We’re into the stretch run here for CFL daily fantasy contests on DraftKings but unfortunately it seems as though DraftKings is in full “Mail It In Friday” mode as they didn’t post the slate until Wednesday afternoon, badly mispriced some players, and left other important players completely off the slate. Chris Matthews may have been the best value at WR on the slate last week but he’s not even in the player pool this time around. Great work folks. Way to finish strong…
We on the other hand at DR are still with you full bore through the end of the regular season – and the playoffs for projections subscribers – so buckle up and get ready for Week 19.
Implied Team Totals
Calgary – 29
Hamilton – 27.25
Toronto – 27.25
Ottawa – 27.25
BC – 27.5
Edmonton – 25.5
Montreal – 22.75
Saskatchewan – 20.5
The Riders have the lowest implied team total on the slate, and barring two DST touchdowns it’s unlikely the even reach that number of 20.5. Pretty much all the other teams bunch up around 27 points. Calgary has the top total, but their offence has struggled recently as well with November Bo Levi Mitchell making his appearance a few weeks early. The winter weather has also come a bit early with overall cool temperatures in the forecast. It should be mostly dry but there are forecasts for significant winds in Ottawa (10-17mph) and Toronto (15-30mph) with a chance of rain. There’s a lot of reasons to like James Franklin this week but that forecast is concerning for the passing offences.
Mike Reilly, EDM – $11300
Jeremiah Masoli, HAM – $11600
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY – $10300
James Franklin, TOR – $9300
Mike Reilly and the Eskimos offence showed some signs of life for the first time in a month in their Week 18 win over the Redblacks. It was his first game over 300 passing yards since Week 13, but the passing touchdowns are still coming at a much slower rate with only two over his past four games. This week’s matchup with the BC Lions isn’t great in terms of yardage potential. Reilly averages the second most yards per attempt in the CFL (8.91) but BC allows yards at one of the lowest rates around (7.77) and has yielded the third fewest big plays (22). Reilly gets his biggest bump over the competition through his rushing touchdown potential as he leads the league in rushing TDs and the Lions have allowed the highest number of total rushing TDs to this point and also at the highest rate per attempt.
Jeremiah Masoli projects very similarly to Reilly in the passing categories and is if anything a step ahead. Hamilton averages the most passing yards per attempt by a wide margin (9.48), thanks in part to Brandon Banks and three matchups with Toronto this year, and the passing scores have started to come in bunches in the second half of the season since losing Alex Green to injury. Ottawa allows the third highest rate of passing TDs per attempt, so the scores should keep coming. Their Week 7 matchup was a kicker battle snoozefest, but Masoli and the offence have been a different team in the second half of the season. The yards and scores should come aplenty.
Mitchell hasn’t looked right over the past two weeks – completing passes at just a 51% rate for only 5.75 yards per attempt. That’s a full three yards per attempt lower than his season long average of 8.82. It’s a thoughtless excuse to merely blame injuries at receiver as the cause, as the turnover there has been a season long enterprise. He has been missing open targets regularly and the Roughriders defence is the kind of opportunistic unit that could make him pay for those mistakes. The Stamps still lead the league in big plays (38) and the Riders have allowed the third most of those (28) but given his recent form it seems a difficult week to gamble of Mitchell.
One of the most interesting possibilities of the week is James Franklin in a great matchup versus Montreal. The Als are not a good defence even though they have some fantasy DST appeal. Franklin wasn’t amazing versus Hamilton, but they are one of the strongest passing defences in the league. Montreal is not. Franklin has a great combination of passing and running ability that should lead to a solid outing versus the Als. Franklin had some appeal as a punt play at QB when he was essentially just a goalline back. If he can play up to his potential he could be the top passer on the slate.
