Week seven of CFL Daily Fantasy contests are in full swing and while it’s exciting to look at larger sample sizes as the season progresses, it’s also time to prepare for the worst. Preseason NFL is here and before you know it the NFL regular season will be upon us. Let’s take advantage of what little time left we have of “big” CFL action and crush it this weekend shall we?
Projected Team Totals:
Edmonton – 35
BC – 31
Calgary – 29.75
Ottawa – 29.5
Winnipeg – 28.5
Saskatchewan – 25
Toronto – 24.75
Hamilton – 21
Mike Reilly, EDM
Trevor Harris, OTT
Travis Lulay, BC
Bo Levi Mitchell, CGY
Matt Nichols, WPG
Mike Reilly of Edmonton is not only trending up (71.58 total fantasy points in his last two contests), but he’s also facing the worst team in the CFL. The Tiger-Cats defense rivals St. Mary’s School for the Blind when it comes to ability to stop the football and now they face Edmonton?! The only way guys like Reilly, Zylstra, Mitchell and Hazelton don’t hit value or close to it is if the game is 38-1 at halftime, which you never see in the CFL. You can’t expect this one to be a blowout, but they are 14-point favorites, so loading up on Eskimos at high ownership rates will have some risk to it even in a matchup like this one.
Trevor Harris has struggled in two recent tough matchups, but this week things get easier when they face off against Winnipeg. The Redblacks’ quarterback is throwing 37.5 times per game and has two very good receivers in Greg Ellingson and Brad Sinopoli. This week he is priced at just $9,600 and projects as the second best quarterback slate. Using him and his two receivers all at fairly reasonable prices allows for one great stack.
Travis Lulay should be starting this week against Saskatchewan, but this one of many important injury situations to watch. Lulay has performed admirably since taking over the starting quarterback duties after Jonathon Jennings was hurt in the week four game against Hamilton. In those three games, Lulay has thrown for 400+ yards twice, rushed for one touchdown and thrown for two touchdowns or more in all three contests. With BC holding the second highest implied team total this weekend (31), it’s hard not to like the man that has accounted for 10 total touchdowns in their last three games. Jennings could easily come back this weekend, so keep an eye on it all week long.
While Reilly is trending up, Bo Levi Mitchell is trending down. After generating 25+ fantasy points in his first two games, the Stampeders quarterback has only beat 22 fantasy points once. The question here is can you trust the man with three first names? Calgary owns the third highest implied team total (29.75) and if they get there it’ll be because of one of two men, BLM or Jerome Messam. One positive from last week’s game where he only threw 17 passes due to the blowout is that if you prorate him to a full game’s worth of passes (34-36 attempts) he would have easily hit value. With his cost being only slightly lower than Reilly, he makes for a great pivot in tournaments where players will likely go Reilly or save money with options like Harris/Nichols.
The man leading the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Matt Nichols, has been quite impressive over the last two weeks scoring six total touchdowns against Montreal and BC. He’ll likely be down one of his best receivers in Weston Dressler, but that injury took place in the first half of last week and he did fine in that one. Nichols’ price is just enough savings from the top two guys to strongly consider him especially because of the attempts he generates every week. He has thrown 36+ times in every game in 2017 and has averaged two carries on the ground to go along with it. He’ll be a strong candidate for an affordable QB/WR stack this weekend.
Andrew Harris, WPG
Jerome Messam, CGY
Jeremiah Johnson, BC
Roy Finch, CGY
C.J. Gable/Ross Scheuerman, HAM
A few weeks back I made the comment to someone in the CFL community that Andrew Harris’ upside was limited because of his inability to find the end zone. I’ll let you guess when exactly I said that, but all I can say to that is, “Welp.” The man has been unstoppable over the last three weeks, scoring four times, rushing for 151 yards and bringing in 23 receptions. Ottawa has done very well against running backs in 2017, but Harris is no true running back. He is targeted in the passing game so much that he is a consistent cash game play when priced in the $7,000s. To me, he’s easily the number one option this weekend against Ottawa.
When I made the comments about Harris it was in support of Jerome Messam. Thankfully he’s produced quite well recently and has done it in two different ways. Against Saskatchewan he touched the ball 29 times, almost guaranteeing that he would crush value while against Hamilton he was extremely effective with the football in his hands scoring three times on just 12 touches. Messam’s production through the air has fallen back to reality after week one, so he’s not as sure-fire of a pick as Harris. He’s also battling an injury that caused him to miss practice early this week. Keep an eye on this one as the week progresses.
Jeremiah Johnson has seen his productivity increase this season in thanks to being relied upon more in the passing game. His touches have decreased though since Travis Lulay has taken over at quarterback. In the first three games of the season (Jennings as quarterback), Johnson touched the ball a total of 15.33 times per game. In the past three games (Lulay as quarterback), Johnson has touched the ball just 10.67 times per game. If Jennings is back for this one I personally believe his stock rises in a game where they’re projected to score 31 points. With a price higher than Harris and Messam, expect his ownership to be fairly low in comparison to past weeks.
