Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a king named Ricky Ray. He ruled for many years upon the throne of the Argos and won many battles. However, as happens to all kings, eventually his reign ended. James Franklin was to be the new monarch, brought in a from a rival kingdom with the promise of peace and prosperity but his reign was cut short and throne taken by young Macbeth. He was a seasoned general having fought battles in many countries and took his opportunity to anoint himself ruler over the tumultuous kingdom of Toronto.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson is far too arduous a name for me to deal with so he shall here forth be known as Macbeth. LONG LIVE THE KING!
Welcome to Week 11 of CFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings.
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Implied Team Totals
Calgary – 31
Hamilton – 30
Toronto – 28.5
Edmonton – 27
BC – 27
Saskatchewan – 24.5
Montreal – 23
Winnipeg – 22
It’s hard to believe that Winnipeg will score only 22 points given they have scored the most TDs in the league to this point. The 22 point implied team total there feels low despite the strength of the Calgary defence. Similarly, 31 for Calgary feels a mite bit high versus Winnipeg. This game will likely be closer than the current Vegas line entails. The other line that smells a little funny is BC being -2.5 favourites versus Saskatchewan. I have a hard time believing the Lions can put up 27 versus the Riders defence and think the Riders may win outright.
On the weather front, there is a chance of showers in what is forecast to be a cool evening in Calgary but the rest of the weather picture looks clear for Week 11.
Mike Reilly, EDM – $12100
McLeod Bethel-Thompson, TOR – $8700
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $10700
Antonio Pipkin, MTL – $7100
Mike Reilly still tops the projections, regardless of position, this week but it’s closer than it has been at any other point this season. There’s really no question that he’s the top fantasy quarterback in the league but the matchup with the TiCats is an unexpectedly difficult one this season given Hamilton’s secondary struggles the past couple years. The Tiger-Cats are allowing only 7.15 yards per pass attempt on defence this season – second in the league – compared to league worst 8.64 yards per attempt they allowed in 2017. They’ve also allowed a measly six passing touchdowns to this point, good for the third lowest rate in 2018. Reilly accounted for two of those six passing TDs allowed from their matchup in Week 2 but even at that 26-point rate of return, the salary is more difficult to justify than usual with the values available elsewhere.
There are four halves of CFL football to judge Bethel-Thompson by: one of them was poor, two were fine, and one is other worldly in its magnificent nature. That one half of football props up the other three significantly. Even with some manual rate reductions though, McLeod Bethel Thompson projects exceptionally well versus the Als secondary that seems to be at a total loss as to how to defend the pass. Macbeth has taken the throne from Ricky Ray in Toronto and hopes to make the most of his time leading the inconsistent Argos offence. Toronto passes for the second lowest yards per attempt on offence through 10 weeks but still projects for an above average rate this week as only their own defence allows more yards per pass attempt to opposing offences (9.23). Add to that a league high 22 touchdowns allowed through the air by the Als and it makes it a good week to stack the Argos passing game on the cheap.
If players are looking for a QB with a bit more proven track record, there’s another option with three names at the position who’s proven his value more consistently. Bo Levi Mitchell is second in the league with 18 touchdown passes and the Stamps passing offence produces the third most passing yards per attempt at 8.84. Initially the matchup with the Bombers appears difficult as they allow the third lowest yards per pass attempt at 7.49 and the second lowest rate of passing TDs per attempt with only six total given up this season. Trevor Harris showed the secondary could be had in Week 10 with 361 yards and a touchdown so it’s not unreasonable to expect Mitchell may continue that trend.
Antonio Pipkin quietly had the best outing of any Montreal quarterback this season in Week 10. Passing for 217 yards and a touchdown along with another 23 yards and a touchdown on the ground for a total of 19 fantasy points isn’t earth shattering stuff but at only $7100 it allows you to pay up for a lot of other talent. Toronto allows the most passing yards per attempt on defence, so he’s got that going for him – which is nice. On a week Reilly’s projection is underwhelming and the secondary option is unproven, punting the position could make some sense.
Andrew Harris, WPG – $8600
James Wilder Jr., TOR – $8500
Alex Green, HAM – $7100
William Stanback, MTL – $4000
Like Mike Reilly, Andrew Harris leads the league in most of the statistical categories at his position but also like Reilly, he finds himself in the toughest possible matchup to draw for his position this week. The Stampeders allow a league low 4.83 yards per carry and have allowed only four rushing touchdowns to this point. Harris averages 5.95 yards per carry and the Bombers as a team average over six but the Stamps have allowed only one 100 yard rusher through eight games so odds are against him achieving the feat. The touchdowns won’t be easy to come by either.
James Wilder Jr., on the other hand, comes in at a discount to Harris while carrying a nearly identical projection. As his workload has stabilized with over 19 touches in each of the past three games, his production as stabilized as well. The matchup with Montreal is more appealing for receivers than rushers but much of Wilders’ fantasy production comes as a receiver anyways. The biggest thing working in Wilders’ favour this week is the volume as Montreal allows over 64 plays per game to opposing offences. Wilder projects for nearly 20 touches this week – highest of any player on the slate.
The Eskimos rush defence has been something work targeting over the past couple seasons and this week is no different as Alex Green draws that matchup. Edmonton allowed a ridiculous 133 yards rushing and two touchdowns to Mercer Timmis in Week 2 and Alex Green is a step up in talent despite Timmis’ heroic effort. Green cannot possibly continue scoring two TDs a game all season but the date with Edmonton should help compensate for that regression to the mean through yardage allowed as they allow the second highest yards per carry at 5.44.
