.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, direct them to me on either the slack chat, or my Twitter @Echeney17.  Good luck in your contests this week!