Roy Finch has a chance at becoming a huge value play if Jerome Messam is out this week. Messam missed practice early on, so if he were to sit then Finch would take on return and running back duties giving him an extremely nice floor.
If you have a need to punt the position and Messam plays then look to C.J. Gable/Ross Scheuerman to fill that void. Gable at $4,000 is the guy I’m looking at to punt specifically, but Hamilton has gone back and forth on who plays from week to week. Their game against Edmonton shouldn’t result in many rushing plays considering they should be playing from behind all game. This is great news for both of these Hamilton running backs who can handle the football in the passing game.
Brandon Zylstra, EDM
Darvin Adams, WPG
Greg Ellingson, OTT
Marquay McDaniel, CGY
Vidal Hazelton, EDM
S.J. Green, TOR
Ryan Lankford, WPG
Bryant Mitchell, EDM
In my American opinion, Brandon Zylstra comes into the week with the best chance at 100% ownership of anyone playing this week. The man has been a star for Edmonton and with Adarius Bowman still out, it’s not stopping against a Hamilton defense that has been dreadful all season long. Zylstra is the easy choice at receiver if paying up.
Darvin Adams has come on strong in the past two weeks and comes in as one of the best options this week in part because I expect Weston Dressler to sit out. I’ve also been tracking how teams have done against certain positions and in this matchup against Ottawa, he’s going up against the worst defense when it comes to covering number one receiving options. They’re giving up 20.08 fantasy points to them on the season. This is the week that he goes for 100+ receiving yards for the Blue Bombers.
Greg Ellingson has been dynamite as the Redblacks top receiving option going into this week’s game with a stat line of 39/643/3 this season. Ellingson has a tough matchup this week, but he is second in the CFL with 56 targets this season. Fantasy players likely won’t pay up for both Zylstra and Ellingson in week seven, so consider Ellingson the pivot at this price range. One thing worth noting for Ottawa options is that teams playing on 9+ days rest in 2017 have scored just 23.07 points per game this season, worst when looking at teams that are playing on 4-5, 6, 7, 8 and 9+ days off.
Last week one was a rough one for Marquay McDaniel fans, as he essentially didn’t even play against Hamilton. He caught zero passes and was replaced in the second half due to the blowout. With Kamar Jorden out for this week’s game against Toronto though someone has to be BLM’s main target. DaVaris Daniels is certainly capable of being that guy, but considering he’s a low target/high efficiency, guy I’ll try my hand with McDaniel in this one. People forget that he was targeted 15 times in week one.
Going with Vidal Hazelton in week seven feels like chasing points, but it’s hard to deny his matchup against Hamilton. He had a monster game last week generating 34.9 fantasy points in the win against BC to go along with the fact Edmonton’s implied team total is 35. Before that game though he had largely been the third target for the Eskimos behind Brandon Zylstra and either Adarius Bowman or Bryant Mitchell. His price has crept up because of last week’s big game, making him easily the receiver I’ll want to fade from the Eskimos.
While you would have to pay up for S.J. Green this week at $8,200, he’s a solid play because of volume. He’s averaging just under 10 targets per game and because of it, has big upside in this offense that averages over 44 passing attempts per game. Toronto’s implied team total is just 24.75 and their passing game has generated just nine touchdowns this season, but Green is the Toronto receiver to own against a Calgary with Armanti Edwards OUT.
With Weston Dressler likely out, we’re looking at another Jerome Messam/Roy Finch type situation. Ryan Lankford would be the man likely to replace Dressler meaning he would be starting as a returner and receiver at a very low cost. Just last week he saw double duty and ended up generating 23.5 fantasy points. Finch and Lankford, if both are starting on offense, are my two favorite value plays this weekend.
Bryant Mitchell fans were disappointed last week after a great week five performance of 5/76/1. Mitchell had to battle it out for targets with Vidal Hazelton and Duke Williams in week six and did not fare nearly as well as those two. The Eskimos should put up a ton of points against Hamilton and the good news is that if this game gets ugly they’re likely not going to have enough receivers to replace a guy like Mitchell in this one. Consider Mitchell a very solid value option if both Dressler and Messam start in week seven.
Edmonton has been the best defense in 2017, as they’re giving up just 15.54 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and 18.96 total fantasy points to opposing team’s top two receivers. This weekend they face Hamilton, a team that is struggling in all facets of the game as we saw last weekend.
Calgary has the honor of facing Toronto, one of the best teams to pick on in 2017. To go along with that, their defense is averaging the most fantasy points per game with 13.3. Ricky Ray is going to sling it 40+ times and have no running game to help keep the other team honest. Consider Calgary another great option against the Argos.
Winnipeg is the “punt” option this weekend to target. The Redblacks have a great passing attack, but as I spoke on earlier, they could very well be rusty in week seven. The Blue Bombers have intercepted nine passes and sacked the quarterback 12 times in 2017.
That does it for week 7. 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!