One of the biggest bargains on the slate is William Stanback who is expected to get the start at RB for the Als with Tyrell Sutton lost to injury. Toronto allows a league average 5.12 yards per carry but it’s their inflated 9.4 yards per pass allowed that bumps Stanback’s value as Montreal averages over eight receiving targets per game to members of their backfield. Having Pipkin in at quarterback seemed to give the Alouettes offence some semblance of effectiveness and a starting RB at $4000 doesn’t have to do a lot to return value.
Kamar Jorden, CGY – $9000
Duke Williams, EDM – $9900
Brandon Banks, HAM – $9800
Derel Walker, EDM – $9400
S.J. Green, TOR – $7400
Jalen Saunders, HAM – $8700
DaVaris Daniels, CGY – $7700
Vidal Hazelton, EDM – $5700
Jordan Williams-Lambert, SSK – $5900
Shaq Evans, SSK – $4900
Mario Alford, TOR – $4500
While overall the running back position projects pretty well, it appears to be a down week for receivers. Kamar Jorden is an exception to this observation as he tops the receiver projections for the first time this season outside an Edmonton bye week. Jorden is the most targeted receiver in the Stamps offence without Eric Rogers around. His teammate DaVaris Daniels had the big Week 10 showing with a pair of touchdowns but Jorden is the more consistent contributor in the Stamps offence that leads the league in plays of 30 yards or more with 22. The matchup with Winnipeg is not one generally chosen to pick on but in a down week at the position it’s acceptable.
The usual duo atop the projections is the Williams/Walker combo out of Edmonton but the Hamilton secondary appears to be drastically improved this season and presents the second most difficult matchup for opposing passing games in 2018 in terms of yards per pass attempt allowed. Also working against the Edmonton offence is the expected pace. Hamilton and Edmonton are both tied allowing a league low 52 plays per game to opposing offences. This week’s pace projections hold down the mean projections for all players in this game as their opportunities will be more limited than usual. The ceilings for both Williams and Walker remain high but it will have to come from unusual efficiency rather than significant workloads.
The group of Hamilton receivers suffers a similar fate to the Edmonton group as the pace projections knock their target projections down. Banks, Saunders, Williams and the rest of the TiCats receiving corps get the benefit of an Edmonton secondary allowing an above average 8.36 yards per pass attempt but their workloads will likely be limited. It’s fair to pay up for the ceiling that a player like Banks offers due to his big play ability but it’s a lower mean projection this week due to diminished opportunities.
In an enticing matchup for opposing receivers last week and coming off a nine catch, 134 yard, two touchdown explosion versus Ottawa, S.J. Green had a disappointing outing versus BC with only 4.8 fantasy points. This kind of inconsistency has been the story of his 2018 season. The matchup with Montreal this week is enough to make Green worth taking a risk on as they are the most inviting matchup in the league in terms of yardage and touchdowns for receivers but Green is still certainly a risk.
If you are churning around the bottom of the receiver bargain barrel this week for some Bryant Mitchell leftovers you are too late. They’re expired. Mitchell appears headed to the bench this week with the return of Vidal Hazelton to the starting lineup. Hazelton is a good option in his own right at only $5700 and projects as a solid value. The other mid-tier value at the position is Williams-Lambert coming off his 10 catch, 152 yard performance versus the vaunted Stampeders defence. His price tag is higher and his performance also seems like more of a statistical outlier. Hazelton is certainly the more proven performer.
Williams-Lambert’s teammate Shaq Evans is a cheap option who, although he didn’t have the fanfare of a 10-catch outing, was a consistent contributor to the Riders offence. If players are looking to take advantage of the Argonauts’ matchup with Montreal both Coombs and Alford seemed to have significant roles in the Toronto offence in their first action of 2018. Coombs has been a high volume/low efficiency receiver in previous seasons but how he fits in with Macbeth has yet to be seen. Alford on the other hand is a speedster out of West Virginia that averaged over 16.3 yards per catch in college. If he gets a handful of targets and a few kick returns he can easily exceed value versus the Alouettes.
Saskatchewan Roughriders – $4300
Calgary Stampeders – $5400
Winnipeg Blue Bombers – $4100
The Riders defence won GPPs seemingly on their own last week with a two-touchdown performance versus the previously undefeated Stampeders in Week 10. The price tag is still ridiculously cheap given their talents so the Riders unit is certainly a consideration. The Lions allow a higher than average number of sacks (17) and turnovers (19) so it may be another solid opportunity for the big play Riders defence. The sheer number of unde rpriced values on this slate is kind of silly. Folks may actually just pay up for Calgary because they have the salary sitting around.
The Stampeders defence faces a more talented offence than the Riders this week as Winnipeg leads the league in touchdowns scored. That being said, the Stamps defence is exceptionally talented and will likely be quite motivated to right the ship versus the Bombers. The Stamps lead the league in forced turnovers with 26 and Winnipeg has given up the third most turnovers with 19 so big plays may be available for Calgary this week.
The other cheap defence that will likely go very low owned given the matchup and Week 10 production is the Bombers unit. Their -1 DK point showing versus Ottawa in a game they were favoured to win burned a lot of folks last week. Calgary isn’t an offence you’d like to pick on but the Riders showed that it’s not a terrible decision. Winnipeg leads the league in sacks (22) and forced turnovers (26) so even if they give up a bunch of points they have to possibility to put up a big fantasy score.
That does it for Week 11, so good luck in all your contests!