Nothing says LONG WEEKEND quite like a party, and there may be no party food I like to make more than chili. I’m not saying it’s the best chili recipe in the world, but I AM saying that your recipe is almost certainly inferior to my own. It’s been stolen from many different sources and refined through the palates of toddlers to geriatrics. This week in my CFL daily fantasy contests, I’ll just be hoping that Kevin doesn’t trip up and make of mess of everything. If you aren’t interested in the greatest culinary delight of your life, feel free to skip down to the team totals.
All good food starts with good ingredients, so I’ve got a lot of fresh produce in the pot. Between the peppers, onions, garlic, and mushrooms you’re looking at about 2-3 lbs of veggies here. It’s practically health food. Add in another 3 cans of beans, 2 cans of tomato sauce, and 1 can of tomato paste and your doctor will basically be begging you to eat this more often. Feel free to fail to mention the rye whiskey.
2 Large red sweet peppers – ¼” diced
2 Large green bell peppers – ¼” diced
2 Large Spanish onions – ¼” diced
2 Large red onions – 1/4” diced
1 lb. mushrooms – sliced
2 bulbs – yes bulbs not cloves – of garlic – minced
1 lb. ground beef
3 cans deep browned beans
2 cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 tbsp. Sriracha
Rye whiskey – ¼ cup
Chili spices to your liking
- Brown the ground beef in a pot or skillet. Don’t whimp out and use a non-stick pan that won’t burn. This is a labour of LOVE. Stir it around until it’s browned and drain the fat. Just keep scraping the bits off the bottom of the pot as they are sticking with a wooden spoon.
- Add in all your vegetables and spices. Mix it all up so it’s good and friendly on scorching heat that would consume a thousand flaming suns for a few minutes then cover it and turn it down to low to simmer for half an hour. DON’T CHECK IT. Have faith and just let it mellow.
- Now that everything is cooking and caramelizing, add in your tomato sauce, tomato paste, sriracha and whiskey. Crank the heat back up to 11 and make it dance for a few minutes. Once everything is spitting and burning your forearms, cover it, turn it back down to low to simmer for another 45 minutes. DON’T TOUCH IT. Just let it boil bubble while you toil and trouble over another task.
- All those ingredients should be nice and soft and ready to party now that they’ve cooked down, so it’s time to add your beans. I’m a big fan of maple deep browned beans with pork, but you can use whatever you like. FREE COUNTRY! Add your 3 cans of beans, sauce and all, into that milieu of deliciousness and bring it up to boil again. After five minutes taker back down to low and let it simmer WITH NO LID for about half an hour until it’s supper time. You want to give those beans a chance to boil off some of the moisture in them and soak in the flavours.
Kevin Malone may be the only man in world who cares about his chili as much as I do.
When I was updating the number and running initial projections on Monday night, all I could think was DON’T SCREW THIS UP KEVIN! Kevin Glenn is having a miraculous renaissance in Regina this season and is amazingly our top projected scorer, regardless of position, for the big week 11 Labour Day CFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings. As I watch from my seat in Mosaic Stadium this weekend, I can only hope Kevin doesn’t spill the beans.
As usual, our rankings here are based on projected fantasy points from our projections model – not preference or value. So far this season, we’ve been really encouraged with the success of the projections model at providing reasonable expectations each week. The issue comes in trying to determine the scoring ceiling in the range of outcomes for each player, as that’s what you’re looking for in tournament plays. Our model gives a good mean projection for each player, but determining upside requires a bit more nuance that we’ll try to provide in our writeups. Given that the CFL is primarily a GPP sport, we’ll keep working in that direction.
