After most folks got burned by the Reggie Begelton special teams injury last week and wound up with a zero, it may be difficult to go back to the well and invest heavily in another Stampeders wide out, but Week 17 in CFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings are in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Tom Hanks is one of the greatest actors of our era and I can’t wait to see him win an Oscar for his coming cinematic portrayal of everyone’s favorite kid’s TV show but Eric Rogers is the Rogers worth going all in on this week. Calgary gets another appealing matchup this week with Montreal after beating up Toronto last week so it’s time to once again stack Stamps.
Implied Team Totals
Calgary – 31.5
BC – 29.25
Saskatchewan – 28
Ottawa – 27
Winnipeg – 25.5
Edmonton – 24.5
Toronto – 22.25
Montreal – 19
There are a few weather notes that bear watching this week as a cold snap has put much of Canada into an early winter. The game between the Riders and Eskimos Monday afternoon is forecast to be just above freezing with a chance of rain/snow along with 10-20mph winds. It could be an ugly day for football which is not what the Eskimos were hoping for to right the ship. In Montreal, the temperature should be more mild but the forecast holds a chance of significant rain going into that evening which would be a downer for those stacking Stampeders.
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $11400
Mike Reilly, EDM – $11600
Matt Nichols, WPG – $8700
The math has Mitchell narrowly edging out Mike Reilly for the top spot in the projections this week, but the matchup, salary, and recent form of both players will lead most folks to lean for more heavily in the direction of Mitchell. Bo and the Stamps offence lead the league in touchdown passes (30) and while being second in yards per attempt (9.19). The pace projections also work in Mitchell’s favour as Calgary is expected to run the second most offensive plays on the slate (63.4). The Alouettes allowed nearly 400 passing yards to Collaros and Saskatchewan last week – nearly 30% more than his previous season high – so it’ll be interesting to see what Bo can do, even with a depleted WR corps. Eric Rogers may well be back which would only boost Mitchell’s value. The price discount only makes him that much more the clear play over Reilly.
If not for his high market share of rushing touchdowns due to goal line work that other top passers lack, Reilly wouldn’t be anywhere near Mitchell’s projection. In his past two games he has looked more like Banjo Bowl Matt Nichols – under pressure, frantic, indecisive, and turnover prone – than the reigning MOP. The Roughriders defence isn’t a welcome matchup for teams struggling with pass protection as they are second in the league in sacks (36). Reilly and the Eskimos are still second in the league in touchdown passes (27) and are third in yards per attempt (8.89) so he’s still worth consideration. The offence just hasn’t been the same since the loss of Derel Walker and the injury to Duke Williams.
After Mitchell and Reilly there is a steep drop in projected points but there is a correspondingly steep drop in salary as well. Matt Nichols and the Bombers offence, despite their struggles, still have the third highest rate of TD passes per attempt while the Redblacks allow the third highest rate of passing TDs per attempt. If Nichols can manage even two touchdown passes along with a couple hundred passing yards he can certainly pay off the tag while leaving extra space for top players at other positions.
Andrew Harris, WPG – $8400
William Powell, OTT – $8300
Don Jackson, CGY – $6900
Dexter McCluster, TOR – $4800
It’s an overall down week at the running back position as the overall projections are a little lower than normal and the values are even worse with one exception. Andrew Harris leads the way in projected scoring and is actually the top value at the position as well outside of Dexter McCluster. It’s been nearly two months since Harris had a really special outing, but PPR points due to usage as a receiver keep him at the top of the projections despite the face he hasn’t cracked 100 yards rushing or receiving since Week 6. Ottawa allows the third fewest yards per rush attempt (4.99) and third lowest rate of touchdowns per rush attempt so it may be tough slogging for Harris this week despite his high usage rates.
Harris’s shadow on the Ottawa sidelines, William Powell, doesn’t have a much easier go in the yardage department – Winnipeg allows only 5.03 yards per carry – but his opportunities to score should be better as Winnipeg allows the second highest rate of rushing touchdowns per attempt. Also boosting Powell’s ceiling is his volume of opportunities as Ottawa projects to run the most plays on the slate (64.5) while Powell projects for the highest number of total touches of all running backs. He has the highest ceiling of any player at the position in Week 17.
Since breaking out over the first month of the season, averaging 7.76 yards per carry, Jackson has been slowed by injury and has seen his average drop to just 4.83 yards per carry over his past four games. Having gone scoreless over that stretch has also hurt his rates a lot. The Montreal defence got torched by a previously inert Riders passing offence but they still remain the second toughest matchup for opposing RBs in terms of yards per carry (4.83). If Calgary gets out to a huge lead by halftime, Jackson could see increased touches over and above projections in the second half but even then, the efficiency probably won’t be great. Jackson’s ability to hit value hinges on scoring a touchdown for the first time since Week 3.
The best value on the slate comes in the form of Dexter McCluster who is one of the lowest priced RBs on the slate while still being expected to a significant workload for the Argos with Wilder on the shelf due to injury. His speed made him a return specialist at the NFL level, but during his time in college at Ole Miss, there were fewer players that presented a bigger dual threat as both a rusher and receiver. Even if McCluster splits some of the workload with Burks, he should be able to get more than enough production to be the best value at RB due to PPR points. BC allows a league average 5.17 yards per carry and the third highest rate of rushing touchdowns per attempt. Burks could be worth a GPP sprinkle, but at $5K he’s not nearly as interesting.
