CFL Week 5
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!
Mike Reilly – EDM at HAM – $11,000
Given that he is a quarterback and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defense is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defense, there really is no reason to fade a guy like Mike Reilly, particularly when constructing your cash game lineups. To put some numbers on it, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats are allowing 440.7 passing yards per game, which is nearly a hundred yards worse than the Winnipeg Blue Bombers which own the next worst pass defense in the CFL. The one thing to note is that defensive back Abdul Kanneh should be making his Hamilton Tiger-Cats debut soon and potentially this week.
While we cannot be certain how Abdul is going to fit into this Hamilton Tiger-Cats defense, we do know that he is been a CFL All-Star defensive back for the past two seasons with the Ottawa Redblacks. Even if he is back this week though, I don’t see him fitting immediately into the Hamilton defense for a full complement of snaps, which will work in Mike Reilly’s favor this week. Keep in mind that Mike Riley is a dual-threat quarterback. Which means there is a little bit more safety in this matchup. The one exception is of course if he gets hurt during the second play of the game like a certain Jonathan Jennings did last week (I can neither confirm nor deny that I may have broken down sobbing when that happened last week, I just don’t remember).
Jonathan Jennings/Travis Lulay – BC vs WPG – $10,400/$9,300
As it currently stands now, Jonathan Jennings is considered week-to-week with his shoulder injury. Which means at this point, there is a 50-50 chance that the Lions top signal caller plays this week. No matter what happens, it seems as if DraftKings has priced both quarterbacks accordingly. Jonathan Jennings is at $10,400, and Travis Lulay is at $9,300. I firmly believe that both are very solid options this week no matter who plays.
With the matchup against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, they walk into a favorable matchup against the second worst pass defense in the CFL, allowing an average of 346.3 passing yards per game on defense. Lulay looked strong last week in relief, putting up 463 yards through the air. Though as you will see later on in the article, my receiver options do differ a little bit depending on the quarterback that ends up playing.
Kevin Glenn – SSK at CGY – $9,100
Glenn might ultimately end up being the best gpp play of the week. He is currently a part of the Saskatchewan Roughriders team that sits as heavy 10.5 point underdogs in there matchup against the Calgary Stampeders this week. Something I like to emphasize in my weekly Slack Chat write-ups is that Las Vegas doesn’t always seem to understand the Canadian Football League very well. Games that Vegas has considered the lowest total games of the week have seemed to be some of the highest, if not the highest scoring games on their respective slates. So in my eyes, Vegas has lost quite a bit of credibility when it comes to projecting the CFL. However, a lot of daily fantasy gamers are seemingly slow to catch onto this concept just yet.
A fine example would be last week in the game between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Edmonton Eskimos. If you remember, I had said in the slack chat that Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli were in poor spots due to relatively tough matchups against Edmonton at their home stadium. Yet when Vegas projected this at their highest scoring game with a projected total of 58 points, it ended up being much lower with a final score of 23 – 21, an unfortunate loss for my Ottawa Redblacks. In summary, don’t be as much of a slave to Vegas for CFL as you would be for any other sport.
Circling back to Glenn, the 17-year CFL veteran has put up three very respectable performances to start the season against the Montreal Alouettes, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats which all have relatively weak passing defenses. Fortunately, this game may also feature an easier matchup for Kevin Glenn from a sneaky standpoint. As of this writing, the Calgary Stampeders currently have 13 defensive players on either the one or six game injured lists and while they have been dealing with all of these defensive injuries throughout the season, they’ve managed to give up 322 passing yards per game which is the fourth most in the league. Using Kevin Glenn for at least a portion of your tournament lineups this week appears to be a savvy strategy.
Andrew Harris – WPG at BC – $7,300
Week in and week out I believe that Andrew Harris is one of the safest running backs you can roster in CFL DFS. This is because he get such high usage in the Winnipeg Blue Bomber offense. Harris gets about 13 carries per game, which is pretty much average for CFL running backs. Additionally he checks in with 7 targets per game or 18.42% of the total targets for Winnipeg Blue Bomber receivers. Both of these numbers are third highest on the team. It also does not hurt that Harris is going up against the fourth worst rushing defense in the CFL in British Columbia, who allow 74.3 yards per game on the ground. While this may not seem like a lot for those of you who follow the National Football League, it’s a pretty decent number for the pass happy CFL where they have three downs to make 15 yards in order to keep their drives alive.
Jerome Messam – CGY vs SSK – $7,200
Another safe running back that you will probably see a lot in my write-ups and podcasts this season will be Jerome Messam. He is high usage player that is in a pretty decent matchup this week. Of course he will also likely be the highest owned running back of the week given that his team is a 10.5 favorite right now. As a game theory move, you could fade him in a GPP, but I find that it might not be the most optimal of strategies this week, especially if the game script goes even in a slightly similar fashion as Vegas is predicting.