PROJECTED TEAM TOTALS
Calgary – 32.75
Saskatchewan – 31.75
Winnipeg – 29.25
Toronto – 29
Ottawa – 25.5
Montreal – 25.5
Hamilton – 24
Edmonton – 21.75
Calgary is no stranger to the top of this list, but imagine my shock and jubilation in seeing the Riders as 2.5 point favourites. Sure they put up a fifty burger on Edmonton last week, but three defensive TDs certainly help that effort. They have scored 4 defensive TDs in the past two games, but it’s hard to see that streak continuing. I’ll get into it more below, but despite a combined 61 pts from their DST the past two weeks they are the lowest priced DST on the slate at $4200. Prepare to see 60-70% ownership on them in MME formats. They will be hard to avoid due to their recent run, upside, and price, but you’d be wise to spread your exposure a bit wider with some of the other prime opportunities out there.
Ottawa waited two months for prized free agent WR Kenny Shaw to finally join the team and now he’s gone like he was never really there. It should open up opportunities to Ellingson and Sinopoli to reach for their respective ceilings again this week against Montreal, but it’s an overall downer for the RedBlacks as a team.
Probably the most shocking piece of data from this week’s Vegas lines is the vaunted Eskimos being 11 point road dogs with an implied team total of only 21.75. That’s more than two points worse than the statistically worst offence in the league belonging to the Hamilton Tiger-Dumpster Fires. I realize Calgary is really good. I realize Edmonton looked really bad last week and has lost two in a row. However, they were an undefeated team set on glory only two weeks back and they are starting to get healthy with the return of Brandon Zylstra and Adarius Bowman to the lineup. The Stampeders defence is good, but they’ve give up 30+ to Ottawa and Montreal. I’m not saying Edmonton is going to win, but I can’t imagine a team with that much talent will lose by double digits in a rivalry game now that they are starting to get out of the infirmary. Mike Reilly can’t possibly be that bad two weeks in a row.
Kevin Glenn, SSK – $9400
Matt Nichols, WPG – $10200
Ricky Ray, TOR – $9700
Jeremiah Masoli, HAM – $6700
All these nice things having been said about Mike Reilly and the Eskimos, he still doesn’t crack the top 4 in our QB projections this week. He has been on top of the list for the past month with weekly projections over 30 fantasy points each time, but this week seems him at a very mortal 25 point projection versus the top scoring prevention defence in the CFL at a meager 18.8 points per game. I’ve rode Reilly to many wins over the past month, but this week will see him at his lowest ownership levels of 2017.
Taking over the top spot in surprising fashion for week 11 is the Roughriders Kevin Glenn. Kevin leads the most efficient passing offence in the league in terms of attempts per TD at 15.7. The Bombers defence also happens to be the third most generous CFL defence in that category. What might be most shocking about Glenn’s stats are his home/road splits. In four home games this season, Glenn has averaged 33.5 fantasy points, while in four road games he has averaged a mere 12 points. That split is staggering. Thankfully, the Bombers are IN Regina this weekend for the Labour Day Classic and Glenn should have a nice afternoon. His being the second lowest priced starting QB on the slate only adds to his appeal.
The opposing QB for the Bombers this Sunday, Matt Nichols, steps into the number two spot in our QB projections this week. With a O/U of 61 points, it looks like this game should be a wild and high scoring affair. The return of Weston Dressler to the lineup should be a benefit to him as well. The knock against Nichols, if you’re looking for a reason to fade him, would be the inefficiency of the offence and their propensity to settle for field goals from the high priced leg of Justin Medlock. The Bombers have the second lowest yards per attempt passing in the CFL and are only average in TDs per passing attempt. If the Riders can keep up the pressure and force a couple turnovers, Nichols may struggle to get to his ceiling given that much of his projection is based on volume.
The third QB in our projections this week is also a super high volume play versus the worst pass defence in the league. If the Argos scored passing TDs at even a league average rate, Ray would likely be the top projected play this week, however that’s not the case. The Despite having the largest number of pass attempts per game by a wide margin, the Argos only score a TD once every 29.2 attempts. Contrast that with Kevin Glenn’s 15.7 and you can see just how inefficient the Argos have been. Working in his favor is the sheer volume of pass attempts, projected at 45, along with a matchup with the worst defence in the CFL that allows a league high 60 plays a game, 38 points per game, 354 passing yards per game, and a passing TD per 21 plays. Ray may well be the highest owned QB this week for all these reasons.