Eric Rogers, CGY – $8700
Duke Williams, EDM – $9700
Bryant Mitchell, EDM – $6100
Diontae Spencer, OTT – $9100
Juwan Brescacin, CGY – $5700
Kyran Moore, SSK – $6700
Greg Ellingson, OTT – $8000
Bryan Burnham, BC – $8600
**Darvin Adams, WPG – $7700
Markeith Ambles, CGY – $4500
Another week in the books and another Stampeders receiver on injured reserve. The loss of Reggie Begelton was another blow to the Calgary receiving corps, but it looks like Eric Rogers is finally ready to make his return to the starting lineup. The Montreal Alouettes secondary isn’t as porous as Toronto’s but they still all the third most yards per target (8.78) and the second highest rate of passing touchdowns per target. If Rogers starts, he’s the unquestioned top target for Mitchell in a great matchup. Brescacin has had a great couple of weeks as the second option in the Stamps passing attack in games that saw them lose Daniels and Begelton to injuries early but there’s a good case to be made that Markeith Ambles may be a more likely candidate for that role. At only $5700 he could still make value but it’s less likely he has another week of 15+ fantasy points. Ambles on the other hand is one of the top values at WR on the slate having seen 77 air yards per game as opposed to Brescacin’s 49.
Duke Williams leads the group of Edmonton receivers into Mosaic Stadium on Monday afternoon coming off their two worst games of the season. Williams appears set to play but is certainly beat up suffering what appeared to be a second injury to his already ailing shoulder. The entire Eskimos offence has seemed sluggish and out of sorts the past two weeks so it’s difficult to get excited about paying top dollar for Williams versus the Riders pass defence that allows a below average 7.89 yards per target. In Duke’s only other matchup versus the Riders, he had a measly two receptions for 41 yards, so despite the mean projection it may be a fair idea to pass on Williams until the Eskimos again figure out how to pass. His teammate Bryant Mitchell continues to see double digit targets in Derel Walker’s absence making him a solid play even in a tough matchup. It’s hard to believe this Eskimos offence can stay this bad forever.
The Ottawa group of receivers is led in the projections by Dionate Spencer, who seems to be the best bet from what has been a pretty inconsistent receiving corps over the past couple months. It’s difficult to know which of Spencer, Ellingson, or Sinopoli will be the top target for Harris on any given week which makes them each a difficult spend in the $7-9K range. Spencer does have the added bonus of return yards which often leads to the highest projection of the group. Winnipeg allows the third fewest yards per target (7.71) and the second fewest receiving touchdowns per target as well making each of these three plays risky options.
Kyran Moore pops in the projections this week after having had an enormous Week 16 game versus Montreal. It’s difficult to trust a Riders receiver near $7K given the relative impotence of their passing attack through 15 weeks of the season, but Edmonton’s secondary is nearly as poor as Montreal’s. The Eskimos have allowed the most plays of 30+ yards this season and the big play is pretty much Moore’s value lives or dies by at this price.
Bryan Burnham rounds out the top group of receivers in an enticing matchup with the Argos. Burnham has averaged a touchdown a game over the Lions past six contests, but he has still only eclipsed 100 receiving yards once this season. The Argos are the league’s most generous secondary allowing 9.64 yards per target and the highest rate of passing touchdowns per attempt. Jennings and the BC passing game looked dreadful this past week versus the TiCats, however there is not better opportunity than this for them to turn things around.
Team Math does not like Adams, however, a journey down narrative street reveals a stat line like this in career matchups versus the Redblacks:
It’s noisy, unactionable data from a small sample size versus different players, coaches, and systems. There is no way to make a data-based case for Adams, but that being said, if players are going to go the Nichols value route at QB, Darvin Adams appears to be the stacking option to go with.
Calgary Stampeders – $5500
Saskatchewan Roughriders – $4700
Toronto Argonauts – $4000
Despite rave reviews of Manziel’s two touchdown performance on Sunday, he still only completed nine passes for a total of 138 yards. The Calgary defence that has forced the second most two and outs (78) and the second most turnovers (38) all while allowing the fewest points per game to opposing offences (20.3) is not deterred. Expensive defences can be difficult to fit at times but with the salary relief in McCluster, Brescacin, and Ambles available, this is a good opportunity to spend up at the position.
A month ago, it would be near unimaginable to think about picking on the Edmonton offence with a DST. That was a month ago though. The Eskimos have looked terrible the past two weeks, providing Reilly with absolutely no time to throw. Meanwhile, the Riders are second in the league in sacks (36) while Edmonton has allowed the third most in the league (30). The lack of time to throw has also led to increased turnovers as Edmonton leads the league with 32 turnovers given up while Saskatchewan is third in forced turnovers with 32. It’s a bad recipe for Reilly and the Eskimos to get their stuff together.
The Argos defence isn’t in the same class as the Stampeders, but their matchup with the Lions’ Jon Jennings is worth picking on if players don’t have the funds to get up to Calgary. Jennings had a solid Week 15 game versus Hamilton but there is a large sample of data that shows he’s quite turnover prone and it was evident in the Week 16 rematch. The Argos are probably the best bet for a cheap defence this week.
We’re into the final quarter home stretch, so enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend and good luck in all your contests.