CFL Week 6
Greetings #FamVice! Welcome to our second installment of daily fantasy Canadian football analysis! 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!
Bo Levi Mitchell – CGY vs HAM – $10,800
It is extremely simple to just plug in Bo Levi Mitchell this week and assume dominance from the Calgary quarterback. We all know the narrative by now that we should just be targeting quarterbacks and wide receivers against this piss-poor Hamilton Tiger-Cats defense and I promise, I’m not going to go against that narrative this week, especially in cash games! However, when it comes to GPPs, the story is slightly different.
With this game taking place in Calgary, it is not likely to stay close and that is confirmed by most sportsbooks listing the Stampede as -12.5 point favorites. The biggest fear is that we may see Calgary feeding RB Jerome Messam in the second half of the game as they make an effort to milk the clock and this strategy was in play last week with Messam getting a season high 28 carries against Saskatchewan. While this matchup is amazing with the Tiger-Cats allowing 418 passing yards per game if Mitchell does not need to throw, he is not going to post loft totals. In summary, I am more than okay with playing him in cash games, but be careful with Mitchell in tournaments and possibly lower your exposure on him in such contests.
Ricky Ray – TOR at SSK – $10,000
Outside of one poor game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers two weeks ago, Ricky Ray has been a model of consistency throughout the CFL season so far. For this reason, as well as his price, I do like him quite a bit as a cash game quarterback against an overrated Saskatchewan Roughrider defense. As I discussed on the podcast which was posted earlier this week (click here to listen), Saskatchewan has faced some sub-standard quarterback talent through their first four games this season including Darian Durant for the Montreal Alouettes, and Zach Collaros for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
In those two games, the Roughriders did a very solid job stopping two mediocre quarterbacks from performing. However, when the Roughriders went up against the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, they struggled mightily, allowing 331 yards passing to a middle of the road Matt Nichols and a seemingly too low 253 yards against Bo Levi Mitchell last week against Calgary (this total would have easily been 100-125 yards higher if the Stampeders had not been so content to just pound the rock rolling up 141 yards on 30 combined carries). So for those reasons, Ricky Ray becomes one of my favorite quarterbacks to play in cash games this week.
Darian Durant – MTL at WPG – $9,300
While Wild Card tournament signal-caller play for the week is going to be a littler crazy it is hard to go completely off the board with only eight options to choose from.I, truly don’t feel as if Darian Durant is going to completely disappoint in the matchup this week against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. While I have consistently mentioned that the Alouettes play at a slower pace, Durant is averaging a healthy 31.6 passing attempts per game and he is going against one of the weaker pass defenses in the CFL with the Blue Bombers allowing 360.8 passing yards per game.
Do not get too hung up on the low implied team total for Montreal as we have seen Durant be a steady producer with his air yards along with three rushing attempts for nearly 14 yards per game giving him a nice floor and if he has a hand in two or three touchdowns, he could be a real difference maker for those willing to take the road less travelled.
Jeremiah Johnson – BC at EDM – $7,600
Without question, Jeremiah Johnson will likely be the highest owned running back on the slate this week with the Edmonton Eskimos “boasting” the worst rushing defense in the league allowing 92.8 yards per game. The crazy thing is that if you have been watching the games, you would have seen that Edmonton probably should have allowed even more yardage to opposing ball-carriers.
There are so few top end rushing options in a pass-heavy league like the CFL with only nine teams to choose from, it is okay to “eat the chalk” when everything lines up because it will be difficult to pinpoint another specific alternative where you can make up this sort of raw points total.
Andrew Harris – WPG vs MTL – $7,500
If you thought I was going to go through this article without mentioning my favorite fantasy running back in this league, then you must be insane. The reason why I love Andrew Harris so much for fantasy purposes week-in and week-out is because he consistently receives a ton of usage in the Winnipeg Blue Bomber offense. He currently has as many targets (33) as the leading WR Darvin Adams, while still seeing 12 carries per game rushing. As I mentioned earlier, the Montreal Alouettes play at the slowest pace in the entire league and have the second best rush defense to boot. However, you can never completely ignore a guy that gets this many opportunities per game to succeed like Andrew Harris does. While I may not play him in my cash game lineups this week (though I would certainly not fault you if you did), my goal is to be overweight versus the field in terms of my tournament exposure to Harris.
Jerome Messam – CGY vs HAM – $7,400
Messam should be a direct beneficiary of my projected game script for this matchup. Calgary is waltzing in as double digit favorites in the final game of the week and with Hamilton generally content to play at a slower pace it is hard to see how they will keep this close after halftime. As we saw last week when Messam had an outrageous 28 carries salting away the game against Saskatchewan. While he may not reach that lofty total, he should be in the mix for 20-23 touches if things transpire as I foresee.
S.J Green – TOR at SSK – $8,600
While S.J Green performed poorly fantasy-wise last week against the Ottawa Redblacks, that was mostly due to his not finding the endzone as he still had seven receptions for 66 yards. I still find it extremely difficult to fade a guy who is likely going to see nearly 11 targets per game and is going against the most overrated pass defense in the entire league. These 11 targets per game that Green is seeing are the highest numbers in the entire CFL.
Sure, you can go to a guy such as Kamar Jordan who is only $100 more and whose team has a much higher implied team total this week, but the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders will be in a very competitive matchup and both teams are primed to continue passing throughout this tilt. On the other hand, Calgary will most likely have their game put away early in the second half, which should allow Green to have more accessible upside over Jordan.
Emmanuel Arceneaux – BC at EDM – $8,500
Arceneaux will also be a guy this week that I find as a great tournament pivot over Jorden this week. He will have the same second half up side as S.J.Green will in and as an added bonus, Arceneaux is seeing the second most red zone targets in the entire league (10 to the aformentioned Jordan’s 11).On the season Arceneaux only seeing 7.6 targets per game (which is 20.43% of the Lions total) he is not the safest of plays with somewhat limited opportunities as well as being dinged up with shoulder and thigh injuries. Tournaments only, but he does have 20+ fantasy point upside and could be one heck of a contrarian difference-maker.
Bakari Grant – SSK vs TOR – $5,900
Looking to catch lightening in a bottle two weeks in a row, I will be going back to Bakari Grant as a favorite tournament wide receiver. While this seems a little nuts on the surface looking to take someone against the stalwart passing defense of the Toronto Argonauts, there is more to this situation than meets the eye.
Going back and watching last week’s game against the Ottawa Redblacks, I noticed something that seems like a big, exploitable hole in the Toronto Argonauts defense. Defensive halfback Brandon Harris struggled Big Time guarding inside slot back Brad Sinopoli for the Redblacks. Looking back even further, this doesn’t seem like a one-time deal. Which leads me to believe that there is a consistent trend of Brandon Harris struggling this season against inside slot backs, which is of course where Grant lines up on offense. It will be interesting to see if any other CFL DFS analysts pick up on this, as a result of that unknown, it is hard to gauge what is popularity aka ownership will be.
However, with Saskatchewan boasting other notable receiving options such as Naaman Roosevelt and Duron Carter, I suspect that Bakari Grant will be overlooked by The Masses once again. Grant will probably hit the trifecta this week when it comes to sustaining better value over Duron Carter. Grant is cheaper, has a good chance of seeing as many, if not more targets than carter and this could even extend into the red zone. I feel strongly enough in this assessment that I will be riding with Grant in my cash game lineups!
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!