If you’re interested in loading up elsewhere, not that I’d recommend it, Jeremiah Masoli looks to be taking over as the starting QB for the Hamilton Trainwreck-Cats this week. The Masoli Turnover Machine provides some mobility out of the pocket and downfield that Collaros lacks, and given the horrible play of their offensive line, it’s a noteworthy skill. Priced at only $6700, he frees up a lot of salary for a couple top tier WR in a week with few other clear value plays. In nine games last season, he managed to average nearly 300 yards passing per game to go along with 20 yards rushing as well. The big knock on him was the turnovers, as he was fumble prone and sported a TD to INT ratio of 5:4. NOT GREAT! With Glenn already at a discount from other QBs it may be wise to avoid too much exposure to Masoli in his debut week versus an Argos defence that leads the league in sacks.
Andrew Harris, WPG – $7900
Cameron Marshall, SSK – $6800
Jerome Messam, CGY – $7600
Mossis Madu Jr., OTT – $6500
Brandon Rutley, MTL – $6600 – OUT –
Brandon Rutley is out this week for Tyrell Sutton. Sutton is slightly more expensive and projects slightly lower, but it usable for the same reasons. Salary relief is hard to find this week and going multi-RB can help alleviate some of the strain.
With the high O/U in the Riders versus Bombers game, you can expect a lot of their players to project well. Andrew Harris is our top projected RB again this week despite that fact that he induces more tilt filled evening than any other player in the sport. Over the past month his role in the Winnipeg offence has morphed into the lead back in a split backfield with Tim Flanders accompanied by an undefined role in the passing game that has seen him anywhere from 3 to 9 targets. Through the first five games he averaged 8.5 targets per game. However, in the past four games he has had only one game in that range and three games with 4 or fewer. At that rate, he needs at least one or two TDs to reach value. In a shootout, he certainly has that potential, but his uncertain role in the passing game leaves him far from a lock. The return of Weston Dressler to the lineup this week may reset the offensive scheme back to what they ran the first 5 weeks of the season with Harris garnering near 8 targets per game, but that has yet to be seen. Given the other cheaper options at the position, you’d be wise to spread your exposure a little wider.
One of those solid options is an improving Cameron Marshall who has had two consecutive games over 20 fantasy points. In games in which the Riders play with the lead, Marshall has generally seen over 12 carries to go along with a steady average of 4 targets in the passing game. The uptick in his fantasy production the past two weeks has been a direct result of increased usage in the redzone leading to 3 touchdowns in that span. The Bombers allow the third highest rate of rushing TDs per attempt in the CFL, so Marshall’s rungood may continue.
The third projected RB this week is the lucky man who gets to face the struggling defensive front of the Eskimos that allow a league high 5.6 yards per carry. Messam will be one more week further removed from his scary knee injury versus BC and should have a lot of open space to run on Monday. Calgary scores rushing TDs at the highest rate in the league and gets to face the defence that gives them up and the second highest rate. There’s certainly a recipe for a lot of upside here given game script and projected team totals along with rates. A lot of people will gravitate towards Harris given the high O/U and name value, but Messam may be the highest upside play at the position this week.
There are no pure punts available this week at any position, but the highest value plays are all RBs. I’ve written many times over the past two years that multiple RB lineups lack upside and may be a fish move influenced by too much NFL experience, but given where the values line up this week there’s reason to consider 2 RBs in your lineups and maybe even three depending on your other lineup decisions. Whereas only 2 of the top 20 WR rate as a 2.2x value or better, all top 6 projected RBs eclipse that mark.
Mossis Madu had an unexpectedly high scoring game versus BC last week buoyed by 2 TDs. Those opportunities will likely be fewer versus a much stingier Als defence that gives up them up at the second lowest rate in the league. However, his opportunities for touches should still be high given that the Als defence allows a lofty 56.1 plays per game to opposing offences. The RedBlacks have really LOVED settling for field goals the past couple weeks, so despite a reasonably solid floor, don’t expect a lot of upside from Madu.