Brandon Burks, TOR – $6400
William Powell, OTT – $8200
Tyrell Sutton, BC – $6800
John White IV, HAM – $6600
William Stanback, MTL – $5800
Brandon Burks came out blazing in his first start as the full time back in Toronto but was largely ignored in the second half once the Argos fell behind Hamilton on the scoreboard. Still, 19.4 fantasy points put him among the leaders at the position for Week 18. This week’s matchup versus Montreal has the Argos set up as 4.5 point favourites and also as the beneficiaries of a significant boost in pace as Montreal allows the most plays per game to opposing offences (62.3). The positive game script and his work as a consistent target in the passing game makes Burks a near lock for lineups this week.
William Powell leads the league in rushing yards. William Powell is not a great fantasy option. Both of these phrases can be true at the same time. He quite consistently racks up yards but the Redblacks bog down in the redzone more than any other team outside of the Riders, with 31 field goal attempts inside the 40 yard line. The Redblacks have a league low nine rushing touchdowns to go along with the lowest rate of rushing touchdowns per attempt. The yards should be there again for Powell versus a Hamilton defence that allows a league high 5.73 yards per carry, but as their Week 7 matchup showed, Ottawa loves to settle for field goals. Touchdowns are the king makers in fantasy football as even one score is worth 60 rushing yards. It’s pretty tough to justify Powell’s price tag.
Tyrell Sutton looked fresh in his first significant action since falling to injury in Week 10, tallying over 100 yards and a pair of scores versus the league’s best rush defence. The matchup with Edmonton is that much more enticing as they allow the third most yards per carry (5.36). If BC is indeed going to skew much more run heavy with Sutton in the backfield – as they did in Week 18 – he could have another solid outing in Vancouver on Friday night as BC is two-point favourites over the Eskimos.
John White was one of the bigger disappointments in Week 18, amassing a mere 52 yards on 13 carries in a lopsided win over Toronto. It was a great matchup that did not pan out after a very slow start for him. Ottawa is an average rush defence in terms of rates for yardage and scores but White had his worst statistical game of the season versus the Redblacks in Week 7 with only 2.5 fantasy points. It’s unlikely he’s that ineffective again, but there is some risk here despite the affordable price tag.
The Alouettes offence is very, very, bad. So is the Argos defence. Toronto allows the second most rushing yards per attempt (5.48) and Stanback has averaged a very respectable 5.9 yards per carry in a small sample this season. The Als limited offence will always limit Stanbacks touches, but he could be very efficient in the work he gets as Montreal still tries to shelter Manziel from his own mistakes.
Brandon Banks, HAM – $10000
Bryant Mitchell, EDM – $7900
Luke Tasker, HAM – $8800
Eric Rogers, CGY – $8400
Duke Williams, EDM – $8900
Diontae Spencer, OTT – $9100
Brad Sinopoli, OTT – $8700
Greg Ellingson, OTT – $8200
S.J. Green, TOR – $8500
Markeith Ambles, CGY – $5000
Bakari Grant, CGY – $3500
Brandon Banks is the 2018 CFL fantasy football MVP. Really, he should probably be the 2018 CFL MOP as well but everyone always picks quarterbacks. No player has been more consistent or has a higher floor/ceiling combination. He has only four games below 20 fantasy points this season and in one of those he still had seven catches for 113 yards. He leads the league in targets per game (9.1), air yards per game (111), and receiving touchdowns per game. He’s good at football. With his consistency, it may be wise to start here and build around him rather than starting with QB. His teammate, Luke Tasker, took all the glory with three TDs in Week 18 and looks to have a good chance to score again as Ottawa allows the third highest rate of receiving TDs per target. He lacks Banks’ consistency, but he also lacks Banks’ price tag.
Eric Rogers price continues to sag following his return from injury, but his target rates show he’s still due to break out as he’s had 10 targets per game in the past two contests. As mentioned earlier, Mitchell has just been tossing errant balls like an unbalanced JUGS machine of late, making it difficult for Rogers to convert his opportunities into points. At some point Mitchell will get it figured out and Rogers will have a huge game. The Riders defence is great at scoring touchdowns, but they also allow a higher than average rate of big plays and passing TDs per attempt. Markeith Ambles is a decent option in this matchup as well given his low salary. It would be unwise to have more than two Stampeders receivers though given their recent struggles. It’s also a little uncertain who the starting receivers will be this week in Calgary as Marken Michel could return to action and Bakari Grant was signed on Monday. Chris Matthews should be a great option again this week, but DraftKings inexplicably left him off the slate because they aren’t trying anymore.
