CFL DFS Week 10: Return of the Backs
Week 10 of the CFL season is here and we have ourselves quite a slate of games. It’s not just about who is playing whom, but also which players are back from injury and ready to produce again. There are plenty of names in this week’s rankings that you haven’t seen in quite some time, but don’t let that deter you. Let’s get it started with the Vegas totals and then get right to who I think will produce the most this coming week.
Edmonton – 35
Ottawa – 30.5
Calgary – 29.5
BC – 28
Montreal – 25
Hamilton – 24.5
Winnipeg – 23
Saskatchewan – 21.5
1. Mike Reilly, EDM
2. Trevor Harris, OTT
3. Zach Collaros, HAM
4. Jonathon Jennings, BC
If you rolled the dice with Mike Reilly last week then you were rewarded with 362 passing yards and three touchdowns. We should see more of the same when Edmonton faces off against Saskatchewan this week, for many great reasons. For one, Edmonton has two of the best receivers in the CFL in Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker. Secondly, Saskatchewan’s defense is the worst in the CFL and it isn’t even close. Their 9.72 yards per attempt is the worst by 0.79 yards. Add in the fact that they have given up 21 touchdowns to just two interceptions and you’re looking at the best matchup of the slate. It’s also nice to see Edmonton with the highest implied total of 35.
Trevor Harris was the talk of the CFL when he made his Ottawa debut halfway through the first game of the season, but his season was derailed when he was hurt against Saskatchewan in week five. Well, he’s back and has a better matchup than most would think. BC’s passing defense is very solid, but the difference between them and the third worst pass defense is just 0.2 yards per attempt. Considering the Redblacks have the best passing attack by far (9.74 yard per attempt – a full yard more than Edmonton in second), I’m not worried about this matchup.
Over the last few weeks, Zach Collaros has displayed why people think he’s an elite quarterback in this league and he has shown no reason for slowing down. In his two starts this season, he has thrown for seven touchdown passes compared to just one interception. He’s averaging 356 passing yards and 35 attempts per game. These are all numbers you’re looking for in a quarterback and while Calgary’s defense ranks best in terms of yards per attempt, Hamilton will need to throw it early and often if they want to take down Calgary on the road.
Jonathon Jennings struggled last week against that Calgary defense, but he’s not as talented of a passer as Collaros. Luckily for him, he’ll face a much better matchup in Ottawa (8.37 yards per attempt) this week. Before that clunker against Calgary, he had thrown for 300+ yards four straight times, adding 10 touchdown passes and two rushing touchdowns. Jennings represents a more reasonably priced quarterback option, but considering the other options on the board, he should be used in tournaments only.
1. Travon Van, OTT
2. Tyrell Sutton, MTL
3. Shakir Bell, EDM
4. Andrew Harris, WPG
Travon Van is the first player we see back from injury that should make an impact in the slate. He’s going to see plenty of action in the offense after averaging 15.5 touches per game earlier in the season. His reliability through the air (3.5 receptions per game) and the team’s high total (30) makes him a safe option at a very affordable price ($6,300). Surprisingly, BC’s run defense is tied for second worst at 4.99 rushing yards per carry. Van is my absolute favorite back in this slate.
Tyrell Sutton will cost almost $1,000 more than Van, but should see more touches and a better role in the offense. He’ll be used around the goal line to go along with even more usage in the passing game than Van. In his two games (injured halfway through game two), he saw 19 and 13 touches. Sutton is easily a 18-20 touch guy in this Montreal offense that is likely to be out Duron Carter and a few other skill players. Look for this Montreal offense to rely heavily on Sutton even though the back is just now returning from the six game injury list.
Shakir Bell is likely making his first start for Edmonton this season when Friday rolls around and it’s a matchup that we need to take advantage of. He’s a great way to cut salary in this slate as he sits at just $4,200 on DraftKings. While we don’t know a whole lot about the back, he is set up to be used a good amount (nearly two touchdown spread between Edmonton and Saskatchewan).
After the three running backs listed, it’s hard to really love Andrew Harris in this slate. He’ll be an interesting pivot option at this position, but doesn’t look to be the optimal play here. After being kept out of the end zone the first five games of the season, he has a three-game touchdown streak that he’s looking to keep going against Montreal. His usage through the air during the streak has gone down (one reception per game compared to six per game), but he has seen almost 20 carries per game during that stretch (10.6 per game through first five games). Harris should be considered in tournaments only because of his high price tag ($7,400) and low team total (23).