The opposing RB on the Thursday night opener is Brandon Rutley who has seen his price increase $2500 in the past two weeks. At $4100 he was a lock. At $5200 he was still a great value play. At his fully priced $6600 tag though, he will really have to produce to his full capacity to exhibit any upside. The Als run the second highest percentage of rushing plays in the league, behind only Edmonton, so the touches should be there. Add to that his average of 5 targets per game receiving as well, and he projects to have a very high floor versus the second worst defence in the league in terms of yards per attempt. I’m really hoping Montreal tries to match pace with Ottawa and boost Rutley’s volume, but either way, he makes a relatively safe play in a week in which few value plays are available.
Greg Ellingson, OTT – $9800
Naaman Roosevelt, SSK – $8400
SJ Green, TOR – $9300
Weston Dressler, WPG – $7200
DeVier Posey, TOR – $8000
Duron Carter, SSK – $8200
Brad Sinopoli, OTT – $8200
Darvin Adams, WPG – $8100
DaVaris Daniels, CGY – $7700
Marquay McDaniel, CGY – $8300
Not surprisingly, Greg Ellingson tops the list again this week despite having been filed in a missing persons report last week at home versus BC. The fact he averages nearly 10 targets a game, has top end speed, and plays with the QB that leads the league in TD passes will put him on top of the list almost regardless of the matchup. That’s no more evident than this week in which he faces an Als defence that is the second most difficult matchup in the league in terms of passing yards per attempt and passing touchdowns per attempt. In a game that sports the lowest O/U of the week, Ellingson will have to get the majority of the yardage and scoring in the game to get a high end result. He’s certainly worth exposure to in multi-entry formats, but there are better options for cash or single entry situations.
Given that Kevin Glenn projects to highly this week, it only makes sense that a couple of his receivers will be near the top of the list as well. Naaman Roosevelt checks in at 2nd, while Duron Carter winds up at number 5. Roosevelt usually gets about a target more per game than Carter, but Carter is a larger big play threat and gets the occasional carry in the run game to boost his value. Last season the Bombers defence won games on a “bend don’t break” and then create turnovers model. This season they have been breaking far more often and aren’t creating as many turnovers. The yardage has always been available and now the TDs are coming too as they have allowed the 2nd most passing TDs and third most rushing TDs in the league to this point. It’s a fair bet that at least one of them will have a TD this Sunday. Both of these receivers have solid floors and high ceilings making them great plays across the board.
The next duo to look at are the leading two receivers versus whoever the Hamilton Ti-Trash defence is facing and this week that’s the fortunate pair of DeVier Posey and S.J. Green. Both of these receivers have flashed 30+ point upside this season and have the juiciest matchup on the week in a pass happy offence. It’s likely that each of them will get close to 10 targets on the afternoon and each have the ability to turn those looks into TDs versus the second most generous pass defence in that regard. Posey is still trying to return to form coming back from injury, but having had a week to knock the rust off he should be ready to roll. Green has a slightly higher projection, while Posey is a slightly better value. Both of them are high upside plays in week 11.
Brad Sinopoli projects reasonably well on the volume of targets he receives but he doesn’t score as many TDs as his teammate Ellingson and lacks the big play ability of his counterpart. Priced all the way up at $8200, his value is not very good. Add to that a difficult matchup against a miserly Montreal pass defence and a low projected team total and there are a lot of reasons to look elsewhere unless you are bound and determined to double stack a Harris lineup.
