The Argo was once a great warship of Greek mythology. It is now the unfortunate namesake of the worst pass defence in the CFL that is letting in water at a fast enough rate that it may sink the franchise’s 2018 hopes for good by the end of the weekend. The TiCats hung 42 points on Toronto in Week 12 and although rematches are notoriously difficult to win, the numbers show reloading the cannons with Tiger-Cats again in Week 13 of CFL Daily Fantasy contests on DraftKings is probably the path to victory.
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Implied Team Totals
Hamilton Tiger-Cats – 28.75
Winnipeg Blue Bombers – 28.25
Calgary Stampeders – 28
BC Lions – 26.5
Edmonton Eskimos – 25
Ottawa Redblacks – 25
Saskatchewan Roughriders – 24.75
Toronto Argonauts – 23.75
It’s a little odd to see the Blue Bombers with the second highest implied team total on the slate and odder still to see the slumping Lions as -1.5 favourites over the East Division leading Redblacks. I can’t imagine Ottawa says under 25 points in that contest. The other surprising number of note is that for the first time in forever there is no team with an implied total over 30. I also can’t imagine Hamilton isn’t over 30 in their rematch with Toronto.
On the weather front Hamilton and Toronto seem to have the best draw of the slate – outside the dome game in Vancouver – as they are forecast for mild temperatures with no rain and low winds. Winnipeg isn’t too much worse but they do have a risk of late thundershowers on Saturday that could certainly move earlier in the day before Saturday afternoon. The Eskimos and Stampeders probably run the worst risk of weather issues with a 40% chance of afternoon thundershowers, cool temperatures and winds forecast for 15-20 mph. None of these are torrential situations but certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Mike Reilly, EDM – $11000
Jeremiah Masoli, HAM – $11500
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $10400
Travis Lulay, BC – $9300
Mike Reilly did about as well as could be expected versus the stifling Stampeders pass defence in Week 12. They are the polar opposite of the Argos defence in allowing a league low 6.6 yards per pass attempt – 1.5 yards lower than league average – and only six total passing TDs so far this season. Mike Reilly leads the most powerful passing offence in the CFL but the matchup coupled with the loss of Derel Walker for a while makes it tough to justify the spend this week.
Masoli finally had the breakout game many folks had been anticipating last week in passing for 385 yards and three touchdowns while amassing 27.6 fantasy points. The matchup is the same this week versus an Argos pass defence that allows a league high 9.6 yards per attempt – a full 1.5 yards more than league average – while allowing the second most total passing touchdowns at 17. The Argos rate of passing touchdowns allowed per attempt is now only slightly behind the Alouettes. The loss of Jalen Saunders for the remainder of the 2018 season hurts the offence in a macro sense but the TiCats still have a pass first offence in the best matchup of the week.
Bo Levi Mitchell appeared to injure his knee in the Labour Day battle with Edmonton but returned to the game with a knee brace and is expected to start again this week in the rematch in Edmonton. The injury to Kamar Jorden leaves the Stampeders down their top two receiving options but DaVaris Daniels stepped into the top role admirably last week and Jorden’s expected replacement, Reggie Begelton, is no slouch either. Calgary is second in the league with 22 passing touchdowns and pass for the third most yards per attempt (9.0) so Mitchell is still worthy of consideration versus an Eskimos pass defence that is right around league average in both categories.
The best value at QB this week isn’t going to grab the attention of players like Masoli or Reilly do but Travis Lulay has been quietly consistent this season. In his last matchup versus Ottawa, Lulay had his best game of the season passing for 325 yards and two touchdowns versus a Redblacks secondary that is allowing about a league average 8.3 yards per pass attempt and the third most total passing touchdowns (15). Lulay has a lower ceiling than the top options but also comes in at a significant savings in salary.
Alex Green, HAM – $7900
Andrew Harris, WPG – $8500
Jeremiah Johnson, BC – $7200
Alex Green’s ridiculous scoring rates are bound to regress at some point but even with a manual rate adjustment to account for that, Green has taken over from Andrew Harris as the top projected RB this week. The matchup with the Argos isn’t special, as the Argos allow below average rates of yards per rush attempt (5.13) and rushing touchdowns per attempt but his usage rate in the red zone is unparalleled in the CFL. Whereas most teams bring in the backup quarterback to carry the ball around the goal line, the TiCats have opted to use Green as the ball carrier in those spots in a more American influenced June Jones style offence. The extra opportunities this provides Green to score touchdowns can’t be understated.
Andrew Harris had the best game of any running back versus the Riders rush defence this season in rushing for 158 yards on 15 carries Sunday afternoon in Regina. However, 105 of those yards came in the first half and 31 of his 53 second half rushing yards came on one play as the Riders made adjustments to slow him at half time. Harris is still an interesting contrarian play as the matchup and high price tag may keep his ownership levels down but the Riders third ranked rush defence makes him a tougher spend this week than most.