The first half of the season brought Duke Williams to the forefront of the league and justifiably his price tag rose from the $7K range to the $9K range it is now. Over the past five games though, Edmonton has morphed into the Bryant Mitchell show as he has averaged over 10.4 targets per game since securing a starting role. The same Bryant Mitchell that was benched after a 25.8 fantasy point outing in favour of Vidal Hazelton because veterans don’t lose their jobs to injury. Just as Jason Maas would “kick that field goal again every time”, so his logic leads him to bench budding stars for old man pride. Then folks wonder why Edmonton is only a .500 team. Mitchell’s tag has now also risen quite appropriately to the $8K range. He’s unlikely to get the benefit of 17 targets again this week, but the matchup with the Lions projects Edmonton for a slight bump in pace along with above average rates for receiving yards and touchdowns per target.
Ottawa’s struggles to convert yardage into touchdowns have already been touched on, but these same struggles affect the receivers as well. Hamilton allows the second fewest yards per target this season (7.33) and an average rate of TDs per target as well. Ottawa runs the fastest paced offence in the CFL (62.1) but Hamilton allows the fewest plays per game (53.1) to opposing offences so the usual volume expected for Spencer, Sinopoli, and Ellingson takes a significant hit. It’s not a great week to target overpriced Ottawa receivers.
S.J. Green is one of the most volatile options in fantasy football as he has four games of 23 fantasy points or better while also having eight games of nine points or worse. He’s usually a player worth straight fading and cutting your losses when he hits, however, this is a great matchup and Franklin looked his way 11 times last week. His price is ridiculous and he’s a pure boom or bust play but certainly worth considering in multi-entry spots.
Geno Lewis price tag is really egregious given his production. His projection isn’t that great, but I think there’s a non-math chance he’s could be the unexpected slate breaker in Week 19. Over his past three games, Lewis has averaged 81 air yards per game – fourth most for any receiver in that span. His overall targets are low due to a stagnant Montreal offence that runs the fewest plays per game (49.2) but Toronto is an efficiency dream come true, allowing the highest rates of receiving yards per target (9.68) and touchdowns per target this year. Lewis is a boom or bust option but if he converts those air yards into reality in a dream matchup he could be one of the top receiving options on the slate.
Calgary Stampeders – $5400
Saskatchewan Roughriders – $4100
Toronto Argonauts – $4900
The Roughriders offence had their worst showing of what has been a pretty abysmal 2018 campaign for them, getting shut out by Winnipeg in Week 18. Collaros threw two interceptions – and a few more passes that could have been – on their way to 195 yards of total offence. The Stampeders are second in the league in forced turnovers (44) and forced two and outs (89) and square off against a Riders offence that leads the league in offensive two and outs (95). This should be another rough outing for Saskatchewan and has the potential to be a big game for the Stamps defence that can lock up first place in the West with a win.
The Roughriders defence has scored almost as often as their offence this season but have looked pretty off over the past few games, giving up big plays and being less able to pressure opposing quarterbacks. The DUI arrest of Charleston Hughes could certainly hurt this unit if he’s suspended, so keep eyes out for news. If Hughes plays the Riders are a solid option as the cheapest priced unit on the slate as they lead the league in sacks (43) and are third in forced turnovers (37). This is simply the case of a player being clearly mispriced.
The Argos defence has been bad this season but the Alouettes offence has been arguably worse. The Als have allowed a league high 59 sacks and thrown 19 interceptions – also a league high – which makes the Argos and interesting option despite their lack of defensive production in those categories. Mistakes will be made in this battle for the bottom of the East division and it’s likely one of these defences scores a TD at minimum price.
Good luck in all your contests!