The Winnipeg passing offence has given me fits over the past month since Weston Dressler went on injured reserve. They consistently pass 35 times a game, but the target distribution varies greatly from week to week. The only consistently targeted receiver in the offence has been the big play threat, Darvin Adams. Adams is a mediocre value priced up at $8100, but with 8+ targets per game versus the most giving secondary in the league in terms of passing TDs per attempt, Adams has the upside you’d like in a GPP lineup despite an average mean projection. In what’s slated to be the highest scoring game of the week, you should certainly have some Darvin exposure in multi entry fields and even consideration in single entry contests. His counterpart Weston Dressler is thankfully slated to make his return to Regina this week as well and comes in as our fourth highest projected receiver. Any player coming off injury is risky, but priced down at $7200 he’s worth exposure to.
DaVaris Daniels and Marquay McDaniel are not nearly as exciting CFL daily fantasy prospects this week as the other plays I’ve listed here despite sporting the highest team total on the slate. Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell had his best game of the season last week versus Toronto, passing for 384 yards and still maxed out at only 25.3 fantasy points. Daniels had an enormous with a 34.4 point performance from that, but that is more than double his next highest production in 2017. McDaniel on the other hand produced on 14.4 fantasy points despite 11 targets. The Eskimos defence was shredded two weeks ago against the Bombers, but mostly held the Riders in check last week. Three defensive TDs were not the fault of the defence, so don’t be fooled by the 54 points they allowed. The Eskimos aren’t the lock down defence they appeared to be through the first six weeks, but they are not awful against the pass. With the solid run matchup for the Stamps and their projected blowout win, it will likely be a day in which game script dictates more running than passing. Both McDaniel and Daniels are worthy of GPP consideration, but would make shaky cash game options.
The last receivers I’ll mention here are Adarius Bowman, Brandon Zylstra, and the rest of the Eskimos crew. The Stampeders are just an awful matchup to draw. They allow passing TDs at a rate only 60% of league average and give up the fewest yards per attempt passing. The return of Bowman this week only further waters down the potential opportunities for each of these receivers. It’s amazing to see players go from 40-50% ownership in one week down to probably 10-15% the next week, but that’s what a blowout loss coupled with a terrible matchup will do. Any of these guys could be options in a “watch the world burn” contrarian GPP lineup, but otherwise don’t warrant much consideration.
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs WPG – $4200
Toronto Argonauts vs HAM – $5100
Calgary Stampeders vs BC – $5000
The Riders defence has been on fire the past two weeks, scoring a combined 61 fantasy points versus BC and Edmonton. They had scored a total of only 18 fantasy points through the first six weeks of the CFL. It fair to say that they are not likely to make it a third straight week as the highest scoring defence available, but as the lowest price DST unit on the slate it’s fair to assume they’ll likely be the highest owned. They still give up a lot of yards and a lot of points, so if they are going to score highly it will be led by turnovers and TDs which are pretty hard to project. In the past two games they have totaled 6 sacks, 11 turnovers, and 4 TDs. Through the first six weeks they averaged fewer than 2 sacks, 0.7 turnovers, hadn’t scored a DST TD. This same Winnipeg team went off for 392 yards and 43 points in week 2 in Regina, so it’s hard to imagine the run of the Riders DST continues despite a gnawing pit of anxiety in my stomach betting against them. It will be hard to fade the Riders DST at this price and this production, but it would seem that winning a GPP will likely be through that move.
The other two defences that I would target in their stead would be the much more highly priced and less heralded Argos defence and the dominant Stampeders squad. Toronto gets to face off with the Masoli Turnover Machine that will have them feeling those Good Vibrations all afternoon. Masoli will likely put up some yards, but the sacks and turnovers should be more than enough for the Argos to post a solid score. The Stampeders on the other hand have nearly averaged 12 fantasy points per game. The allow few yards and fewer scores and have the ability to score TDs through turnovers or kick returns with Roy Finch. I think both of these options will go much lower owned than the Riders due to price and recency, and have just as high an upside.
Well, that does it for week 11. We’ll keep updating this article throughout the week as depth charts roll out and projections adjust. Be sure to join in the conversation in the DailyRoto Forum and hit us up on Twitter at @benyamen or @RealestChrisKay. Enjoy the games, and good luck in all your contests!