The matchup isn’t noteworthy for Jeremiah Johnson as the Redblacks allow below average rates of yards per carry (5.06) and rushing touchdowns per attempt but his above average rate of rushing touchdowns per attempt make him a reasonable option at home Friday night versus Ottawa. He may also have an increased workload this week leading to higher than projected touches as Chris Rainey is expected to be benched in favour of Travon Van.
Brandon Banks, HAM – $9900
Luke Tasker, HAM – $8100
DaVaris Daniels, CGY – $9200
Duke Williams, EDM – $9700
Greg Ellingson, OTT – $9000
Diontae Spencer, OTT – $9100
Brad Sinopoli, OTT – $9500
Bryan Burnham, BC – $7300
Reggie Begelton, CGY – $3700
Kyran Moore, SSK – $4200
Bryant Mitchell, EDM – $3900
Corey Washington, WPG – $3900
After posting a combined 17 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns in Week 12, it’s no surprise to see Banks and Tasker atop the receiver projections in the Week 13 rematch versus Toronto. The Argos do not seem to have any answers for their porous pass defence, leaving no reason to avoid going back to the well again for TiCats receivers this week. Banks has gone over 100 yards receiving in four of his past five games and in seven of his ten games this season. His salary is high but no receiver this week has a higher ceiling. His teammate Tasker has stepped into an increased role in the offence since Chris Williams was lost to injury, and the added loss of Jalen Saunders should only add to his importance. The Argos allow the most yards target and the second highest rate of receiving TDs per target, so it’s a good week to stack Hamilton receivers with Masoli.
Another recipient of an increased workload due to injury is DaVaris Daniels who posted season highs in receptions (7) and yardage (116) last week after Kamar Jorden was lost to injury. Being without Rogers and Jorden hurts the Stamps passing attack overall but it’s a significant opportunity for Daniels to step into the lead role. The Eskimos allow the third most yards per target to opposing receivers along with the most completions of over 30 yards this season (22). Daniels will have increased opportunities, making him a great target for Mitchell and fantasy players.
Despite facing the most difficult matchup in the league, Williams still managed to go over 100 yards receiving while also notching another touchdown versus the Stampeders in Week 12. Walker’s injury won’t likely lead to more looks for Williams but it probably does give him a higher floor, as he’ll be the weekly focal point in the Eskimos passing game. The Stampeders allow a league low yards per target and receiving touchdowns per target though, so Duke is still more of a contrarian play in this matchup. The much cheaper option in the Edmonton passing attack is Bryant Mitchell who is likely to step into Derel Walker’s vacated spot in the slot. Mitchell had a huge outing in his only start of 2018 with seven receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown versus Montreal in Week 10. The matchup with Calgary though should temper expectations.
The trio of top receivers in Ottawa round out the top projected receivers in Week 13 in their matchup with BC. The Lions allow the fourth most yards per target (8.35) but a below average rate of touchdowns per target. The matchup isn’t that special but the billboards on Narrative Street all say that Ottawa should be motivated to prove their loss to the Alouettes a week ago hasn’t outed them as pretenders atop the East division. Ellingson is the lowest priced of the group and has been the most involved in the offence of late making him a good option despite lower than average scoring rates this season compared to his previous two. Sinopoli has been much more quiet over the past couple weeks but had his biggest game of the season in Week 6 versus this same Lions squad.
Kyran Moore had a breakout game in Week 12 as a triple threat option as a rusher, receiver, and punt returner including a 65 yard punt return touchdown. Even if Christion Jones returns to his regular duties on special teams, Moore is worthy of consideration at his price tag. Bageltown is again open for business in Calgary and likely to be starting in the slot for the Stampeders versus Edmonton. He hasn’t flashed a ton of upside in his previous opportunities but should certainly get a handful of targets on Saturday afternoon. Corey Washington may also be worth a look but he’s in a tier below Mitchell, Moore, and Begelton.
Saskatchewan Roughriders – $4600
Ottawa RedBlacks – $4400
No defensive unit has the upside of the Roughriders on any given week and the price isn’t going anywhere. It’s a little ridiculous. They lead the league in forced two and outs (67) and D/ST touchdowns (8), while being second in sacks (26) and third in forced turnovers (26). Winnipeg has given up the second most turnovers in the league (24) while being forced into the third most two and outs (55), so it may be another lucrative afternoon for those willing to pay up for the Riders defence.
The Ottawa Redblacks are a cheaper option for players to consider in a matchup versus the Lions minus their top receiving option (Arceneaux) and their most dangerous playmaker (Rainey). Ottawa has compiled 17 sacks in their past five games, along with nine turnovers, and two defensive touchdowns. This unit is playing some of its best football right now versus a BC offence on the ropes.
Good luck in all your contests in Week 13!