Wide Receivers (High-priced)
1. Chris Williams, OTT
2. Adarius Bowman, EDM
3. Derel Walker, EDM
4. Luke Tasker, HAM
5. Greg Ellingson, OTT
6. Terrence Toliver, HAM
Chris Williams’ return to the top spot is largely in part because of the return of Trevor Harris. Harris clearly looked to Williams as his favorite target with Williams bringing down 23 receptions for 387 yards and four touchdowns in Harris’ three starts. Since the Harris injury (three games), Williams has accounted for just 214 yards and two touchdowns. While those numbers aren’t that bad, they’re not worth paying over $10,000 for on DraftKings. Consider Williams the guy to pay for at this position this week.
Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker will always be paired together because of how great both are for a very potent Edmonton offense. I like Bowman more than Walker this week, but really there’s no reason not to love both. Stacking this passing attack will be a great tournament strategy considering Edmonton’s implied total of 35 and the importance of these two receivers in their passing attack. They have accounted for 60% of the team’s receiving yards (1,712), 64% of the team’s receiving touchdowns (nine) and 51% of the team’s receptions (117).
Depending on the format you’re playing this week really depends on who you want out of these next two receivers, Luke Tasker and Greg Ellingson. Tasker is priced more aggressively ($8,600), but has a higher floor with Collaros under center for Hamilton. What Tasker doesn’t have is Ellingson’s upside. Ellingson has a 33.8 Fantasy point game under his belt, week four of the season with Trevor Harris under center. Both are great in all formats, but I would focus on Tasker in cash games and Ellingson in tournaments if the price is right.
Terrence Toliver is the high upside/high risk player for Hamilton and with the team’s moderate team total (24.5), there’s reason to avoid him in cash games. He’s a speedy receiver that relies on big plays down the field to put up big numbers. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 17.1, 19.3 and 27.8 yards per catch.
Wide Receivers (The Rest)
1. B.J. Cunningham, MTL
2. Kendial Lawrence, SSK
3. Quincy McDuffie, WPG
4. Rob Bagg, SSK
Value receivers are getting tougher to find, but B.J. Cunningham is a great example this week. He’s likely to see an uptick in targets with Duron Carter potentially suspended for this one. Over his last three games, he’s already seeing six targets per game. While that number isn’t huge, an increase to 8-9 targets is more than worth spending $5,000 on in his matchup against Winnipeg. The Blue Bombers have been elite at turning the ball over, but have given up the most yards in the CFL. They’ve also given up the second most yards per play.
Kendial Lawrence is a guy I’ve used in recent weeks that hasn’t killed me… Yet. His price point isn’t high enough for me to avoid him, especially with the tighter pricing on DraftKings. Over the last five weeks, he’s been good for about 70 return yards, which is a nice addition to his 7-10 touches per game on offense. Saskatchewan struggles to get in the end zone, but one of these days Lawrence is going to come up with a big play for the Roughriders. For now, I’m going to stick with him as a great final option to complete a lineup (not a lineup starter).
Quincy McDuffie could easily overtake Lawrence as the better player this week, but him starting has not been confirmed as of writing this. He too is a returner (125 yards per game), but hasn’t been used much at all in the passing game. If Jace Davis is out (McDuffie filled in for him on the first team offense Monday) then you’re looking at a cheaper and likely better option than Lawrence coming into the week.
Rob Bagg is worth consideration in multi-entry tournaments. It was just three weeks ago that he put up a 4/135/1 game against Calgary. In two of the last three weeks, he has seen eight or more targets. With this game likely to get high scoring very quick, it would be smart to have some cheap coverage of this Saskatchewan passing attack that is likely going to have to air it out to keep up with Edmonton.
Montreal’s defense is consistently underpriced, as the group has had some huge games in recent weeks. They’re coming off a seven sack, three turnover game and have forced 13 turnovers over their last five games. They’ll face a Winnipeg offense that is third worst in passing yards per attempt and rushing yards per carry. They’re also on multiple backups across the offense.
Winnipeg’s defense will cost a slight bit more than Montreal, but is a high upside defense. They have averaged 11.8-Fantasy points per game (second best in CFL) and have three games of 20+ Fantasy points on the season. They’re coming off a bye week and before that they forced 11 turnovers in the two games before that.