Cameron Marshall – SSK at CGY – $5,900
A guy like Marshall could work, especially in a large field GPP like the $8-entry $25,000 Post Patter contest on DraftKings this week. If you recall from the Kevin Glenn writeup, the Redblacks are missing a baker’s dozen worth of defensive players. So far this season, they allowing 97 rushing yards per game which is the second highest total in the league. What keeps Marshall as a tournament-only play is that he averages around 10 carries and 5 targets per game, which is just not enough volume to support a price tag or level of trust higher than this. The upside is of course if the Rough Riders end up deep in the redzone, they will have no issues giving the rock to Marshall.
Other Options: Ross Scheuerman (check back with me in slack later in the week as my thoughts are not currently clear on him)
Any And All Edmonton Receivers in Hamilton on Thursday
It’s really easy to make the case for every single Edmonton Eskimo receiver this week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. If Abdul is back in, then I would downgrade Adarius Bowman – $9,400 a bit, but other than that, I would go in guns blazin’ with this team. The other obvious place to go here will be besides Adarius Bowman is with Brandon Zylstra – $8,000 though we will want to be aware that this duo will be among the most popular receiving options this week carrying a high level of ownership with Zylstra actually seeing a tick more targets per game this season than his more polished and pricy counterpart Bowman. Do note that Adarius Bowman is questionable for the game this week.
That still leaves us with two other options that I believe will be much less popular than the aforementioned receivers. Let’s start with Vidal Hazelton – $5,900 who will see about 7 targets per game or 19.61 % of all Targets for the Edmonton Eskimos, Duke Williams – $5,300 is much different seeing only for targets per game, though still being able to produce similar yardage to Hazelton with Duke Williams being overlooked by The Masses. If you are making multiple lineups for tournaments this week, make sure you have exposure and some way to all four of these receivers or three if Bowman is out this week. Check back with me in Slack Chat on Thursday and I will be able to provide a clearer picture of what we know about Adarius Bowman’s health status and how to best position ourselves with this quartet.
SJ Green and Khalil Paden – TOR vs OTT – $8,700/$4,000
The matchup against the Ottawa Redblacks is so good I was not able to choose a favorite among this pairing, so I will be playing both. Something that I will go more in-depth on in the podcast is that the CFL has severely screwed the Ottawa Redblacks with their schedule this week. Playing two games over the course of Week Five (don’t worry, this is the only game on the DraftKings slate). As a result of this quirk, the Redblacks will be going two full weeks without ever being able to hold practice. If the Ottawa Redblacks were to cram practice into their schedule, then the players would have absolutely no time to rest while having to play three games over the course of 10 days. In other words, they are going to be extremely tired going into this game against the Toronto Argonauts. Ottawa already has one of the worst defenses in all of the CFL being the third worst in both rushing yards allowed and passing yards allowed.
This lack of rest and practice time is not what the Redblacks need to improve defensively. Although I do not believe that the Toronto Argonauts are complaining too much about this, because it makes an easy offensive matchup even easier. Green averages over 10 targets per game, which make him one of the highest targeted receivers in the entire league. Paden on the other hand simply seems like a big beneficiary of DeVier Posey’s season ending injury. In the one game that Paden played, he saw nine targets catching six of them. Doing much more than anything chalk Armanti Edwards could have done. I would certainly wait to make any more assumptions, however, it does seem to me that Paden might become the highest targeted receiver behind SJ Green and not a lot of gamers may be aware of this change.
Bakari Grant – SSK at CGY – $5,800
My hope was to add a really crazy tournament dart throw here, but the more I dig into things, Bakari Grant does not really seem that crazy of a play this week. Because I have been talking about the Saskatchewan Roughriders offense so much, you pretty much have to assume that one of the receivers was going to make this list. But why Grant you ask? Because (depending on what you’re looking at) Grant has been the second, or even the best receiver on this team this season. Grant is seeing 8.67 targets per game, which, as a WR3, is even more targets per game then some number to an even WR1w are seeing this year. While at the same time he is occurring 17.54% of all of the receiving yards for Saskatchewan this season. Which is even more than Saskatchewan’s premiere wide out, Duron Carter. Also, Grant’s three touchdowns the season are only one less than the rest of this team has combined through the receiving game. Odds are, we will be getting him at extremely low ownership this week due to Saskatchewan’s massive Underdog status and great uncertainty on how this receiving Corps will perform this week. But it will certainly make for one hell of a GPP play.
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!